FUN: A Finland-U.S. Network for Engagement and STEM Learning in Games

University of Tampere, Aalto University and University of Jyvaskyla; TERC, Northern Illinois University, WGBH

The Finnish-US Network (FUN) is blending methods and testbeds from both countries to obtain a broader picture of how engagement and learning are entwined in the growing field of game-based learning.

As part of a SAVI, teams from the Educational Gaming Environments group (EdGE) at TERC, WGBH and Northern Illinois University are partnering with Finnish researchers from University of Tampere, Aalto University, and University of Jyvaskyla. Together these groups have an extensive set of research-grounded games in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics and for ages of pre-K, elementary, middle and high school, as well as university levels.

Each team is this consortium examines engagement in game-based learning in different yet complementary ways. Methods within the FUN research team include a variety of surveys, video analysis techniques, experience sampling methods, and educational data mining. The FUN researchers are conducting cross-team studies to look for similarities and differences arising in difference cultures and different gaming environments. This research begins this spring with a large national survey of youth 14-18 in both countries to examine the relationships among game experience, gamer identity, science identity, and understanding of the nature of science.