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Journal Article

The place of game‑based learning in an age of austerity  pp249-256

Nicola Whitton

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

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Abstract

Digital games have the potential to create active and engaging environments for learning, supporting problem‑solving, communication and group activities, as well as providing a forum for practice and learning through failure. The use of game techniques such as gradually increasing levels of difficulty and contextual feedback support learning, and they can motivate users, using challenges and rewards, competition and mystery. Above all, computer games provide safe spaces in which learners can play, explore, experiment, and have fun. However, finding appropriate games for specific educational contexts is often problematic. Commercial entertainment games are designed for enjoyment, and may not map closely to desired learning outcomes, and the majority of educators do not have the time or specialist expertise to create their own games. Computer games are expensive to purchase or produce, and learners, particularly busy adult learners, need to be convinced of their effectiveness. So while there are many theoretical benefits to the use of computer games for learning, it given the increasing economic constraints in education, their use may simply not be practical. This paper presents three alternative ways in which the theory and practice of computer games can be applied to education, without the expense. First, the option of developing simple and cost‑effective games with low technical specifications, such as alternate reality games, or using virtual worlds or one of the growing number of accessible game‑builder toolkits to create educational games, will be explored. Second, learning from games rather than with them is discussed, examining game techniques that naturally enhance learning, and embedding those elements in traditional teaching practices. Third, the paper presents the option of giving learners agency as game creators rather than simply players, so that it becomes the process, not the product, which facilitates learning. The advantages and drawbacks of each approach are discussed, looking at both practical and pedagogic issues. In this way, the paper aims to offer alternative ways of thinking about the potential of digital games for learning, and present possible solutions to the increasing financial constraints that face the field.

 

Keywords: budget constraints, alternative approaches, game development, theory

 

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Journal Article

The art of Gamification; Teaching Sustainability and System Thinking by Pervasive Game Development  pp152-168

Anders Nordby, Kristine Øygardslia, Ulrik Sverdrup, Harald Sverdrup

© Jul 2016 Volume 14 Issue 3, Editor: Rikke Ørngreen and Karin Levinsen, pp150 - 232

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Abstract

Abstract: In 2013 Hedmark University College conducted a research project where students from a game development project/study program developed and tested a Pervasive Game for learning as part of a class in System Thinking. The overall game goal was to t each Sustainability through System Thinking, and to give the students a real world experience with their game;. It was tested on 5th and 7th graders in elementary school, spending one school day in each of the classes. This article focuses on the design o f the project: how the game was developed, how the children played it and how research was designed and data collected.

 

Keywords: Keywords: Gamification, game development, pervasive games, games and learning, pedagogy, system thinking, sustainability

 

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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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