Using board games to teach socioscientific issues on biological conservation and economic development in Taiwan

Jen Che Tsai, Ping Han Cheng, Shiang Yao Liu*, Chun Yen Chang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This research uses board games as teaching material to develop students’ decision-making ability and basic scientific literacy and to foster students’ value for nature and social caring by working with socioscientific issues. The board game structure contains four perspective systems: ecological, economic, cultural, and political. In the game processing, students must handle, consider, and understand the different role players’ positions and face different missions that involve socioeconomic and environmental conflicts. When making any decisions, students affect the follow-up game behaviors and develop tendencies. The board game instruction was field-tested with 38 high-school students from two different high schools. Students played the board game for a total of 200 minutes. Students’ scientific conceptions concerning biodiversity (closed-ended) and perspectives on socioscientific issues (open-ended) were assessed before and after the board game lesson. The results showed that students in both high schools significantly increased their understanding of biodiversity concepts, with a high level of effect size (Cohen’s d equal to 1.40 and 1.06, respectively, for the two schools). In the semistruc-tured interviews, the interviewed students were able to reflect on the value of animals and provide various opinions about animal conservation and economic development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)634-645
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Baltic Science Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Board game
  • Decision making
  • Descriptive research
  • Game base learning
  • Socioscientific issue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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