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Dr. Pauline Rooney 1. Some background: digital natives & serious games Research overview & methodology Findings Conclusions Questions 2.

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Presentation on theme: "Dr. Pauline Rooney 1. Some background: digital natives & serious games Research overview & methodology Findings Conclusions Questions 2."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dr. Pauline Rooney 1

2 Some background: digital natives & serious games Research overview & methodology Findings Conclusions Questions 2

3 Claims that they have different learning styles/skills/habits: Expect participatory, sensory-rich environments (Oblinger 2008) Oriented to visual media Prefer learning-by-doing (Bennett et al. 2008) Prefer bite-size, chunked information (Conole 2010) Effective multi-taskers (Prensky 2001) Function best when networked Adept at social networking via multiple modes (Oblinger & Oblinger 2005) 3 Immersed in digital technologies/social networking Digital natives Net generation

4 Claims that students no longer respond to traditional instruction (Prensky 2001) Serious games viewed as mechanism for engaging students, meeting their needs and expectations. But is this the case? 4

5 Most focuses on school children: reveals mixed picture: Not all are technologically literate / game players (Bourgonjon et al. 2010, Bekebrede et al. 2011) Preference for games as leisure pursuit (Sandford et al. 2006) Perceived as inappropriate for HE (Graham 2007). Most lit on HE demonstrates assumption that students will embrace serious games. 5

6 Investigated students attitudes as part of larger case study which explored implications of in-house approach to design/ development/ implementation of serious games in HE. Led to development of Serious GordonSerious Gordon 6

7 Serious Gordon piloted with 37 undergraduates. Data sources: Field observation during pilot (myself and colleague) Online survey (post game-play) Semi-structured focus group interviews Cross-tabulations conducted across survey and qualitative data to identify significant trends. Qualitative data analysis techniques: Categorical aggregation Direction interpretation (Stake 1995) Constant comparison method (Glaser and Strauss 1967) 7

8 8 73% - first years 27% - fourth years

9 9 Familiarity with PCs/gaming: Over 75% familiar/very familiar with computers Almost 84% had played video games previously Most were not gamers (73%): i.e. they did not play computer/video games at least a few times per week All gamers were male Majority aged yrs

10 Playing computer/video games is a waste of time YES: 19% NO: 81% *Overwhelmingly positive attitude towards game play* 10 All female

11 I think that learning food safety through playing computer/video games is a good idea YES: 83.7% NO: 16.3% 11 Majority non-gamers (so negative impact of lack of prior gaming experience) No gender link (contradicting previous research) BUT......

12 Consensus that it would be easier to learn via games: more engaging/interactive/motivating more visual appealing alternative to lectures fun you can do stuff yourself instead of sitting there listening You start off and you want to get to the next level..... you want to get to the end of it and see the final outcome. keeps you entertained for a while If you can visualise what youre learning its a lot easier. good for a bit of relief 12

13 Three key findings: (1) Link between gender & reasons underlying students antipathy towards serious games (2) Conflicting perceptions of play and educational processes (3) Difficulties reconciling notions of interactive game play with traditional pedagogical expectations 13

14 For those against serious games: Males: tended to regard games as leisure activities only (& majority were non-gamers) Females: lack of gaming experience led to fears of disadvantage 14 Reinforces Bourgonjon (2010) who linked gaming experience with positive attitudes towards serious gaming (mediated by gender). But also shows that one does not need to be a gamer to hold view that gaming is inappropriate for learning purposes.

15 Some females, although disinterested in leisure gaming, embraced it when it had an educational purpose. Shows gender differences in perspectives on the purposes of gaming (unmediated by gaming experience). Perhaps unsurprising when we consider previous studies on gender-based perceptions of ICTs (Colley 2003) Males: playful, exploratory approach to ICTs. Females: utilitarian approach, use tools to assist with particular tasks. 15

16 Games and education as dichotomous pair Games undermine seriousness of content. Inappropriate for HE. Terminology: Difficulties reconciling the term game with serious purposes....a classroom environment should probably be a classroom environment and taken seriously because it is serious issues that are being dealt with... Games = FUN Games = FUN Education = SERIOUS I: Would you like the idea of using computer games to learn.. if they were designed specifically for your course? [] S: Not so much games, computer programs. I: Would you like the idea of using computer games to learn.. if they were designed specifically for your course? [] S: Not so much games, computer programs. 16

17 Difficulties reconciling notions of interactive game play with traditional conceptualisations of formal education. Belief that traditional, didactic model of education is most effective way to learn at third level. You couldnt really learn a whole syllabus on just a game. Youd have to have a list or whatever at the end... like a list of questions or a bit of information, or a handout. 17

18 Majority show positive attitude towards serious games. However todays students are not a homogenous group. For minority, conflicting perceptions of game play and educational processes – often mediated by gender and/or prior gaming and educational experience – may constitute a barrier. Challenges tacit assumptions that todays HE students will embrace serious games. Highlights needs and perceptions that should be addressed when introducing serious games to the HE classroom. 18

19 19 Dr. Pauline

20 Bennett, S., Maton, K., Kervin, L. (2008) The 'digital natives' debate: A critical review of the evidence. British Journal of Educational Technology, 39 (5) Bourgonjon, J., Valcke, M., Soetaert, R., Schellens, T. (2010) Students' perceptions about the use of video games in the classroom. Computers & Education, 54 (4) Bekebrede, G., Warmelink, H.J.G., Mayer, I.S. (2011). Reviewing the need for gaming in education to accommodate the net generation. Computers & Education, doi: /j.compedu Colley, A. (2003) Gender differences in adolescents' perceptions of the best and worst aspects of computing at school. Computers in Human Behaviour, 19 (6) Conole, G. (2010) Stepping over the edge: the implications of new technologies for education. In: M. J. W. Lee and C. McLoughlin (eds) Web 2.0-based Elearning: Applying Social Informatics for Tertiary Teaching. Hershey: IGI Global Graham, S. (2007) Re-playing history: The Year of the Four Emperors and Civilization IV. The Higher Education Academy. Available from: [Accessed 5 November 2008]. Oblinger, D. (2008) Growing up with Google: what it means to education. Emerging Technologies for Learning Volume 3. Coventry: BECTA. Available from: [Accessed 11 September 2008]. Oblinger, D. and Oblinger, J. (2005) Is it age or IT: First steps toward understanding the Net Generation. In: D. Oblinger and J. Oblinger (eds) Educating the Net Generation. EDUCAUSE. Available from: [Accessed 25 June 2008]. Prensky, M. (2001) Digital Game-Based Learning. New York: McGraw-Hill. Sandford, R., Ulicsak, M., Facer, K., Rudd, T. (2006) Teaching with games: Using commercial off-the-shelf computer games in formal education. Bristol: Futurelab. Available from: [Accessed 12 November 2008]. 20


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