The Innovation: CRYSTAL ISLAND: Lost Investigation
Many students love video games. Game-based learning (GBL) capitalizes upon this trend, using games and simulations to convey educational content and concepts. CRYSTAL ISLAND: Lost Investigation enlists GBL to teach eighth grade students Common Core State Standards in reading and science.
The game takes place in an interactive story-world, featuring a science mystery about an epidemic that has struck a team of researchers stationed on a remote tropical island. The student’s objectives are to identify the spreading illness; recover scattered pieces of another scientist’s notes; and recommend a treatment plan. To solve the mystery, the student uses critical thinking and decision-making skills while synthesizing information from conversations with virtual characters, complex informational text from books and articles, and test results from virtual laboratory equipment.
Reading English Language Arts; Information Text: 8 RI.1-2, RI.4-.7
Science: 1.05, 1.10, 7.01, 7.02
Results Achieved: A comparison of students’ pre- and post-game experience test scores shows a significant increase in science content learning and reading skills.
In addition, two-thirds of student participants demonstrated the acquisition of deeper knowledge by successfully exercising strategic planning, interpreting technical information, and thinking systematically to determine the identity of the mysterious disease.
Long-term Goal: To continue the development and investigation of a multi-disciplinary, immersive game-based learning environment aligned with Common Core State Standards on a large scale.
The Grant Project:
North Carolina State University received an NGLC grant in June 2011.
With NGLC funding, NCSU accomplished the following:
- Aligned curriculum with Common Core State Standards
- Developed CRYSTAL ISLAND software and Teacher Dashboard
- Created a scalable teacher professional development packaging
- Engaged 1,200 students at two schools in the CRYSTAL ISLAND experience
- Investigated research outcomes
NCSU plans to deploy CRYSTAL ISLAND: Lost Investigation on a national scale with an enhanced and expanded immersive story experience. Data mining analyses with student log data, as well as work on evidence-centered design, will enable the system to be even more responsive in providing personalized instruction, meet the increased demands and expectations of the Common Core, and empower teachers with real-time actionable analytics.