FA16 project 6 week 16

At the beginning of the semester I decided to create a game to test memory.  The topic of memory is important to be because I have someone in my family who suffers from dementia. Also I have notice that over the years my memory has declined slighty. I wanted to educate myself even more regarding this topic.

As a result of my interest in this topic I developed a tabletop game called WordPlay. This game is an alternate tool that can be used in the classroom to help students learn a new language. To observe the effects on memory among school aged children. My target sample were 6th grade students from a middle school. The subjects consist of both boys and girls age 10- 12 in an ESL class. To test their memory the game was designed encourage them to use their semantic memory to retrieve information regarding a list of vocabulary word that they previously learning. Before I began conducting the experiment I first discovered what research was already out there so see where I could improve or contribute.  The population I decided on were IEPs,ELLs and regular general education students. These students were recruited by contacting a local middle school teacher to ask for permission to use their students.

To play the tabletop game WordPlay the students must first roll the die to determine who goes first then roll again to determine the spaces.  Depending on the color they must fulfill certain task regarding the word i.e definitions. The first player to complete the board wins the game and the extra 5 point. However since this is an educational game all players must complete the board.

The  teams were divided in 3 groups ELLs, IEPs and regular each consisting of 8 players who were divided in groups of four for a total of 24 players. Once the rounds were complete  exam grades were observed before and after playing and it was determined that WordPlay did have a positive effect on memory.

Some research that was already done  showed that playing  games  don’t have an effect on memory. However, others have proven otherwise. The data from my experiment is important because it closes the gap  on this topic.


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About Robert O. Duncan

I'm an Assistant Professor of Behavioral Sciences at City University of New York, with joint appointments in Neuroscience and Cognitive Neuroscience. I also have an appointment as a Visiting Scholar at New York University. My research interests include cognitive neuroscience, functional magnetic resonance imaging, glaucoma, neurodegenerative disorders, attention, learning, memory, educational technology, pedagogy, and developing games for education.

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