Presentation on theme: "Educational Gaming for Free Spirited Skeptics Theory and Challenges of Pedagogical Games May 8, 2012 Elizabeth Pyatt"— Presentation transcript:
Educational Gaming for Free Spirited Skeptics Theory and Challenges of Pedagogical Games May 8, 2012 Elizabeth Pyatt firstname.lastname@example.org
Who Am I? Elizabeth Pyatt Instructional Designer Penn State since 2000 Solitaire addict, just brought Wii Minesweeper, Puzzles, PacMan, Space Invaders, Missile Command, Jeopardy Educational Gaming Commons http://gaming.psu.edu http://gaming.psu.edu
Outline What’s a Game? Does there have to be a winner? Potential for Learning PBL, motivation/affect, teams… Skeptics Corner Leading to “What to Avoid” First Steps
But first a contest How many games will I mention? Need names plus count There are some prizes on the line. Audience will determine accuracy of list
What’s a Game? Favorite games (any genre) What do they have in common?
Official Characteristics Set of rules/restrictions Semi-arbitrary (e.g. no hands on the ball) Context is “Not Real” Scoring Method Competition (& a “Winner”?) Many expect there to be Sometimes you beat the computer…or yourself Successful games are “fun”
Interesting Parameters Electronic vs. Non-Electronic Team vs. Individual What Skills are Being Practiced? Math, Word, Strategy, Dancing, Music Meditation, Building, Flying, Farming, Sales Time investment Casual (short & sweet) Non-casual (lots of investment, high reward) ± Background Narrative Games vs. Puzzles vs. Toys How many outcomes?
Educational Possibilities Games invoke a variety of pedagogical principles such as…
Group Learning World of Warcraft Discuss strategy, plan missions Make trades Compile notes http://www.wowwiki.com/ http://www.wowwiki.com/ Practice English grammar Econ in Outer Space A game in which students build a modern economy from scratch post spacecraft wreck ECON 201, UNC Greensboro
Empathy What’s it like to be another person? “Warrior” is a common role BUT Business Administrator Sims & ECON 102 Sims (Campus) Bucket of Beans (S. Pacific Reciprocity) Players learn the value of “cashing in” favors StarPower Establish an arbitrary upper class via trades This class can establish new rules BEWARE http://www.stsintl.com/schools- charities/star_power.html http://www.stsintl.com/schools- charities/star_power.html
PBL/Challenge Based Learning Games are often won by solving problems AKA “Quests” or “Missions” Educational Quests Beer Distribution Game (used in Smeal) Oregon Trail Rare educational game that was a commercial success
Simulation Game Genres God Game Game in which players control parameter of universe (e.g. Sim Games) History Sims Age of Empires Trial of Lizzie Borden (U Mass) Science Simulations Flight Simulator, Spore
Leveling Up Pac Man Maze levels Pac Man 5D which presents a variable 3D grid. Invented by a Russian gamer.
Mastery Learning Achieve Minimal Score before moving to next Lesson AKA complete level 1 before level 2 Scaffolding Each level introduces new element Adding a touch of difficulty adds interest Too little is boring Too much causes gamers to quit Zone of Proximal Development Unlocking in Games Leveling up unlocks new tools (reward) New equation? New diagram?
“Drill and Kill” Games encourage practice And automaticity of skills Such as pattern recognition But with fun graphics & music
See also Math drills More fun with tiny angry scientists? Algebra Meltdown (http://www.mangahigh.com/en_us/games) Vocabulary and spelling More fun as Hangman, crossword? Identification …
Affect/Motivation Games can add motivation to Chores (Chore Wars – competitive chore points) Jogging (Nike Plus) – badges, leaderboard Self-Improvement (SuperBetter)
Skeptics Corner Games “better than reality” Aren’t we supposed to be helping students deal with reality? YES…however Gamers often good at tackling real world challenges and learn real world skills Reflection can help them see how…
Just Games? What about Active Star Trek fan communities… Or Dorothy Dunnett readers Knitters, needlepointers, metal workers Toastmasters “Stovetop” league? Monday Morning quarterback? …
“Gaming the System” AKA Cheating Games Cheat codes, destroying weaker opponents Some socially OK, others not In School Academic Dishonesty BECAUSE…
When games are high stakes… Survive annihilation. Win free nail polish for life?
Can we still have fun? Low Stakes vs High Stakes Games (low stakes) + reflection (higher) Students do enjoy Change from lecture/quiz Leader Boards (when low stakes) Games if logistics not too burdensome A certain level of goofiness or joie de vivre Game may teach crucial skill So maybe we do require it anyway
Can we make Failure an Option? Games teach via mistakes Because they allow resets Gamers comfortable experimenting Can we use more “maximum scores”? Can we give hints Maybe with minor points deductions
Thinking Game Goals Games can allow for: Strategic/Systems thinking Experience as a different person Add motivation Practice of low level skills/knowledge Games don’t Convey content (except in the “narrative”)
Oregon Trail Goal: Teach about life on the Oregon Trail Life on the Oregon Trail is very hazardous, requires careful planning, and crosses a variety of terrain
Quick Starts Casual Games Hangman/Peril/Typo http://gaming.psu.edu http://gaming.psu.edu PowerPoint Templates ANGEL games (crossword/match) Gamification Badges? Quests? Avatars? Case Studies (gussied up)? Many avatar/graphics tools
Fun Play Find the challenge “sweet spot” Not too easy or too difficult Challenging gun for faculty ≠ fun for students Allow for goofiness Graphics, sound effects, puns Allow for some “low stakery” Can activities be replayed?
What do you mean “goofy”? Many use great cartoons but do we Show warriors fleeing the scene after a mistranslation? Simulate explosions in engineering? Turn ourselves into an avatar? Turn homework into “quests” or “missions? Add game graphics to assignments? Allow students to earn points towards late assignment submissions? Unlock “power” equations? Tools?
Explaining Functions w/Subs Using cash register buttons as metaphors for algebraic functions in Math 21 Starring Deb Mirdamadi, Mont Alto Campus
Today we learned Games can be good learning environments Problem solving, skills practice, collaboration Games have many facets Games in school ≠ games in the wild But hopefully can be fun & educational Gaming does require a mental readjustment for instructors But there are many paths to victory
Who Am I? Pragmatrix Super Powers Master of Learning Objective Congruence Assessor of Pedagogical Games Explorer of New Technologies Queen of “Keeping it Real”
Some References McGonigal, Jane Reality is Broken: Why Games Make us Better. James Paul Gee What Video Games Have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy Koster, Ralph A Theory of Fun Bartle, Richard (player types) Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds, Spades: Players who Suit MUDs
Contest Results How many games did I mention? Must provide names