I asked the control group to write a paragraph on “Was the Munich Conference a success or failure?” The control group struggled with this writing. The answers were centered around these difficulties:
- The Munich Conference was confused with other events such as the Hitler/Stalin pact.
- The main idea from the Munich Conference of giving the Sudetenland to Germany was not understood.
- Many students did not even attempt to answer the question.
As I read through the answers I feel very safe in saying that a connection was made by the game play group that was not made with the control group. The understanding of the Munich Conference was real to the students who played the game. It is a necessity that during the game play that students understand it and that is the focus of the scenario that we played. The control group, who covered the material in the traditional manner did not get it. Of course, high performing students did. Mid level students performed as mid level students do. Some got it some did not. And lower level students performed as they normally do. This just leads to the thought that if I cover the material in the traditional manner, I will get traditional results. Some students are made for the structure of school. The regiment is good for them and they perform admirably. Those that don’t for whatever reason, because there are many, will continue to struggle. What is exciting, is using the randomness of a computer game to motivate the student that does not perform well in school. As a teacher, that what it is all about.