Developing e-Bug web games to teach microbiology.
- PubMed: 21680585
As a complement to the e-Bug teaching pack, two e-Bug games were developed to provide content that aimed to entertain as well as to educate. A set of agreed learning outcomes (LOs) were provided by the scientific partners of the e-Bug Project and the games were developed using user-centred design techniques (the needs, wants and limitations of the potential game players were assessed at each stage of the design process). The e-Bug games were designed for two age groups: Junior (9-12 year olds); and Senior (13-15 year olds). A study using focus groups was done to gain an understanding as to the types of games enjoyed by the target users. According to the preliminary study, the Junior Game was developed as a platform game and the Senior Game was developed as a story-based detective game. The Junior Game consists of five levels, each associated with a set of LOs. Similarly, the Senior Game consists of four missions, each comprising five stages using problem-based learning techniques and LOs. In this paper, the process of development for each game is described in detail and an illustration is provided of how each game level or mission addresses the target LOs. Development of the games used feedback acquired from children in four schools across the UK (Glasgow, London and two in Gloucester). The children were selected according to their willingness to participate. European Partners of the e-Bug Project also provided further support, translation and requests for modifications. The knowledge gained of LOs and further evaluation of the games is continuing, and preliminary results are in press. The final versions of the games, translated into 11 European languages, are available online via www.e-bug.eu.