A video game against Covid
We have asked the teachers of our network to submit their best ideas for distance learning. And they've delivered. Here is an example from Italy by Paolo Gondoni.
This project was developed in February 2020, right after the Covid-19 outbreak caused the Italian government to abruptly close all schools. With the aim to keep in touch with the students and keep up their motivation, we developed a videogame-like interactive quiz about Special Relativity (SR). The biggest challenge at the time was to re-organize the teaching activities without having the time to prepare, while letting the students know that they had not been completely left alone. In this particular case, we just started to cover SR, when the schools were shut down.
Our school had already been using the GSuite platform for a few years, therefore it was easy to communicate with the students in an active Google Classroom. Within this learning environment, the videogame was developed via Google Forms. This allows creating different paths within quizzes depending on the answers submitted by the players, much like a gamebook.
In the game “Albert vs. Coronavirus” the students play the role of Albert Einstein on a quest to defeat the SARS-CoV19 virus. The player must answer questions concerning the basic SR topics in order to progress in the game, which ends when the students make big mistakes. Taking advantage of the options provided by Google Forms, we installed a few “saving points” (like in a videogame), in order to allow the players to resume their game from an intermediate point in case of wrong answers.
The scores obtained by the students were found to match quite reasonably their “conventional” grades in Physics.