Using the power of research to inform ICT integration in education

Posts tagged ‘games’

Is research on violent video games methodologically flawed?

Ferguson, Christopher J. (2013) Violent video games and the Supreme Court: Lessons for the scientific community in the wake of Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association, American Psychologist, Vol 68(2), Feb-Mar 2013, 57-74

In June 2011 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that video games enjoy full free speech protections and that the regulation of violent game sales to minors is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court also referred to psychological research on violent video games as “unpersuasive” and noted that such research contains many methodological flaws. Recent reviews in many scholarly journals have come to similar conclusions, although much debate continues. Given past statements by the American Psychological Association linking video game and media violence with aggression, the Supreme Court ruling, particularly its critique of the science, is likely to be shocking and disappointing to some psychologists. In this article the author argues that the psychological community would be better served by reflecting on this research and considering whether the scientific process failed by permitting and even encouraging statements about video game violence that exceeded the data or ignored conflicting data. Although it is likely that debates on this issue will continue, a move toward caution and conservatism as well as increased dialogue between scholars on opposing sides of this debate will be necessary to restore scientific credibility. The current article reviews the involvement of the psychological science community in the Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association case and suggests that it might learn from some of the errors in this case for the future.

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How do game making projects influence learners’ attitudes to computing?

Judy Robertson (2013) The influence of a game making project on male and female learners’ attitudes to computing, Computer Science, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK

There is a pressing need for gender inclusive approaches to engage young people in computer science. A recent popular approach has been to harness learners’ enthusiasm for computer games to motivate them to learn computer science concepts through game authoring. The results of this study indicate that both boys and girls in the early years of high school have positive attitudes to computing and want to find out more about it. Boys are more likely to be more strongly positive than girls. The pupils thought that the game making project was fun and around half of them would recommend it to a friend. Their teachers believed that the project was a highly positive experience for their pupils in terms of motivation, and that it benefited pupils right across the ability spectrum.

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What is the Ideology of Serious Gaming?

Edouard Pignot (2012) An Exploration of the Ideology of the Virtual and the Practice of Serious Gaming, 20TH EDAMBA Summer Academy, WARWICK BUSINESS SCHOOL

Are game-based ways of learning as innocent as they look like? Through an anthropologically-grounded study, the gamification of learning and knowing is here criticized. Objectives are threefold: (1) define SG and simulation as signifying practice involving social, political, fantasmatic logics: not merely technology. (2) Re- materialize and re-embody virtual practices. Finally, uncover (3) how fantasy and jouissance operate in hegemonic discourse of gamification. The core contribution is to analyze virtual reality utilizing a discursive approach derived from the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, including political theorists from the Essex School of Discourse Analysis and philosophers (Butler, Zizek) who argue in this circle.

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What is the Effect Of Digital Game Based Learning On Ninth Grade Students’ Math Achievement?

DIXIE K. SWEARINGEN (2011) Effect of Digital Game Based Learning on Ninth Grade Students’ Mathematics Achievement, A Dissertation submitted to the graduate faculty in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

This experimental study examined the effect of an educational massive multiplayer online game (MMOG) on achievement on a standards- based mathematics exam. It also examined the interaction of student characteristics (gender and socioeconomic status) with digital game play on mathematics achievement. No statistically significant results were found in the mean posttest results between the control and treatment. Nor were statistically significant results found by gender. Statistically significant results were indicated on time (minutes of play) and the interaction of time and socioeconomic status. Results implied for every minute a student is engaged in playing an interdisciplinary MMOG, posttest scores may increase .11 points. However, if a student is low socioeconomically, posttest scores may decrease by 11.24 points if engaged in digital game play.

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How can teachers use serious games with simple technologies?

Peter van Rosmalen, Wim Westera (2012) Introducing Serious Games with Wikis: Empowering the Teacher with simple Technologies,

Despite the continuous and abundant growth of the game market the uptake of games in education has been hampered by the general impression that games require complex technologies and that games are difficult to organise and to embed in education curriculums. This paper explores to what extent a simple serious game scenario that can be easily adopted and adapted by individual teachers and that only uses a common, relatively simple technology can leverage the adoption of serious games. It discusses the design of such a game, Argument, based on a Wiki and its use in a 6 weeks trial by students of a Master of Learning Sciences Programme. The results indicate that, even though a Wiki has clear limitations, it is a useful instrument to build game alike educational activities, to gain experience with and as a first step to use (more) complex serious games.

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What can we learn from Google Image Labeler?

Nassim Jafarinaimi (2012) Exploring the Character of Participation in Social Media: The Case of Google Image Labeler, Proceeding iConference ’12 Proceedings of the 2012 iConference

Social media are transforming interpersonal and social interactions, enabling new forms of engagement and participation. However, we know little about how the specific design qualities of social media affect social interaction in these environments. Considering the diversity of social media today, there is a need to engage with specific cases to discern possible patterns of relationship between designed characteristics of social media and the character of participation in them. To illustrate, this paper draws on a case study of the game, “Google Image Labeler.” The design of the game is studied through a close reading of arguments made by its designers followed by an Internet study of what users and critics say about their interactions with the game. These studies, in conjunction with theories of social interaction by John Dewey and Robert Putnam, provide a foundation for a critical stance toward the quality of participation in this game that informs design theory and practice.

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What is the value of intrinsic integration in educational games?

Hagbood, MP Jacob and Ainsworth, Shaaron E (2011) Motivating children to learn effectively: exploring the value of intrinsic integration in educational games, Journal of the Learning Sciences, 20 (2), 169-206.

The concept of intrinsic motivation has been considered to lie at the heart of the user engagement created by digital games. Yet despite this, educational software has traditionally attempted to harness games as extrinsic motivation by using them as a sugar-coating for learning content. This paper tests the concept of intrinsic integration as a way of creating a more productive relationship between educational games and their learning content. Two studies assessed this approach by designing and evaluating an educational game for teaching mathematics to seven to eleven year olds called Zombie Division. The results of these studies showed that children learned more from the intrinsic version of the game under fixed time limits and spent seven times longer playing it in free time situations. Together they offer evidence for the genuine value of an intrinsic approach for creating effective educational games. The theoretical and commercial implications of these findings are discussed.

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Do video games effect the sleep and mental health of Czech and Japanese children?

Milada Krejci, Kai Wada, Miyo Nakade, Hitomi Takeuchi, Teruki Noji, Tetsuo Harada  (2011)  Effects of Video Game Playing on the Circadian Typology and Mental Health of Young Czech and Japanese Children, Psychology 2011. Vol.2, No.7, 674-680

The objective of this study is to examine the effects of video game playing on sleep-wake cycles and mental health of young Czech and Japan children. A cross-sectional survey with 497 Czech children (240 girls, 257 boys; mean age of 4.60 years; 49 ̊ – 51 ̊N) and 599 Japanese children (314 girls, 285 boys: 3.79 years; 33 ̊N) from 20 kindergartens and nursery schools. Habitual video game playing in the evening may make children more evening-typed and it may also be speculated to make them more aggressive in both countries.

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How can Second Life enhance astronomy in education?

Adrienne J. Gauthier (2007) Astronomy in Second Life: A User’s Perspective,  CAP Vol. 1, No. 1, October 2007

Second Life (SL) is a multi-user virtual environment that is not limited to adult social entertainment. SL is also a 3D playground for innovative instructors and education/outreach professionals in the sciences. Astronomy and space science have a presence in SL, but it could be so much more. This paper describes some of the current astronomy themed spaces in SL and briefly discusses future innovations.

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How can Educational Games Enhance Adaptive Learning in Virtual Learning Environments?

Angel del Blanco, Javier Torrente, Pablo Moreno-Ger, Baltasar Fernández-Manjón (2011) Enhancing Adaptive Learning and Assessment in Virtual Learning Environments with Educational Games, Intelligent Learning Systems and Advancements in Computer-Aided Instruction: Emerging Studies

The rising acceptance of Virtual Learning Environments (VLE) in the e- Learning field poses new challenges such as producing student-centered courses which can be automatically tailored to each student’s needs. For this purpose digital games can be used, taking advantage of their flexibility (good video games always try to adapt to different players) and capabilities to stealthily track players’ activity, either for producing an accurate user model or enhancing the overall assessment capabilities of the system. In this chapter we discuss the integration of digital games in Virtual Learning Environments and the need of standards that allow the interoperable communication of games and VLE. We also present a middle-ware architecture to integrate video games in VLEs that addresses the technical barriers posed by the integration. We present a case study with the implementation of the architecture in the <e-Adventure> game authoring platform, along with three examples of video game integration in educational settings.

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Why should games have a place in formal education?

Thorkild Hanghøj (2008) Playful Knowledge: An Explorative Study of Educational Gaming, PhD Dissertation, Institute of Literature, Media and Cultural Studies University of Southern Denmark

This dissertation can be read as an attempt to explore the widespread assumption that games have educational value within the context of formal schooling. More specifically, this study tries to answer a number of questions related to this assumption: Why should games have a place in formal education? How should educational games support teaching and learning? And what characterises “good” educational game design? These questions are repeatedly being addressed by game designers, policy makers, educators, news media and researchers in an attempt to explore – and often promote – the assumed learning potential of games. To bring matters to a head, such questions are often driven by an attempt to legitimise the educational use of games instead of actually exploring whether this goal is desirable or how it can be achieved.

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Can teachers use online commercial games to help students with their learning?

Wiklund, M., Ekenberg, L. (2009) Going to school in World of Warcraft. Observations from a trial programme using off-the-shelf computer games as learning tools in secondary education, Designs for Learning, No. 109

The use of commercial, off-the-shelf computer games as teaching tools is an interesting possibility, but one that may alter the teacher’s role. Unlike specially adapted, game- like educational software, students’ attitudes toward the learning potential of computer games may be very different in the presence or absence of an accompanying teacher. The purpose of this work is to investigate whether commercial, unmodified computer games have potential as a tool for learning enhancement, whether varying properties of game genres have an impact on study results, and how the students perceive the teachers role in a learning environment using computer games. Twenty-one students, all of them participants in a longer-term trial programme in game-based education, were inter- viewed concerning their perceptions of the learning environment, their preferred game genres, and the outcome of their studies. Our findings show that this form of learn- ing results in significantly increased knowledge. It also appears that accompanying teacher activities are important, especially when successfully linked to in-game activities.

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How can Speech Recognition-Supported Games Improve Literacy?

Anuj Kumar, Pooja Reddy, Anuj Tewari, Rajat Agrawal, Matthew Kam (2012) Improving Literacy in Developing Countries Using Speech Recognition-Supported Games on Mobile Devices, To appear in Proceedings of ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’12), Austin, Texas, May 5-10, 2012.

Learning to read in a second language is challenging, but highly rewarding. For low-income children in developing countries, this task can be significantly more challenging because of lack of access to high-quality schooling, but can potentially improve economic prospects at the same time. A synthesis of research findings suggests that practicing recalling and vocalizing words for expressing an intended meaning could improve word reading skills – including reading in a second language – more than silent recognition of what the given words mean. Unfortunately, many language learning software do not support this instructional approach, owing to the technical challenges of incorporating speech recognition support to check that the learner is vocalizing the correct word. In this paper, we present results from a usability test and two subsequent experiments that explore the use of two speech recognition- enabled mobile games to help rural children in India read words with understanding.

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How can Serious Games Support Education?

Mary Ulicsak,  Martha Wright (2010) Games in Education: Serious Games,  A Futurelab literature review

It is argued that digital games, including simulations and virtual worlds, have the potential to be an important teaching tool because they are interactive, engaging and immersive activities. This document begins by briefly considering the rationale for using games in education – informal and formal. It then considers the various types of digital games that are described as being educational. The report then has an overview of their current use and research around their usage in multiple environments: the military, health, informal, vocational and formal education settings. It looks at the challenges of embedding serious games in formal education and three current methods for assessing appropriateness and effectiveness of games for teaching. From this it argues that what is required is a toolkit for educators, game designers and policy makers that allows the design and assessment of games to be used with an educational goal.

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