An innovative Omani mobile application for science education

Distance learning has proven effective during the pandemic

Dr. Suleiman Al Balushi: Using video games to attract students

“A research team at Sultan Qaboos University was able to design a” Dr.Electron “telephone application in the field of science education. The application aims to provide students in the Arab world with scientific concepts and modify misperceptions in various scientific fields.” physics “. , chemistry, biology, environmental sciences, earth sciences, astronomy and space sciences. ” In a pleasant and attractive way for students.

The application is funded by the Ministry of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Innovation and has received intellectual property from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment Promotion.

The research team consisted of Prof. Dr. Sulaiman bin Muhammad Al Balushi, Professor of Curriculum and Teaching Sciences at the College of Education and Huda bint Ali Al Hosani, a doctoral student in his final year at Sultan Qaboos University.

The application is designed according to the modern global approach to the integration of technology in education, which is the trend of gamification according to one of the most famous educational theories on which gamification is based, which is the theory of self-identification, which increases motivation. of students to learn, and the application design is compatible with hybrid education, especially during crises such as the Covid pandemic 19..

Al Balushi said: The application aims to increase student integration and the pleasure of learning science. To achieve this, this application is built on the most important gamification principles used in the lesson, including the presence of competition, scoring points and board drawing of participants and other principles used in video games; to attract students to learn; Because the current generation is a technological generation and depends a lot on spending their time on the use of electronic games, and the use of these games in the learning process will greatly contribute to attracting these students and increasing their enjoyment of the learning process .

He pointed out that the application has been tested during the Corona pandemic and has proven very effective in distance learning and hybrid learning, and among the benefits of this application is its use during crises such as the Corona pandemic for distance education, as it is. characterized by ease of use for all students.

Huda bint Ali Al Hosani, a final year doctoral student at Sultan Qaboos University, said: This app came in response to many study recommendations for producing mobile apps for children and teaching students in the Arab world scientific concepts. in an interesting way … emphasizing that the idea of ​​application is a unique idea, is the imagination of researchers relying on modern foundations and theories in pedagogy, psychology and modern models in education.

The application includes a questionnaire that covers scientific topics for undergraduate and middle school students up to eighth grade. The app can be used to clarify many scientific concepts and hopefully be popular among the education community in the Arab world, as it will help these students prepare for the “TIMs” exams, which are the international study in which the Sultanate of Oman participates and we hope this application will be of great benefit in the learning process. science in the Arab world.

The app responds to the recommendations of many international studies that have recommended designing mobile apps based on gamification. Provide students with scientific concepts. The idea of ​​the application is based on a modern and rare idea of ​​employment in the field of scientific education and is the first of its kind in terms of design in the Arab world, as the question bank in the application was built and prepared by a team of specialists in assessment of science teaching so that the questions are similar to the international test questions (TIMSS).

A team of designers engaged to design the graphics for the questions contained in the application, so that they are appealing to the Arab child, and the programming of the application was assigned to a specialized programming company.

In designing the application, the researchers focused on designing game scenarios within the application using the basics and rules of gamification mentioned in international studies, but with a unique and special character. in the field of spaceships.

Regarding medals and badges, a special section is dedicated to decorations so that the student receives a medal with a special gift inside the medal, which is information for the most famous Muslim scholars, and for the points shop, the player has the freedom . to choose to exchange points for certain symbols that appear on the game screen, such as: golden lion, diamond eagle and others.

When the student enters the application, there will be a wide range of room options, and the player has the freedom to choose the room where he will enter and continue to play with the team in the room, and the player has the freedom to choose the character next to him through a character list.

Researchers hope that the application will contribute to raising the level of students’ educational achievement and increase their motivation to learn.

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