ACM - Computers in Entertainment

Think science!

By Ute Ritterfeld, Rene Weber, Sangeeta Fernandes, Peter Vorderer
Theoretical and Practical Computer Applications in Entertainment, [Vol. 2, No. 1]

DOI: 10.1145/973801.973819

In February 2003, the JASON Foundation for Education supported an interactive show, the Immersion Institutes Exploration: Sea Lions, intended to enhance children’s understanding of science; it played at three different theaters throughout the US. The production, provided by Immersion Studios Inc., involved about 2000 students, mostly from ages 9 to 14. During the two-week event, a random sample of students and their teachers participated in an assessment of the show, including aspects of usability, entertainment experience, and impact on learning. About a month later, a follow-up was undertaken to complete the evaluation.

Results demonstrate that the show was highly appreciated by both the participating students and teachers: The usability aspect of the show was satisfying; the technology was found to be suitable for all age groups involved, and the entertainment experience was clearly intense. Students reported a high learning impact; this opinion was reinforced by the teachers. The follow-up results, however, did not provide proof of long-lasting recall of facts embedded in the show. But it did provide some surprising evidence that students gained detailed knowledge about show-related facts, raising the question whether such a show can be used to make students become more interested in a topic.

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