Muzzy Lane Software, creator of the historical simulation game Making History, has announced that a group of high school students using the multiplayer videogame about the political and economic causes of World War II achieved higher test scores than students learning the same material more traditionally.
Under the tutelage of a social studies teacher at Oak Hill High School in Converse, Indiana, 64 sophomore students played Making History, while another group of students used their standard history textbooks along with the usual lectures and assignments that define a typical day in high school. Both groups were attempting to learn the same material.
When the groups were tested on their knowledge of key events, such as the 1938 Munich Conference and their general knowledge of European geography, the group that played Making History learned more facts and wrote more sophisticated essays in tests conducted after a week of game play, according to the announcement.
The teacher applied a common set of questions to both groups of students prior to game week, and then tested the students with the same questions after each group had completed their learning cycles. He found a noticeable and in some cases stunning difference in the degree to which the game-play students improved compared with the textbook students, the announcement states.
Among the highlights noted in the announcement (percentages indicate the relative increase in performance from the pre-lesson test to the post-lesson test):
* Identify the countries of Europe on a blank map outline:
Game Players: 70%
Non-Game Players: 45%
* Explain the significance of the 1938 Munch Conference:
Game Players: 90%
Non-Game Players: 55%
* Define the reasons for the start of World War II:
Game Players: 67%
Non-Game Players: 35%
"I am not saying that games are the panacea for all of education's problems," said the Oak Hill teacher. "But there is no doubt anymore that the right videogame integrated properly with traditional curriculum has a clear and meaningful impact on the quality of learning."
Source: Muzzy Lane Software, http://www.muzzylane.com