Joint project between the Institute for Didactics of Geography (UzK), the Institute for German Language and Literature II (UzK) and the Cologne Game Lab (TH-Köln)
Material-supported argumentative writing with digital media in language-sensitive geography lessons: development of a digital adventure game on a spatial-use conflict in Cologne
The interdisciplinary project MASDIGU focuses on the potential of digital games for the development of written argumentation skills in geography classes. Thereby, it contributes to the wider discourse on the usage of digital media in classrooms. So far, studies have shown that digital games can increase students’ motivation to learn and impart knowledge and skills in informal and formal educational contexts (e.g. Squire 2011). Among other things, it has been demonstrated that digital games can promote literacy practices, such as reading comprehension (Steinkuehler et al. 2010) and scientific habits of mind (Steinkuehler/Duncan 2008).
However, it has not yet been investigated to what extent digital games are suitable for teaching the skill of writing an argumentation referring to materials such as maps, tables, and graphs. In the MASDIGU project, we will investigate the question of how a digital adventure game can be developed and implemented in the geography classroom for 8th grade students in such a way that their competencies in material-supported argumentative writing are promoted. For this purpose, we will develop a game on a spatial-use conflict, which currently occurs in Cologne, as the local soccer team – 1. FC Köln – plans to expand its training facilities into the green belt. Afterwards, we will examine the game’s classroom implementation applying a mixed methods design.
We assume that the game increase students’ motivation, facilitates the understanding of different perspectives, supports the formation of opinions, scaffolds the process of material-based argumentation, and allows for internal differentiation in a heterogeneous group of learners.
MASDIGU is a cooperation of the Cologne Game Lab of the TH Köln, the Institute for Didactics of Geography and the Institute for German Language and Literature II of the University of Cologne.
MASDIGU is funded by the RheinEnergieStiftung Jugend/Beruf, Wissenschaft (2022-2024).