1. The game
In each level, players will encounter a problematic situation (e.g. an invasion of hostile creatures, a toxic chemical spill). Players will attempt to inquire into the nature of problematic substances and experiment with them in an in-game virtual lab. An in-game notebook is also provided for players to structure their inquiry and for them to take notes. With deeper understanding about the substances, players proceed to accomplish their game missions and resolve the problematic situations, during which players also gather more information about the substances.
2. Learning activities
During game play, students encounter problematic situations, ask questions, propose hypotheses and conduct virtual experiments to solve the problem in game. Following game play, students analyze virtual data collected in game play and propose theories about the nature of in-game virtual substances via small group and whole class dialogic arguments. Incrementally, students construct their understanding of scientific inquiry and chemistry.
The learning programme is based on a “Perform-Play-Dialog” learning model, where students, by engaging in game play accompanied by dialogic discussions that help to make sense of what took place in the game world, manifest their understanding of chemistry phenomena in the game world of Alkhima by performing (by word and deed) the actions that lead to successful in-game and out-of-game outcomes.