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Journal Article

Inferring a Learner´s Cognitive, Motivational and Emotional State in a Digital Educational Game  pp172-184

Michael Bedek, Paul Seitlinger, Simone Kopeinik, Dietrich Albert

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

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Abstract

Digital educational games (DEGs) possess the potential of providing an appealing and intrinsically motivating learning context. Usually this potential is either taken for granted or examined through questionnaires or interviews in the course of evaluat ion studies. However, an adaptive game would increase the probability of a DEG being actually motivating and emotionally appealing. In order to adapt the game to the learner´s motivational and emotional state while engaged with a particular game scenario, an ongoing assessment of these states is required. An explicit assessment, e.g. by questionnaires occurring repeatedly in short time intervals on the screen would probably destroy the learner´s flow experience. Thus, it is necessary to apply an approach that assesses the learner´s current states in a non‑invasive way. In the course of this paper we describe such a non‑invasive, implicit assessment procedure which is based on the interpretation of behavioral indicators. A set of behavioral indicators has been elaborated whereby some of them are derived from the theory of information foraging (Pirolli and Card, 1999). Values for each behavioral indicator (e.g. amount, frequency, seconds, etc.) are gathered after equally long lasting time slices. After each time slice, these values serve as weighted predictors to multiple regression equations for the dimensions of a motivation model, an emotion model and a construct called clearness. The motivation model is based on the two dimensions of approach and av oidance motivation. The emotion model encompasses the dimensions valence and activation. Clearness is defined as appropriate problem representation. A comparison of the resulting values on these dimensions between the current and previous time slices cove rs fluctuations of the learner`s states over time. The assessment of such changes forms the prerequisite for providing in‑game adaptations which aim to enhance the learner`s state, targeting towards a full exploitation of DEGs pedagogical potential.

 

Keywords: digital educational games, motivation, emotion, problem representation, non-invasive assessment.

 

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Journal Article

e — Motional Learning in Primary Schools: FearNot! An Anti‑bullying Intervention Based on Virtual Role‑play with Intelligent Synthetic Characters  pp131-138

Sibylle Enz, Carsten Zoll, Natalie Vannini, Wolfgang Schneider, Lynne Hall, Ana Paiva

© Apr 2008 Volume 6 Issue 2, Editor: Shirley Williams, pp99 - 182

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Abstract

Addressing the problems of bullying in schools, this paper presents a novel and highly innovative pedagogical approach, building on the immersive power of virtual role‑play. Educational role‑play is widely accepted as a powerful instrument to change attitudes and behaviour, but faces some difficulties and disadvantages when applied to sensitive social issues in the classroom. This paper shows how the FearNot! software application, developed within the scope of the EU‑funded projects VICTEC (Virtual ICT with Empathic Characters) and eCIRCUS (Education through Characters with emotional‑Intelligence and Role‑playing Capabilities that Understand Social interaction) uses virtual role‑play and autonomous agents to provide children aged eight to eleven years of age with the opportunity to visit a virtual school environment populated by 3D animated synthetic characters that engage in bullying episodes. The characters' actions and the storyline are created as improvised dramas by use of emergent narrative, resulting in unscripted and highly believable interaction experiences for the learner. While the students are spectators to the bullying episodes that unfold among the FearNot! characters, the victimised character starts a conversation with the student in between the episodes, describing their experiences with bullying and how they feel as a result to it, and asking the student for advice. The aim of this approach and particularly of this interaction sequence in between the virtual bullying episodes is to sensitise primary school students to the potential problems that victims of persistent aggressive behaviour are facing: By triggering an empathic relationship between learners and characters, learners understand and vicariously feel into the plight of the victimised character. Empirical evidence from bullying research implies that bullies are regularly reinforced by bystanders that witness the bullying and turn their attention to it, but do not actively intervene to end it (Craig & Pepler 1996; Lean 1998; Salmivalli 1999; Hawkins et al. 2001). Hence, this intervention strategy targets these bystanders to stand up to the bully and help the victim, due to their heightened awareness and sensitivity to the grave consequences victims face. Preliminary evaluation results indicate that the children were willing to immerse themselves in the virtual drama and that they empathically engage with the characters, attributing a range of emotions to the characters depending on the events that happen within the respective scenario. An ongoing long‑term intervention in school in the UK and Germany covers several interactions with the software over a ten week period of time.

 

Keywords: virtual environment, social and emotional learning, synthetic characters, bullying

 

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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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