Using Game-based eLearning to Build Resilience to Natural Hazards in the Caribbean

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Date
2022-09
Authors
Welsh, Nicole
Lewinson-Morgan, Annika
Tucker, Robert
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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)
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Abstract
PCF10 Sub-theme: Building Resilience // The Caribbean and Latin America is the second most disaster-prone region globally. Between 2000 and 2019, the Caribbean region faced over 170 hurricanes, 148 tropical storms, eight earthquakes, and several floods. Generally, disasters have an adverse economic, social and psychological impact; however, it should be possible to reduce the severity through planning, preparation, and appropriate, timely action. Some natural hazards, such as hurricanes, are cyclical and should only become disasters when there is damage or loss of resources, lives and livelihood. Game-based blended learning focused on prevention and preparation can build knowledge and awareness, contributing to building resilience, specifically, the ability to withstand and recover from natural hazards. This article postulates that resilience should be encouraged from a young age because resilient children can become resilient adults and contributors to a society capable of functioning during crises or difficult situations, including natural hazards and disasters. // The proposed strategy involves a Be Alert Game (BAG) piloted in small groups, with children ages seven to ten, in four countries in the Caribbean (Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago). Surveys were administered before and after the game was tested. The feedback from these surveys were used to determine learners’ knowledge and approach before and after playing the game. // The game focuses on four natural hazards (hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes and volcanoes), their key features, pre-emptive and preparatory steps, and the potential impact of inaction. Gamers are encouraged to learn about natural events and disaster prevention by participating in interactive quizzes, drag-and-drop activities, researching and engaging with their teachers, family, and friends. The final component of each of the four levels in the game uses a blended approach and is mindful of the local context; thus, the location of the nearest emergency shelters will differ. Multimedia components include images, voice-over, music, sound effects, interactive buttons, animated characters and closed captioning. The developers will use the feedback from the participants to improve on the levels and interactive elements, which are all geared toward building resilience and preparing for natural hazards through game-based open learning. // Paper ID 9617
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Subject
Blended learning, Disaster, Game-based learning, Natural hazard, Resilience
Country
Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago
Region
Caribbean and Americas
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