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Assignment #4: Constructionist Gaming

1. Title: Test That Hypothesis Game

2. Context: AP Statistics

3. Learners: My AP Statistics students are primarily 10th grade students who are comfortable
using technology and have had exposure to playing games for educational and entertainment.
Some of the students are in AP Computer Science and have had experience coding in
languages such as Java. These students may have an advantage in this activity, so they will
be separated and each team will have at least one AP Computer Science teammate. All the
students are very comfortable using computers and have access to a computer at home. The
students who are currently taking AP Computer Science have had limited exposure to gaming,
but through the use of Java.

4. Goals of Constructionist Gaming:


● Increase Student Collaboration
● Increase Understanding of Hypothesis Testing and Random Outcomes
● Increase Gaming Skills

5. Duration: The unit will last approximately 4 weeks, which is the typical week of the
hypothesis testing unit. The first week will be a familiarization period to the game design
platform and to hypothesis testing. The next two weeks, the students will spend time
developing their games. The final week, the students will be allowed to play the games
developed by their peers and will be given the opportunity to offer constructive feedback.

6. Learning Objectives and Standards

Statistical Inference: Estimating population parameters and testing hypotheses covers roughly
40% of the material on the AP Exam. Students should be able to test claims made using
appropriate hypotheses and applicable inference techniques to reach a logical conclusion in
context of the problem.

7. Game Design Task: The students will design a game that includes all types of inference
such as one versus two sample, z-tests versus t-tests, chi-square tests, and tests for slope of
a bivariate relationship. Each of these “decisions” will be incorporated into gaming process.
● Use M&Ms to test goodness of fit with a Chi Square analysis. The game should
be able to explore outcomes such as the distribution of colors for M&Ms and
use these distributions to test claims about the hypothesized value.
● Use simulation to replicate random outcomes. The simulations would involve random
outcomes as part of the game process.
● Use features of the game to represent Type I and Type II errors for hypothesis testing.
In other words, if the wrong decision is made, students should incorporate reasonable
outcomes and consequences as part of the game.

8. Gaming Design Software:

Gamestar Mechanic Scratch Kodu

Pros Great tool for getting Easy introduction to Complete Learning


started in game coding System for coding
design
Learn programming Starts with digital
Interactive Learning with blocks blocks and progress
and Coding to Java scripts and
Clear tutorials Python
Fosters Student
Creativity Easy to learn Visual Programming
Language

Easy Interface

Cons Inflexibility with No Mobile Access Difficult to get started


Gaming Genres
No Bridge to Real Distractions in the
Complexity of Programming game design
Design Process process

Cost Free for 1st Game Free (paid for by Free to Download
Design Quest or grants and
$19.95 for upgraded donations)
capabilities or
Exclusive
Educational package
$2 per student

Age Level 7-14 years old 8-16 years old 7 and up

Compatibility High-speed Internet Windows Chrome Windows 7, 8, 8.1,


connection, modern OS, Mac, or Linux 10, Vista, XP
web-browser, Adobe Computer
Flash Player version Graphics Card
10 or later Adobe Flash Player supporting DirectX
released after 9.0C and Shader
6/15/16 model 2.0 or higher

Modern web browser .NET framework 4.0


or higher

9. Rationale: For this game construction, the class will be using Scratch due to the free cost
and ease of use at the beginner level.

10. Procedures: The students and the teacher will watch tutorials to familiarize themselves to
the game design system. Students will also install the gaming system on their 1-to-1
chromebooks. This will be done in advance so that all students will be able to start gaming as
soon as the unit begins.

Week 1: As part of the unit, the students will familiarize themselves with hypothesis
testing and the gaming system. For this time period, students will spend roughly 75% of the
class time on learning about hypothesis testing and 25% of their time on becoming acquainted
with the gaming system.

Week 2: The focus this week will turn to learning the gaming system and implementing
some simple quests for basic hypothesis testing. The time spent this week will be roughly 75%
on learning the system and developing the game. The other 25% will be spent on refining their
understanding of hypothesis testing.

Week 3: The focus this will be to increase the complexity of the hypothesis tests
included in the game. This will be done through an increased understanding of the game
design and of hypothesis testing. This week is when the students will have the opportunity to
incorporate the complexity of Type I and Type II error, providing the opportunity for students to
experience consequences as part of the game.
Week 4: This week will be the rewarding time when the students get to play their
classmates games and provide constructive feedback. This will be accomplished by allowing
students 45 minutes to play a game designed by their classmates each day. The remaining
time will be spent completing a questionnaire that prompts the students to respond in a
positive, yet helpful way.

11. Evaluation: Students will be evaluated by other students on features such as ease of use,
creativity, and overall effective design. This will be accomplished by each student/group
completing a questionnaire. The students will also be graded on a rubric by the teacher. The
rubric will score the students on the inclusion of at least two different hypothesis tests with
accurate decisions regarding the test. The teacher is rating the games on the accuracy of the
tests/conclusions and the students are rating the games on their ease of use, whether they
are fun to play, creativity, and realism.

1. Expected Benefits:
a. Learning Coding: Students will be introduced to coding with the use of blocks
so that they are able to begin immediately in game design. As they progress in
their learning, they can incorporate coding as part of the design process.
b. Learning Context: Students will have to work through hypothesis tests in order
to incorporate them into their game. They will need to have an in-depth
understanding of hypothesis tests as their game increases in creativity and
complexity.
c. Learning about Learning: Students will learn about learning through the need to
fully understand the intricate details of hypothesis testing. In other words, as
students design their game scenario they will realize that they need to learn
more about hypothesis testing to accurately implement their game design.
d. Social Dimensions: The project encourages working together and sharing
knowledge through the use of teams and peer feedback. Each team will be
comprised of students with varying coding/gaming abilities.
e. Cultural Dimensions: The use of game design in this unit offers students, such
as females, the opportunity to explore game design when they might not
otherwise have chosen to do so. In fact, of all my AP Stats students taking AP
Computer Science, only two are females.

12. Expected Challenges and Support Needs: There are two challenges that I think may
require support or intervention. The first of which is the fact that some students are already
familiar with coding and should learn the game design process more quickly. This will be dealt
with by forming groups of several students with no more/less than one student concurrently
taking AP Computer Science. The students will be required to work together so that all
students learn and progress in the game design process. The second issue is that using the
game design as part of the learning process may require more time than expected. To
minimize the length of time required, the students will be asked to watch tutorial before and
during the unit.

13. Reflection: This was a challenging yet rewarding assignment. I really enjoyed learning
about some of the options for game design, especially those that do not require any prior
coding knowledge. I learned a great deal from the assigned reading as well. It seems as if this
topic has yet to be fully investigated even though there have been some very good papers
written.