“I feel very excited. It’s satisfying to know that what you’re doing is interesting for other teachers and that it’s something worth sharing,” Sandra shared.
Sandra Miranda Leal, a teacher at PrepaTec’s Morelia campus, will give a presentation on game-based learning at the fifteenth European Conference on Games Based Learning in Brighton, United Kingdom.
The idea the professor shared in her proposal is a case study activity with images, carried out as a race circuit that took place at the Morelia campus during the August-December 2019 semester.
“The dynamics of reconstructing a normal class as a game facilitated the use of case studies, which are usually long technical texts,” says the teacher.
The European Conference on Games Based Learning (ECGBL) is an international conference that attracts a combination of academics, professionals, game designers, and individuals involved in various aspects of game-based learning.
The idea of creating an activity using case studies came about when Sandra had to carry out an activity for a certification.
As part of the certification, the teacher had to demonstrate her ability to design a classroom activity in which students could analyze multiple perspectives and positions on a specific problem.
The activity’s main focus was on how technology can impact human rights, both positively and negatively. That is where the analysis of multiple perspectives came in: it provided students with different points of view via a common theme.
“With case studies, you can’t just give me an opinion or personal solution. You have to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and analyze the problem from every possible angle,” explains Sandra.
Unconvinced by case study texts that she found on the web, she decided to investigate and came up with the idea of creating case studies using images.
“I looked for case studies, but all the ones I found were very long texts with very specific vocabulary. I knew that the students would have to look for meanings of some words and it would become very boring,” says Sandra.
With this new activity, instead of having a class just sitting in a room, the teacher created a “race circuit” which consisted of students visiting four stations and solving each case study to complete the activity.
“A class which could have just looked at a single, text-based, case study became a fun and productive game for all the students,” explained the teacher.
The first step to participating was submitting an abstract, which is a research summary, about Game Based Learning and the case study activity.
“My team leader encouraged me to send my work to the conference. I saw the call, but I told myself that I didn’t have enough time to write the abstract and I forgot about it. However, my team leader told me to give it a try,” says Sandra.
After it was accepted, the next stage was to submit a paper presenting the research results. This will be published in the conference journal and be shared as a presentation in September 2021.
Sandra Miranda Leal holds a degree in Computer Systems Engineering and a Master’s in Information Science and Knowledge Management. She is a full-time teacher at PrepaTec’s Morelia campus and teaches Computational Thinking, Digital Expression, Creativity and Digital Design, and Mobile Applications Development.
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