Pre-Service Teachers and the Development of an Online 3D Role-Playing Computer Game Designed to Teach Middle School Mathematics
Abstract: Recent research has argued for greater teacher involvement in the development of effective technology-based curriculum. This paper describes pre-service teachers’ roles in the development of an educational 3D multi-player online role-playing game (MORPG) modeled after Internet-based MORPGs such as Ultima Online®, Everquest®, and Neverwinter Nights®. Two prototypes have been developed through US Department of Education Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants. The latest prototype entitled, Warrick’s Secrets, consists of a multiplayer game in which a student assumes the role of a character in the 3D virtual world. Its purpose is to teach middle school mathematics—emphasizing beginning algebra. Prototype testing with pre-service teachers indicated an increase in the number of individuals who were willing to attempt, and were successful in solving, multi-step algebra word problems. Comments regarding the problems and game design were solicited and will influence future development.