The Electronic Journal of e-Learning provides perspectives on topics relevant to the study, implementation and management of e-Learning initiatives
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Journal Article

Framing the Adoption of Serious Games in Formal Education  pp159-171

Sylvester Arnab, Riccardo Berta, Jeffrey Earp, Sara de Freitas, Maria Popescu, Margarida Romero, Ioana Stanescu, Mireia Usart

© Jul 2012 Volume 10 Issue 2, Special ECGBL Issue, Editor: Dimitris Gouscos, pp159 - 256

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Abstract

Nowadays formal education systems are under increasing pressure to respond and adapt to rapid technological innovation and associated changes in the way we work and live. As well as accommodation of technology in its ever‑diversifying forms, there is a fu ndamental need to enhance learning processes through evolution in pedagogical approaches, so as to make learning in formal education more engaging and, it is hoped, more effective. One opportunity attracting particularly close attention is Serious Games ( SG), which offer considerable potential for facilitating both informal and formal learning. SG appear to offer the chance to hookŽ todays (largely) digital‑native generation of young learners, who are at risk of falling into an ever‑widening gap betw een networkedŽ lifestyles and the relative stagnant environment they experience in school and university. However, there are a number of inhibitors preventing wider SG take‑up in mainstream education. This paper investigates SG in formal education, initi ally by concentrating on pedagogical issues from two different but complementary perspectives, game design and game deployment. It then goes on to examine game based practice in formal settings and focuses on the pivotal role of the educator within the em erging panorama. This is followed by a brief look at some specific implementation strategies, collaboration and game building, which are opening up new possibilities. Finally some points for further consideration are offered.

 

Keywords: serious games, game-based learning, pedagogical issues, formal learning, teachers role, collaboration

 

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Journal Article

Playing in School or at Home? An Exploration of the Effects of Context on Educational Game Experience  pp199-208

Frederik De Grove, Jan Van Looy, Joyce Neys, Jeroen Jansz

© Jul 2012 Volume 10 Issue 2, Special ECGBL Issue, Editor: Dimitris Gouscos, pp159 - 256

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Abstract

The goal of this study is to gain insight into the effects of context on educational game experience. Using a quasi‑experimental setup, it compares the playing and learning experiences of adolescent players of the awareness‑raising game PING in a domestic (N=135) and a school (N=121) context. Results indicate that both gaming (identification, enjoyment) and learning experiences are more intense in a home compared to a school context. However, all of the variance in gaming and part of that in learning experience are caused by longer playing times and better computer equipment. Moreover, the overall impact of context on perceived learning is significantly smaller than that of other experiential factors such as identification and enjoyment. Thus context should be considered as a significant yet relatively small determinant of learning experience.

 

Keywords: context, serious games, game-based learning, situated play, game experience

 

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Journal Article

Sustainability Learning through Gaming: An Exploratory Study  pp209-222

Carlo Fabricatore, Ximena López

© Jul 2012 Volume 10 Issue 2, Special ECGBL Issue, Editor: Dimitris Gouscos, pp159 - 256

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Abstract

This study explored the potential of digital games as learning environments to develop mindsets capable of dealing with complexity in the domain of sustainability. Building sustainable futures requires the ability to deal with the complex dynamics that ch aracterize the world in which we live. As central elements in this system, we must develop the ability of constantly assessing the environment that surrounds us, operating in it and adapting to it through a continuous and iterative individual and interper sonal process of revision of our frames of reference. We must focus on our world as a whole, considering both immediate problems and long‑term consequences that decision making processes could generate. Educating for sustainability demands learning approa ches and environments that require the development of systems thinking and problem‑solving, rather than solely the acquisition of factual knowledge. When designed with complexity in mind, digital games present a high potential to facilitate sustainability learning. Digital games can be modelled as complexified systems, engaging players in cognitively demanding tasks requiring problem‑solving and decision‑making skills to deal with ill‑structured problems, unpredictable circumstances, emerging system pro perties and behaviours, and non‑linear development of events. Furthermore, games can require players to collectively engage in the pursuit of common goals, promoting remote interactions across large numbers of players. To understand how games are currentl y used for learning for sustainabilityŽ, we analysed twenty games. In spite of the potential offered by digital games and concrete examples of good practice, we found that sustainability thematic contextualisation and complex system dynamics are not leve raged as much as could be expected. Hence, there seems to be space for improvements oriented at creating game systems requiring players to address sustainability issues from multiple perspectives through: contextualisation integrating the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainability; gameplay dynamics integrating non‑linearity, emergence, uncertainty, ill‑defined problems and social interactions.Ž

 

Keywords: sustainability, complex systems, game-based learning, digital games

 

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Journal Article

Digital Games and the Hero's Journey in Management Workshops and Tertiary Education  pp3-15

Carsten Busch, Florian Conrad, Martin Steinicke

© Feb 2013 Volume 11 Issue 1, ECGBL, Editor: Patrick Felicia, pp1 - 79

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Abstract

Joseph Campbell's Monomyth not only provides a well‑proven pattern for successful storytelling, it may also help to guide teams and team leaders through the challenges of change and innovation processes. In project "HELD: Innovationsdramaturgie nach dem Heldenprinzip" researchers of the University of the Arts Berlin and the Berlin Gameslab, part of the University of Applied Sciences HTW‑Berlin, team up to examine the applicability of the Hero's Journey to change management using an adaptation of Campbell's pattern called „Heldenprinzip®“. The project's goal is not to teach the stages of the Monomyth as mere facts but to enable participants of training courses and interventions to actually experience its concepts using a portfolio of creative and aesthetic methods. While a pool of aesthetic methods ‑ like drawing, performing or role‑playing ‑ is already being used, the Gameslab subproject qualitatively researches the potentials for enriching and complementing these methods with interactive digital media and games. This paper discusses three types of game based learning treatments to be used in training and intervention sessions as well as teaching the Monomyth in a game based learning university course. The first option is providing participants with a game that follows the Hero's Journey and inducing them to reflect on the experience and its relation to the learning goal. An alternative strategy is to make participants go through a game sequence broaching issues that are relevant for a stage or the journey of change in general. Last but not least, digital equivalents of the non‑digital aesthetic methods can be constructed using digital games or digitally enhanced set‑ups for playful interactions. All three treatments have their merits and pitfalls, which are discussed in relation to the identified game‑based learning scenarios: self‑study, blended game‑based learning and face‑to‑face sessions. Furthermore, these scenarios are compared while specific techniques boundary conditions are highlighted.

 

Keywords: blended game-based learning, physically interactive digital games, hero's journey, innovation and change management training, teaching game-based learning

 

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Journal Article

Effective Game Based Citizenship Education in the Age of new Media  pp16-28

Yam San Chee, Swati Mehrotra, Qiang Liu

© Feb 2013 Volume 11 Issue 1, ECGBL, Editor: Patrick Felicia, pp1 - 79

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Abstract

Educational systems worldwide are being challenged to respond effectively to the digital revolution and its implications for learning in the 21st century. In the present new media age, educational reforms are desperately needed to support more open and flexible structures of on‑demand learning that equip students with competencies required in a globalized and multicultural world. Game‑based learning represents one pathway to educational reform through its emphasis on performance. In this paper we describe the Statecraft X game‑based learning program that blends performative game‑based learning with dialogic pedagogy in the context of citizenship education. The Statecraft X curriculum was designed with the understanding that a digital game on its own does not necessarily lead to meaningful student learning. Rather, it is the students together with their peers and aided by their teacher who must work together to make meaning of their in‑game experiences and connect these experiences to real‑world events and issues through thoughtful reflection. With a view to addressing widespread shortcomings of citizenship education that reduce the curriculum to learning about citizenship, the Statecraft X game, played on Apple iPhones, provides students with a first person experience of governance by allowing them to take on the role of governors and thus to enact governance. Central to the SCX program is its dialogic pedagogy where teachers facilitate meaningful conversations among students and advance their understanding of citizenship and governance. In this paper, we report an implementation of the Statecraft X curriculum in a Social Studies class attended by 42 15‑year‑olds attending a secondary school in Singapore. Students’ understanding of governance and citizenship was assessed by means of an essay that students attempted at the end of the program. Students’ performance in the essay was compared with a comparable control group taught the same topic by traditional method. The results indicate that students of the intervention class outperformed the control class students. Our findings suggest that the Statecraft X curriculum has efficacy in achieving the desired curricular learning outcomes. These findings have implications for school leaders, teachers, and students with respect to introducing and integrating game‑based learning in regular classrooms.

 

Keywords: citizenship education, game-based learning, dialogic pedagogy, new media, learning outcomes

 

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Journal Article

Using Social Media to Support the Learning Needs of Future IS Security Professionals  pp29-38

Karen Neville, Ciara Heavin

© Feb 2013 Volume 11 Issue 1, ECGBL, Editor: Patrick Felicia, pp1 - 79

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Abstract

The emergence of social media has forced educators to think differently about the way learning occurs. Students and practitioners alike are using new technologies to connect with peers/colleagues, share ideas, resources and experiences for extracurricular activities. The social business gaming platform considered in this study leverages the social networking concept (an activity that all students actively participate in) in an academic environment. The primary objective of this technology is to foster a sense of ‘thinking outside the box’ and analytical ability through a medium that is widely accepted by students and graduates who have entered the workplace. Both the environment and problems are developed to adapt to suit any academic course from conducting research to proposing business solutions. This study was undertaken in order to develop information systems security (ISS) skillsets through the creation and facilitation of social business gaming, which allowed students to measure their performances of understanding as part of their on‑going learning. The online business game required students to apply what they have learned to problem situations and to further develop their understanding of ISS topics. The problems posed required that the learners had to prove that they understood the material being taught in the traditional lecture and could apply what they had learned in an online environment. The on‑going assessment component of the gaming network was used not just as an assessment for grades but also as a learning tool. This research focuses on a group of final year undergraduate students completing Bachelor of Science in Information Systems (IS). The online social game was utilised as part of the continual assessment process to evaluate group interaction, role‑playing, competition and learning in an ISS assignment.

 

Keywords: social media technology, social business gaming, digital game-based learning, DGBL, information systems, IS, information systems security, ISS, and student assessment and learning

 

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Journal Article

Game‑Based Language Learning for Pre‑School Children: A Design Perspective  pp39-48

Bente Meyer

© Feb 2013 Volume 11 Issue 1, ECGBL, Editor: Patrick Felicia, pp1 - 79

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Abstract

During the last decade there has been a growing focus on preschool learning within education, especially with regard to the learning of basic literacies such as reading and writing. In addition to this many nation states increasingly focus on the basic literacy competences of the information society, ICT and English. This has, as suggested by for instance Scanlon and Buckingham (2007) boosted opportunities for the sale of educational material and hardware to children for home learning, but also for learning material that links content directly to the curriculum, to school work and to assessment. This paper will focus on the design of learning material for pre‑school teaching and learning through the example of a game‑based platform for learning English called Mingoville.com. Mingoville has been studied in connection with the project Serious Games on a Global Market Place (2007‑11), where a number of games were followed into classroom environments across nations. Currently, the developers of Mingoville are working on a platform version that targets preschool learners and works on tablets as well as pcs and smartboards. The paper will discuss the implications of redesigning the platform for pre‑school teaching and learning and how this affects game‑based language teaching and learning with Mingoville.

 

Keywords: language learning, game-based learning, design for preschool learning

 

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Journal Article

Games as a Platform for Student Participation in Authentic Scientific Research  pp259-270

Rikke Magnussen, Sidse Damgaard Hansen, Tilo Planke, Jacob Friis Sherson

© Jun 2014 Volume 12 Issue 3, Special Edition for ECGBL 2013, Editor: Carlos Vaz de Carvalho and Paula Escudeiro, pp227 - 311

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Abstract

Abstract: This paper presents results from the design and testing of an educational version of Quantum Moves, a Scientific Discovery Game that allows players to help solve authentic scientific challenges in the effort to develop a quantum computer. The pr imary aim of developing a game‑based platform for student‑research collaboration is to investigate if and how this type of game concept can strengthen authentic experimental practice and the creation of new knowledge in science education. Researchers and game developers tested the game in three separate high school classes (Class 1, 2, and 3). The tests were documented using video observations of students playing the game, qualitative interviews, and qualitative and quantitative questionnaires. The fo cus of the tests has been to study players' motivation and their experience of learning through participation in authentic scientific inquiry. In questionnaires conducted in the two first test classes students found that the aspects of doing real scient ific researchŽ and solving physics problems were the more interesting aspects of playing the game. However, designing a game that facilitates professional research collaboration while simultaneously introducing quantum physics to high school students prov ed to be a challenge. A collaborative learning design was implemented in Class 3, where students were given expert roles such as experimental and theoretical physicists. This significantly improved the students feeling of learning physics compared to Cla ss 1 and 2. Overall the results presented in this paper indicate that the possibility of participating in authentic scientific experiments, which this class of games opens, is highly motivating for students. The findings also show that the learning desig n in the class setting must be considered in order to improve the students experience of learning and that various design challenges remain to be addressed even further.

 

Keywords: Keywords: Scientific discovery games, science education, learning games, game-based learning

 

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