Minesweeper and Hypothetical Thinking Action Research & Pilot Study
50 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2012
Date Written: May 2, 2010
This Action Research project and Pilot Study was designed and implemented to improve students’ hypothetical thinking abilities by exploring the possibility that learning and playing the computer game Minesweeper may inherently help improve hypothetical thinking. One objective was to use educational tools to make it easier for students to learn the logic of the game Minesweeper. The second objective was to determine if learning Minesweeper would help students to gain the Cognitive Asset of Making inferences and hypothetical thinking. The third objective was to determine if learning Minesweeper would help students to be better computer users.
Students were presented a PowerPoint presentation that discussed the thinking involved in the game Minesweeper. Students also participated in an exercise that simulated how Minesweeper determines information presented in the game. Students also went through a simulation program about the game. Further, students played the game Minesweeper, and had one-on-one assistance during part of the process.
Participants documented their Minesweeper playing results, were assessed with a pretest and posttest about their logical hypothetical thinking, and were assessed about what they learned in the computer course. The results of participant Minesweeper playing ability were compared with the assessment of logical skills and the assessment of computer knowledge and skills. These comparisons found a potential positive correlation at an alpha of 0.10. Causation could not be determined.
Results of the pilot study suggest that further study may lead to results confirming the hypotheses, and as such a future fuller study is being considered by the writer. Educational issues with Minesweeper were discovered, suggesting that it may be better to use a variant of the game in the future study. Methodological problems which prevented the evaluation of causation were discovered, and can be addressed in the future study. It is unknown whether the research is applicable to children, but the methodology of this research may be used with any grade level to determine effectiveness.
Keywords: Minesweeper, logic, deductive reasoning
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation