Through a major grant from the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences, CCT has led a National Research and Development Center on Instructional Technology called Possible Worlds. The six-year effort developed four supplemental curricular modules intended to improve science learning for middle-school students, and conducted research on their use in classrooms. Each module includes a digital game and associated instructional materials to be used in the classroom. The modules are designed to be integrated into regular science curricula and to support teachers in teaching topics that are the subject of common, persistent scientific misconceptions: photosynthesis, heredity, electricity, and heat transfer.
Visit the Possible Worlds website to find:
• free access to digital games related to the four science topics where students often struggle with persistent misconceptions, and all of the associated instructional materials
• a light-hearted, animated video series designed to help teachers who are not gamers understand why digital games are so appealing to so many of their students
• No Way!, a classroom activity that helps students develop the crititical thinking and science literacy skills emphasized in the Next Generation Science Standards—skills they'll require in order to become critical consumers of scientific information and reporting
• an archive of six years of research reports and conference presentations exploring how digital games can support middle-school science
The following video also provides a look at the games we have developed, explains more about our theoretical approach to embedded conceptual analogies to target science concepts into digital gameplay, and describes the goals of our research studies.