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Serious Game

Secondary

Description

The Serious Game introduces energy issues with a sustainable development message through 9 interactive and engaging missions. Using a game format, the student/player's objective is to reduce the consumption of energy, increase energy efficiency and choose the best renewable energies. Players find help with 3 advisers, economic, environmental and social, but it is up to them to make the best decision to improve our collective future.  

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

The resource promotes the skills associated with problem solving. Students must identify the relevant factors, assess the cost and benefits of any proposed action and make an informed decision. 

Strengths

The game

  • raises complex questions
  • includes a comprehensive selection of information
  • illustrates the key concepts related to to sustainable development
  • encourages sharing of points of view
  • promotes the sense of citizen responsibility

Recommendation of how and where to use it

The game may be used

  • as an introduction to the concept of sustainable development
  • in Social Studies (World Issues, Geography) and Environmental Science courses that include units on energy production & consumption and climate change
  • in Science courses that address Science, Society and Technology

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

  • Step 1Select a province
  • Alberta
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environment and Outdoor Education: Environmental Investigations
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Electrical Principles and Technologies
        • Knowledge and Employability Science: Electrical Principles and Technologies (Science and Technology Emphasis)
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 30: : Energy and the Environment
  • British Columbia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Sustainable Resources 11: Energy
      • Science & Technology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science and Technology 11:Science Module: Natural Resources and the Environment
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Geography 12:Resources and Environmental Sustainability
  • Manitoba
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Canada in the Contemporary World: Opportunities and Challenges
    • Grade 10
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      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Geographic Issues of the 21st Century: Natural Resources
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Current Topics in the Sciences 30S: Science, Technology, Society & the Environment
    • Grade 12
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      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • World Geography: A Human Perspective - World Resources, Energy, and Environment
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interdisciplinary Topics in Science 40S: Science, Technology, Society and the Environment
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Citizenship and Sustainability: Area of Inquiry: Environment
        • Global Issues
  • New Brunswick
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 120: Sustainable Development
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Canadian Geography 120:A Geographic Perspective on a Current Canadian Issue
        • Canadian Geography 120:Managing Natural Resources
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • World Issues 120: Issues Facing the Global Village
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
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    • Grade 10
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      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Canadian Geography 1202: Economic Issues in Canadian Geography
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 3205: Introduction to Environmental Science
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • World Geography 3200/3202: Primary Resource Activities
  • Northwest Territories
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    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Electrical Principles and Technologies
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Studies 10-1(Perspectives on Globalization) Globalization & Sustainable Prosperity
        • Social Studies 10-2 (Living in a Globalizing World) Globalisation and Sustainable Prosperity
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 30: Energy and the Environment
  • Nova Scotia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Atlantic Canada in the Global Community: Environment
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Geography 10: Spaceship Earth
  • Nunavut
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Electrical Principles and Technologies
        • Knowledge and Employability Science: Electrical Principles and Technologies (Science and Technology Emphasis)
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 30: Energy and the Environment
  • Ontario
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Issues in Canadian Geography (Academic): Liveable Communities
        • Issues in Canadian Geography (Applied): Liveable Communities
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science (Academic):Physics: The Characteristics of Electricity
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science (Univ/College Prep.) Conservation of Energy
        • Environmental Science (Workplace Prep.) Energy Conservation
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Regional Geography (Univ./College Prep.): Sustainability and Stewardship
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Global Connections
        • The Environment & Resource Management (Univ./College Prep.):Sustainability and Stewardship of Natural Resources
        • The Environment & Resource Management (Workplace Prfeparation)
        • World Issues: A Geographic Analysis (College Prep.):Sustainability and Stewardship
        • World Issues: A Geographic Analysis (Univ. Prep.):Sustainability and Stewardship
  • Prince Edward Island
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 621A: Introduction to Environmental Science
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • What can I do?
        • Geography 621A Global Issues
        • Geography 621A Global Issues: Introduction- What is a global issue?
  • Quebec
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • The Contemporary World: Environment
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science & Technology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science & Technology: The Technological World
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Contemporary World: Environment
  • Saskatchewan
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • The Roots of Society: Resources, Wealth & Sustainable Development
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Studiees 20:World Issues - Environment
  • Yukon Territory
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science & Technology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science Module: Natural Resources and the Environment

Themes Addressed

  • Air, Atmosphere & Climate (1)

    • Climate Change
  • Energy (3)

    • Alternative Energy
    • Energy Generation
    • Energy Use
  • Science and Technology (1)

    • Appropriate Technology

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Good

In considering what action they might take in response to the challenge presented, the students have the benefit of three advisers; economic, environmental and social but it is up to the player to make the decisions that will improve our collective energy future.

Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
  • Satisfactory: absence of bias towards any one point of view
  • Good: students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed
  • Very good: based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and  take an informed position
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Very Good

In carrying out their various missions to promote sustainable energy use, the student-players must choose from a number of possible responses. The responder must consider appropriate action at the individual, local and global level; the economic, social and environmental implications of a given decision; and the possible consequences in terms of energy saving, energy efficiency and renewable energy. 

Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

  • Satisfactory: resource supports the examination of  these dimensions
  • Good:  resource explicitly examines the interplay of these dimensions
  • Very Good:  a systems-thinking approach is encouraged to examine these three dimensions
Respects Complexity Very Good

The "game" is serious in acknowledging the complexity of any response to the challenges of sustainable energy. Student decisions are measured against the criteria that have been established as critical to any policy based on the principles of sustainable development. 

Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.

Acting on Learning Good

As part of the Energy - Bits component of the resource, students are invited individually or collectively to get mobilized. After playing and watching the documentaries that accompany this resource, students can participate in the contest "Have your say" by directing a video with their class on the theme of energy.  

Acting on Learning:

Learning moves from understanding  issues  to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community,  or for the planet

  • Satisfactory: action opportunities are included as extensions 
  • Good: action opportunities are core components of the resource
  • Very Good: action opportunities for students are well supported and intended to result in observable, positive change
Values Education Good

Decision-making provides the opportunity if not the requirement for values clarification. Often development issues are framed in terms of having to choose between the economy and the environment, between jobs and nature; and people are asked to decide which they most value.  Advocates of sustainable development argue that this is a false dichotomy. In making their decisions in each of the scenarios presented by the game, students will have to decide whether they have to compromise their values or whether a particular policy may allow one to reconcile economic, environmental and social values.    

Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans Poor/Not considered

The 24 documentaries represent a cross section of European peoples and their innovative projects aimed at promoting sustainable energy practices. 

Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).
Personal Affinity with Earth Satisfactory

The resource is entirely web- based. A number of the accompanying documentaries describing various sustainable energy projects are driven by concern for the planet and all living things.

Personal Affinity with Earth:

Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.  

  • Satisfactory: connection is made to the natural world
  • Good: fosters appreciation/concern for the natural world
  • Very Good: fosters stewardship though practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors 
Locally-Focused Learning Good

Students are invited to develop a video that shares their experience and ideas about energy savings, energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Locally-Focused Learning:

Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community. 

  • Satisfactory: learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners
  • Good: learning is made relevant and has a local focus
  • Very Good: learning is made relevant, local and takes place ‘outside’ , in the community 
Past, Present & Future Good

The resource recognizes the current challenges presented by our demand for energy and explores ways in which we can move towards a more sustainable future with respect to energy production and use.

Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction Very Good

In each of the 3 "game" scenarios students are assigned a mission - to reduce the consumption of energy, increase energy efficiency and choose the best renewable energy options. A number of possible responses are presented and the students are assisted in each case by 3 advisers but the final decision rests with the student player. Once the students make their decision they are informed of the degree to which their choice is in keeping with the principles of sustainable development.

Open-Ended Instruction :

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Integrated Learning Very Good

The resource blurs the line between subjects such as science, economics and social studies/social sciences, in that students must consider the economic implications of their decisions, the impact a given decision may have on the environment, and the social consequences that might flow from that decision.  

Integrated Learning:

Learning brings together content and skills  from more than one  subject area

  • Satisfactory: content from a number of different  subject areas is readily identifiable
  • Good:  resource is appropriate for use in more than one subject area
  • Very Good:  the lines between subjects are blurred 
Inquiry Learning Good

The game delineates the questions explored but the students decide what is the best response. The questions are both real and challenging; the possible answers are varied and nuanced. Once made, the student learns of the impact of their decision. The game takes advantage of the fact that students are more likely to be interested in learning the consequences of a particular policy if they have advocated for that policy.

Inquiry Learning:

Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.   

  • Satisfactory: Students are provided with questions/problems to solve and some direction on how to arrive at solutions.
  • Good: students, assisted by the teacher clarify the question(s) to ask and the process to follow to arrive at solutions.  Sometimes referred to as Guided Inquiry
  • Very Good:  students generate the questions and assume much of the responsibility for how to solve them.  . Sometimes referred to as self-directed learning.

 

Differentiated Instruction Good

The game may be played in different modes, each of which will involve the student in a different learning situation.

  • The collective game - decisions are made collectively thereby allowing for a rich debate and, with the teacher's guidance, deeper refection
  • The role play - students are divided into 3 groups, each of which represents one of the advisers (economic, environment, social). For each proposition, each group defends the position of the chosen adviser.
  • The individual game - the student proceeds through at their pace or with a partner. 
Differentiated Instruction:

Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.

  • Satisfactory:  includes a variety of instructional approaches
  • Good: addresses  the needs of visual, auditory &  kinesthetic learners
  • Very Good: also includes strategies for learners with difficulties
Experiential Learning Good

While the resource is a digital "game", it is anchored in reality. Theoretical questions regarding sustainable energy are approached within the context of a series of scenarios that are both lively and authentic. 

Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  • Satisfactory: learning takes place through ‘hands-on’ experience or simulation
  • Good: learning involves direct experience in a ‘real world context’
  • Very good: learning involves ‘real world experiences’ taking place’ beyond the school walls.
Cooperative Learning Satisfactory

Whether one chooses the collective, the role play or the individual game, students have the opportunity to discuss with and learn from their peers the reasons for a particular response to the challenge of finding energy solutions that are in keeping with the requirements of sustainable development.  

Cooperative Learning:

Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.

  • Satisfactory:  students work in groups
  • Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
  • Very Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed
Assessment & Evaluation Satisfactory

Once students make their decision as to how best to respond to each of the scenarios, the feedback is immediate. Each of the "advisors' critique the students decision in terms of its economic, environmental and social impact. The student is also reminded of of certain key messages that identify the critical elements of any sustainable energy policy against which one can further evaluate their decision. A "score" that evaluates the student's decision in terms of these key messages is also assigned to the student choice.

Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.
Peer Teaching Satisfactory

If students elect to play the game in pairs or as part of a team, there should be considerable debate among the students as to the merits of a proposed decision and the the reasons for advocating a particular decision. Students should benefit from this exchange.

Peer Teaching:

Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.

  • Satisfactory: incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.
  • Good or Very Good: an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students' teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting')
Case Studies Very Good

At the end of each mission, Energy-Bits documentaries, lasting 10 minutes are proposed for student viewing or follow up. These documentaries are essentially case studies that document what initiatives related to energy have been undertaken in different European countries. 

Case Studies:

Relevant case studies are included.  Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore  concepts in an authentic context.

Locus of Control Good

The resource provides a framework for student investigation of the issue of sustainable energy while allowing a degree of autonomy for the student player in making his/her way through that framewok.

Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.