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Computer game-based learning in Higher Education Nicola Whitton May 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "Computer game-based learning in Higher Education Nicola Whitton May 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 Computer game-based learning in Higher Education Nicola Whitton May 2007

2 Background Games Human- computer interaction games design online learning Learning in Higher Education computer game- based learning games-based learning

3 Can computer games be used to support learning in HE? 1.Is there a rationale for using computer game-based learning in Higher Education? 2.How best can computer games be designed to be usable and enhance learning? 3.How can the educational effectiveness of computer game- based learning be measured? 4.How do differences in game design effect the learning experience?

4 Overview of activities Games analysis Preliminary interviews Preliminary survey Literature review Questionnaire design Game design and development Comparative study } } } }

5 Key influences Constructivism (Bruner, Jonassen) Experiential learning (Kolb) Problem-based learning (Boud, Barrows) Collaborative learning (Vygotsky, Wenger) Adult learning (Knowles) Games-based learning (Prensky, Gee) Multimedia learning (Mayer) Engagement (Malone, Csikszentmihalyi)

6 Q1: Why use games in HE? Rationales in literature –Motivation –‘Stealth’ learning However… games can be constructivist learning environments Students in HE motivated to use games to learn if seen as most effective way

7 Research activities Interviews (12) –What is a game? –Motivations to play games? –Acceptability of game-based learning? Survey (200) –What types of game do people play? –What are their motivations? –Are educational games intrinsically motivating for students in HE?

8 What is a game? Challenge Competition Fantasy Goals Immersion Fun? Interaction Outcomes People Rules Safety

9 Why do people play games? Cerebral Social Physical Boredom Social facilitation

10 Some results ComputerNon-computer Social (52%) Cerebral (52%)Cerebral (34%) Boredom (48%)Boredom (30%) Physical (6%)Physical (27%) Social facil. (6%)Social facil. (12%)

11 Factors influencing motivation Motivators Swift and steady improvement Perception of being good Demotivators Difficulty getting started Getting stuck Lack of trust with the game Intrinsic uninterest in the subject

12 Motivation Are you motivated or demotivated by game-based learning? Motivated 63% Neither 28% Demotivated 9%

13 Q2: What is best practice? Evaluation of existing guidelines –Constructivist learning environments –Educational multimedia –Designing for engagement Analysis of existing games –Potential educational value –Evaluation of interface design

14 Criteria (1) Game design for learning –Supports active learning –Engenders engagement –Appropriateness –Supports reflection –Provides equitable experience –Provides ongoing support

15 Criteria (2) Interface design –Flexible interaction –Support for player community –Transparent navigation –User control –Robustness –Appropriate visual design

16 Effective games for learning Games that involve: –Problem solving –Exploration –Collaboration –Authentic activities For example: –Adventure –Role play –Simulation

17 Game-based learning design Activity to teach basic group skills Two games designed with identical –learning outcomes –support materials –debriefing

18 The Time Capsule Based on existing classroom activity Challenge Interaction Competition  Outcomes  Fantasy People Goals Rules Immersion  Safety

19 The Time Capsule

20 Pharaoh’s Tomb Developed from scratch Challenge Interaction Competition Outcomes Fantasy People Goals Rules Immersion Safety

21 The Pharaoh’s Tomb

22 Development Iterative prototyping –Game play evaluation (observation) –Group interface evaluation (think- aloud / observation) –Individual interface evaluation (Wizard-of-Oz, think-aloud)

23 3. How can educational effectiveness measured? Learning –Pre-test/post-test not applicable –Self-perception of learning questionnaire Engagement –Post-experience questionnaire –42 question scale tested –Reduced to 18 questions

24 Engagement factors Challenge –Motivation –Clarity –Achievability Control Immersion Interest Purpose

25 4. Comparing game-based learning Comparative experiment –Time Capsule groups –Pharaoh’s Tomb groups Examining differences –Learning –Engagement

26 Experiments Edinburgh computing students –8 Pharaoh’s tomb –9 Time capsule Hong Kong marketing students –12 Pharaoh’s tomb –7 Time capsule Edinburgh computing students –43 Pharaoh’s Tomb –36 Time Capsule

27 Results Learning –No significant difference –But questionable reliability Engagement –No significant difference overall –Significant difference in control –Difference in immersion

28 Conclusions Games can be collaborative, authentic, active and experiential learning environments. To be effective games must be designed with learning in mind and seen as the best way to learn by students. Games do not have to have every game characteristic to be engaging. How does novelty fit in?


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