e-ISSN: 1309-517X
Can pre-service teachers learn about fake news by playing an augmented reality escape game?

Josef Buchner 1 * , Elke Höfler 2

CONT ED TECHNOLOGY, Volume 16, Issue 2, Article No: ep504

Submitted: 06 October 2023, Published Online: 08 March 2024

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Fake news is increasingly becoming a major problem for global social coexistence, for example by undermining trust in democracies. There is a consensus that educational institutions need to respond and prepare students to recognize fake news. Teachers have a central role to play in preparing students and therefore need to learn about fake news during their studies. Previous research has shown that games are particularly effective for learning about fake news, but the group of pre-service teachers has not yet been investigated. The aim of this study is to address this gap by examining whether pre-service teachers can learn about fake news using the augmented reality escape game Escape Fake. To investigate this question, a pre-/post-test design was conducted with 45 pre-service teachers (four males, mean age=22.59 years, standard deviation=1.80). The results show that after playing Escape Fake, the pre-service teachers demonstrate significantly higher knowledge about fake news, are significantly more critical towards online information, and are significantly more confident in being able to recognize fake news in the future. However, playing the game did not promote the ability to discern real from false information. The paper discusses reasons for this finding and suggests ways to improve learning with the game. Implications and future research needs are discussed.



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