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Authentic Learning Experiences Through Play: Games, Simulations and the Construction of Knowledge Lisa Galarneau Ph.D. Candidate The University of Waikato,

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Presentation on theme: "Authentic Learning Experiences Through Play: Games, Simulations and the Construction of Knowledge Lisa Galarneau Ph.D. Candidate The University of Waikato,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Authentic Learning Experiences Through Play: Games, Simulations and the Construction of Knowledge Lisa Galarneau Ph.D. Candidate The University of Waikato, New Zealand

2 Authentic Learning Experiences Through Play DiGRA June 19, 2005 Games can motivate learning… People cannot be taught. They must be motivated to learn. When learners need to memorize information, making it fun might be key. Younger generations are increasingly bored with linear content. …but motivation is not the only thing games are good for!

3 Authentic Learning Experiences Through Play DiGRA June 19, 2005 Is this the best use of learning games? – Game2Trains Sexual Harassment Solitaire Game

4 Authentic Learning Experiences Through Play DiGRA June 19, 2005 The language of games and simulations… New technologies are always first imagined using old paradigms, and often stumble at first: New technologies are always first imagined using old paradigms, and often stumble at first: Cars: horseless carriages Cars: horseless carriages Telephones: good for speaking telegrams Telephones: good for speaking telegrams TV: see radio plays! TV: see radio plays! Movies: see stage plays from afar! Movies: see stage plays from afar! The Internet: online books, brochures or paper (with hypertext!) The Internet: online books, brochures or paper (with hypertext!) e-Learning: online textbooks, lectures, classrooms e-Learning: online textbooks, lectures, classrooms Educational games: chocolate-covered broccoli Educational games: chocolate-covered broccoli

5 Authentic Learning Experiences Through Play DiGRA June 19, 2005 The sweet spot for games and simulations… They are flexible environments that allow for infinite possibilities and points-of-view (going meta) Allow learners to form connections by experimenting with knowledge in context Learners learn by doing, discovery and through failure They allow learning designers to foster authentic learning experiences

6 Authentic Learning Experiences Through Play DiGRA June 19, 2005 What is authentic learning? learner-centered active learning authentic tasks in which the learning experience takes place around real-world situations

7 Authentic Learning Experiences Through Play DiGRA June 19, 2005 Design experiences, not wrappers around traditional content Putting linear content into an open-ended game context is like shoving a round peg into a square hole Experience is the story: ones personal narrative and the emotions that go with it Knowledge in context through experience

8 Authentic Learning Experiences Through Play DiGRA June 19, 2005 What if you could change history? What if you are? – MITs Revolution

9 Authentic Learning Experiences Through Play DiGRA June 19, 2005 Situate learning opportunities in real world contexts. – SimSchool

10 Authentic Learning Experiences Through Play DiGRA June 19, 2005 Even low- tech methods can simulate an experience. – Magellans Understanding Diversity

11 Authentic Learning Experiences Through Play DiGRA June 19, 2005 How do people really learn the nuances of success in business? - Simulearns Virtual Leader

12 Authentic Learning Experiences Through Play DiGRA June 19, 2005 Experience the human immune system from the perspective of a virus – MITs Replicate

13 Authentic Learning Experiences Through Play DiGRA June 19, 2005 Supplement theoretical knowledge with real world practice. - Calming & Restraint Training for Mental Health Professionals

14 Authentic Learning Experiences Through Play DiGRA June 19, 2005 Legitimate peripheral participation can be valid experience. - Building & Carpentry Simulator

15 Authentic Learning Experiences Through Play DiGRA June 19, 2005 Some final thoughts… Learning is an active, not a passive, experience An effective learning opportunity must provide an authentic experience, not simply information Experience should be central and content peripheral Knowledge must be applied and skills practiced using real world scenarios Allow learners to make content their own (construct their knowledge or narratives) through experience Context is key; more experience increases a holistic view


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