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Abstract Title: Reverse Game Play as an Introduction to Scientific Reasoning
Abstract: Helping students, especially non-science majors, develop an understanding of three aspects of science -- that scientific reasoning is not something that only certain people are capable of doing, that scientific theories are not "grown-up" hypotheses, and that all scientific findings are tentative -- is a difficult endeavor. Students have few, if any, experiences where they explicitly engage in formulating and testing hypotheses and building a model (theory) of a system. We have used reverse game play to put students into a situation where they have to carry out this program. The students are given the board, playing pieces, and several histories of two people playing an abstract strategy game. Their task, working in small groups, is to infer a model of the game, i.e., the starting positions, legal moves, how to win, etc. Preliminary investigations suggest that students have a tendency to generate vague and/or incomplete hypotheses through weak analysis.
Abstract Type: Symposium Poster
Targeted Session: Game-Based and Game-Informed Approaches to Physics Instruction

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: David P. Maloney
Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne