At the University of Dallas, a team of scientists are using a modified version of the classic game Minecraft to teach children the basics of chemistry.
On their research report, they said, “Imagine a class without lessons, tests and homework, but with missions, quests and teamwork. Video games offer an attractive educational platform because they are designed to be fun and engaging, as opposed to traditional approaches to teaching through lectures and assignments.”
The application is called Polycraft World. It lets players build in-game items including pogo sticks and jetpacks through piecing together of raw materials whose interaction is based on actual chemical reactions.
Lead researcher Dr. Walter Voit strong feels that the key to engaging students is to have in-game objectives that were challenging but not overly difficult to achieve.
He said, “If the game is too difficult, people will get frustrated. If it’s too easy, they lose interest. If it’s just right? It’s addicting, it’s engaging, it’s compelling.”
With its effectiveness, future versions of Polycraft World to teach economics and other subjects are said to be on the way.
What do you think of this approach? Cool right?