Serious Fun: Game Design to Support Learning about the Surrender of Singapore, pp. 7 of 10

Students' feedback on the game was generally positive. There was consensus that the game helped them to better understand the chronology and sequence of the invasions of Malaya and Singapore as indicated by the following comments:

“The game provided a sequential flow of how the invasion of Singapore transpired. This helped me to better understand the significant events that took place.”

“The game was helpful in understanding the Surrender of Singapore better, as it puts events in perspective in relation to each other.”

During the game play, the students were observed thinking aloud and helping each other by sharing their knowledge and perspectives on events that took place. Given that some of the cards had very specific details (e.g. in addition to dates, specific times as well) for certain events that were not familiar to them, they made guesses based on their general knowledge, what they had learned from pre-game activities, and logical reasoning. Logical reasoning was mostly based on their geographical knowledge of places. Orienting events spatially seemed to help them orient the events temporally. For example, they looked for the routes that troops followed and used this to decide where to place a card accordingly in the timeline. As one student stated in the post-game debrief, “The dates and times make it very challenging. It forces us to make sense of events based on our common sense.” When a card was placed wrongly, the students discussed where it should be placed by talking about the particular event mentioned in the card. This approach seemed to encourage them to analyse and discuss specific events with reasoned arguments for ordering the events.

When a team member finished all his/her 4 cards, they continued to play the game until all cards were placed in the timeline, although the game only requires to finish the four cards they hold on to. According to one student, the main reason for this was because they were “curious to learn what happened next, rather than just winning.”

An Inspiring Quote

"[Open-mindedness] includes an active desire to listen to more sides than one; to give heed to facts from whatever source they come; to give full attention to alternative possibilities; to recognize the possibility of error even in the beliefs that are dearest to us."

~ John Dewey, How We Think

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