Seminar Talk 2015-04-09

“Gamified Laboratory Simulations for Science Education”

Mads Bonde
Founder and CEO
Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability at Technical University of Denmark

Thursday, April 09, 2015 – 11:00pm
McGaugh Hall, Room 2246 (Bldg. 314)

Abstract: Traditional teaching methods continue to dominate science education, but new IT-based approaches provide an opportunity for increasing learning outcomes and motivation for students. Particularly within laboratory teaching, many practical barriers such as cost, safety and available time are limiting, making it an especially relevant area for implementing simulations.

In collaboration with MIT and several leading European Universities, Labster has developed an advanced laboratory simulation platform, based on mathematical algorithms supporting open-ended investigations and combined with gamification elements such as an immersive 3D universe, storytelling, conversations with fictional characters and a scoring system.

A group of psychologists and life science researchers recently assesed the effect on learning effectiveness and motivation to investigate whether gamified laboratory simulations may be an affordable opportunity for providing state-of-the-art training in biotech. The study was recently published in Nature Biotechnology (link), and show a 76 % statistically significant increase by using the Labster simulation compared with traditional teaching and a 101 % increase when used in combination.