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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The design and evaluation of a land use simulation game Barkley, William Donald


This study was concerned with the design and evaluation of a land use simulation game for rural residents of the East Kootenay region of British Columbia. The rationale behind the study was that gaming was a technique worthy of investigation for use in the environmental education of adults. Two hypotheses were proposed to guide the research on the land use simulation game designed. The first proposed that the game would produce a significant increase in knowledge and change in attitude, and the second stated that significant relationships would be shown between player characteristics, game play data and test results. A simulation game was designed using a modified version of a procedure set out by Glazier (41) for designing educational games. Two preliminary versions were tested and a final version set up. The game was a board game using an enlarged piece of a land capability map. Players bought and planned pieces of land through the four seasons of the year. The objective of the game was to maximize economic returns without severely damaging the environment. Instruments for evaluating the game were simultaneously designed and tested. The simulation game was played with 40 East Kootenay residents in school district number 2, Cranbrook on properties of 50 acres or more. Family groups played the game and completed both a pre and post-test. The people playing the simulation game came mostly from productive farms (82.5%). Thirty-five percent of the sample were husbands and wives, 45 percent children, and 20 percent were others which included farm hands and neighbours. The mean educational level of the group was 10.7 years. The mean land holding size was 537.1 acres and the mean number of players per each of the nine gaming sessions was 4.7 persons. Years of schooling correlated positively with the total score a person received on the game. Objective 6 on the ability to identify good and poor land uses correlated significantly with a number of other variables. This objective appears to be an important one to consider in future game modification. Knowledge and attitude correlated significantly and positively with years of schooling, money scores, total scores, playing time, number of players, attitude towards the game, and rank within a group; and negative significant correlations were found with property size and environmental unit scores. T-test results showed that there had been a general increase in knowledge and in particular an increase in the knowledge about the competitive relationships that exist between wild and domestic populations. A change in attitude about the effects of land use on neighbouring lands was also found to be significant. It was concluded that the simulation game had been a limited success with some learning statistically demonstrable. Correlation data and subjective data provided sufficient information for the further modification of this learning device to enhance its effectiveness.

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