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

Game Inspired Tool Support for e‑Learning Processes  pp101-110

Marie-Thérèse Charles, David Bustard, Michaela Black

© Jun 2009 Volume 7 Issue 2, Editor: Shirley Williams, pp85 - 190

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Abstract

Student engagement is crucial to the success of e‑learning but is often difficult to achieve in practice. One significant factor is the quality of the learning content; also important, however, is the suitability of the process through which that material is studied. In recent years much research has been devoted to improving e‑ learning content but considerably less attention given to enhancing the associated e‑learning process. This paper focuses on that process, considering in particular how student engagement might be improved using techniques common in digital games. The work is motivated by a belief that, with careful design, e‑learning systems may be able to achieve the levels of engagement expected of digital games. In general, such games succeed by entertaining players, building on their natural curiosity and competitiveness to encourage them to continue to play. This paper supports a belief that by adopting some of the engagement techniques used in games, e‑ learning can become equally successful. In particular, the paper considers how the learning process might become a form of game that helps sustain continued study. Factors affecting engagement and elements of digital games that make them engaging are identified. A proposal for improving engagement is then outlined. The approach is to encourage student involvement by rewarding desirable behaviour, including the completion of optional challenges, and giving regular feedback on performance, measured against others in the same class. Feedback is provided through a web‑based tool. The paper describes an exploratory assessment of both the tool and approach through action research. Results for two linked university modules teaching software development are presented. The results so far are very encouraging in that student engagement and performance have increased, especially at the weaker end of the class. Limitations of the approach are also outlined, together with an indication of future research plans.

 

Keywords: e-learning, digital games, engagement, feedback, action research

 

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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

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 Issue

Volume 10 Issue 2, Special ECGBL Issue / Jul 2012  pp159‑256

Editor: Dimitris Gouscos

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Keywords: activity theory, alternative approaches, budget constraints, chemistry, classroom culture, collaboration, communities of practice, complex systems, connectivism, constructionist and inquiry-based learning, context, dialog, digital educational games, digital games, emotion, epistemological beliefs, formal learning, game development, game experience, game-based learning, games, half-baked microworlds, identity, inquiry, leadership, MMOGs, MMORPGs, modelling, motivation, non-invasive assessment, pedagogical issues, performance, play, problem representation, self-organization, serious games, situated play, sustainability, teacher’s role, theory, virtual teams,

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 11 Issue 1, ECGBL / Feb 2013  pp1‑79

Editor: Patrick Felicia

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Editorial

Special ECGBL 2012 issue of EJEL

 

The papers in this special issue of The Electronic Journal of eLearning have been selected from the papers presented at The 6th European Conference on Games Based Learning, Cork, Ireland 4‑5th October 2012.

 

This special issue has been edited by Patrick Felicia, Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland.

 

patrick_felicia 

 

Keywords: blended game-based learning, physically interactive digital games, hero's journey, innovation and change management training, teaching game-based learning, citizenship education, game-based learning, dialogic pedagogy, new media, learning outcomes, social media technology, social business gaming, digital game-based learning (DGBL), information systems (IS), information systems security (ISS) and student assessment and learning, language learning, game-based learning, design for preschool learning, expertise-reversal effect, redundancy effect, fading, adaptable, serious game, fine-tuning system, problem-based learning, scaffolding, ZPD, peer-tutoring, game technology model, platform independent game technology model, serious games engineering, model driven engineering, games based learning, model driven serious games development

 

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