A New Approach of On-line Learning: Research and Reflection to On-line Game Based Learning of Space Geometry in Primary School

Lu Wang and Hui Yang
Educational Technology Department
Capital Normal University
Beijing 100037, China


Abstract. It seems that education always contradicts to computer games, just as shown in the negative reports from newspaper and other media recently. For so long a time, learning happily is only a dream for learners, which is far from reality. However, the renowned psychologist Piaget held that games provided chances to consolidate children's new cognitive structure and develop their emotion, and game is a way of education. John Dewey, the famous educator, also argued that when children successfully solved problems through the process of learning by doing, they would gain both knowledge and strength. Based on the theories above, in 2004, the authors and their team developed a serial of RPG games named "Wu Kong", with the traditional Chinese fiction "Journey to the West" as background, which used VR to integrate the characters, scenes and stories with knowledge units of space geometry in primary school.

Since 2005, the authors have finished two demonstrational instruction experiments in grade 4 and grade 5 of two primary schools in Beijing. With qualitative and quantitative methods, a lot of data was collected.

Through the data processing and reflection, the authors suggested some conclusions about on-line instruction and learning. (1) Game based learning can help students learn mathematics more efficiently. (2) Game based learning improves the students' attitude to mathematics learning. (3) Game based learning enhances the communication and interaction between students, and improves the quality of collaborative learning. (4) Game based learning changes teachers' role greatly. (5) Specific tools are needed to support teachers to accomplish their leading. (6) Game based learning requires more to the professional development of teachers.

With the research to the key technique of building game based learning environments, the authors concluded that (1) it is suitable to adopt the four-layer structure for building an on-line game based learning environment, where the four layers are system layer, engine layer, task layer and client layer. (2) There were remarkable differences between on-line game based learning environment and ordinary on-line learning environment in design principle, instruction design and learning activity design. (3) With the character of ecosystem, on-line game based learning environment changes the produce and use of learning resources.