Teachers can use Oncology as a short activity to complement a more thorough study of cancer diagnosis and treatment. Additional materials on BrainPOP, such as lesson plans, quizzes, and printouts, can extend the lesson. The game isn't very educational on its own, however, because it lacks instruction, context, depth, and useful feedback. It also excludes discussion of many other cancer treatments.Continue reading Show less
In Oncology, students talk with three cancer patients to get their medical histories and try to find out what cancer risk factors they have, but no instruction is provided on what constitutes a risk factor. Students then look at CT scans and mark areas where they see cancer, being careful to avoid healthy tissue. (The game includes tools to help in the search.) Once all scans have been studied, students submit their work and get a score based on how much cancer they marked and how much healthy tissue they avoided. After talking with patients again, students begin patients' radiation therapy. Aiming radiation beams at cancerous tumors while avoiding healthy tissue can be tricky; it's virtually impossible to target all the cancer while avoiding all healthy tissue. Students then receive a final score based on how well they did.
Students who play Oncology will get a glimpse into one form of cancer treatment -- radiotherapy. They play the role of technicians who read CT scans of patients, mark cancerous tumors, and target them with radiation beams. The key is to target cancer while preserving healthy tissue, and students quickly learn how difficult it is to treat cancer effectively using this method. Little context is provided for this kind of treatment, however, and other treatment options are not discussed at all. In addition, no background information is offered about cancer, how it develops, or how it metastisizes. The game, which is quite short and not intended for deep study, also lacks constructive feedback, and students' efforts don't seem to affect patient outcomes.
Key Standards Supported
Reading Informational Text
Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using different mediums (e.g., print or digital text, video, multimedia) to present a particular topic or idea.
Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to supporting ideas; provide an objective summary of the text.
Analyze the author’s purpose in providing an explanation, describing a procedure, or discussing an experiment in a text.
Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).
Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic.
Assess the extent to which the reasoning and evidence in a text support the author’s claim or a recommendation for solving a scientific or technical problem.
Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., quantitative data, video, multimedia) in order to address a question or solve a problem.
Synthesize information from a range of sources (e.g., texts, experiments, simulations) into a coherent understanding of a process, phenomenon, or concept, resolving conflicting information when possible.
Speaking & Listening
Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.
Delineate a speaker’s argument and specific claims, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.
Analyze the main ideas and supporting details presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how the ideas clarify a topic, text, or issue under study.
Delineate a speaker’s argument and specific claims, evaluating the soundness of the reasoning and the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.
Delineate a speaker’s argument and specific claims, evaluating the soundness of the reasoning and relevance and sufficiency of the evidence and identifying when irrelevant evidence is introduced.
Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, identifying any fallacious reasoning or exaggerated or distorted evidence.
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