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Peer Review

Explore Examples of Teaching with Games

by Cathryn Manduca


Overall Numeric Rating:

5 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Jun 30, 2009 by Teacher Education
Overview: This site offers of collection of resources for professors and graduate students assigned to teach undergraduate general education science courses. It offers a exceptionally wide variety of options including games, simulations, visualizations, lab and non-lab activities, as well as tips on course design and assessment.
Type of Material: Collection
Recommended Uses: This course is an excellent resource for science professors and graduate students in science who want to be more effective teachers. It is also highly recommended to undergraduate teacher education students and to teachers of high school science courses.
Technical Requirements: No technical requirements beyond Internet connection and web browser.
Identify Major Learning Goals: This collection seeks to develop a resource that intimately integrates pedagogy with teaching resources and fully supports a virtual community of educators. It also attempts to bridge the gap between information about teaching methods and the everyday experiences of geoscience faculty by providing geoscience specific arguments and examples. It supports teachers in making deliberate choices of methods, activities and tools for teaching science.
Target Student Population: Subject matter and recommended teaching strategies are aimed at university undergraduate and high school science teachers. Primary users of the site would be teachers of these students.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Background in subjects related to geoscience and desire to teach those subjects well.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: This site offers a wide variety of lesson content and delivery ideas. The content is accurate both in scientific subject matter and in the area of effective teaching and assessment. Users can find excellent tips on course design and equally quality suggestions for integrating a variety of technology tools and formats for engaging students and increasing opportunities for learning.
Concerns: None

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The intended user of this site would be able to design a quality course for an general education science course using the pedagogical tips. In addition, an extremely wide variety of subject specific modules are cataloged and easily searched to tailor courses for specific emphasis. Users can easy make informed choices on the type of learning activities to use in conjunction with the content.
Concerns: This is not merely a collection of games, but rather a collection of T/L resources for geoscience. As such, the title might be a bit misleading.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: This site is very well organized and all materials are offered through multiple categories so that a user can easily find content by type of activity, by specific subject areas, and by topics and themes. Navigation is flawless, and it is very easy to move from one area to another and back again without getting lost.
Concerns: None

Other Issues and Comments: This is an excellent tool for anyone interested in learning to design and present high quality lessons in many areas of science. It is an excellent resource for high school science teachers as well as those assigned to teach undergraduate science courses in higher education.