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The Optimal Level of Children’s Participation in the Design of Games-Based Learning Matthew Bates, Nottingham Trent University, UK 5 th European Conference.

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Presentation on theme: "The Optimal Level of Children’s Participation in the Design of Games-Based Learning Matthew Bates, Nottingham Trent University, UK 5 th European Conference."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Optimal Level of Children’s Participation in the Design of Games-Based Learning Matthew Bates, Nottingham Trent University, UK 5 th European Conference on Games-Based-Learning The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece October 2011

2 Motivation Why use a design-based approach to games-based learning? Gaming is becoming the new ‘third place’ Has the potential to inspire community learning Play requires exploration, conversation and collaboration Which encourages creation of peripheral game resources The Optimal Level of Children’s Participation – Matthew Bates Media-rich blogs Wiki knowledgeVideo tutorials

3 Hypothesis: Serious games design projects modelled on higher rungs of Hart’s Ladder and hence higher participation of children will produce greater educational artefacts. Methodology: > Druin’s (2002) methods of ‘participatory design’ qualitative research based on field observations using low tech materials to prototype new ideas > Steinkuehler’s (2004) ‘thick description’ of learning process video footage of interactions used with observation schedule post project review and reflection via presentation of work The Optimal Level of Children’s Participation – Matthew Bates Research Design

4 The Optimal Level of Children’s Participation – Matthew Bates Hart’s Ladder

5 Level 8 of ladder: ‘Children initiated and directed’ participation Goal: promote school library facilities to fellow students Via weekly after school club with self selecting participants Facilitation: passive; simply initiate and observe tasks Result: 50% games completed which lack learning content The Optimal Level of Children’s Participation – Matthew Bates Investigation 1: Library Service

6 Level 4 of ladder: ‘Assigned but informed’ participation Goal: inform primary pupils about secondary school life Via weekly Art & Design school classes with sample class Facilitation: active; discuss and assist with designs Result: 83% designs completed and approved by collaborators The Optimal Level of Children’s Participation – Matthew Bates Investigation 2: Secondary School

7 Level 6 of ladder: ‘Adult initiated, shared decisions’ participation Goal: collaborate on single design with clear learning objectives Experimentation of ideas using basic tools (pack of cards) Implementation handled by facilitators to optimise time Result: game now used in school visits by library service The Optimal Level of Children’s Participation – Matthew Bates Investigation 3: Library Service

8 Scalability of approach using participation at level 6 of ladder Goal: can approach benefit adults at risk of social exclusion? Weekly design workshops using university facilities Working as design team of offenders, tutors and researchers Result: participants invited to present work at national level Both process and product accredited by service for future use The Optimal Level of Children’s Participation – Matthew Bates Investigation 4: Probation Service

9 Elevating learners to design partners: creates powerful learning environments but requires facilitation regardless of age and experience must balance of learner input with educator experience balanced approach applicable and scalable to a range of students The Optimal Level of Children’s Participation – Matthew Bates Conclusions

10 Bates, M., Brown, D., Cranton, W., and Lewis, J. (2008). Playing to win: motivation for teaching and learning in today’s gaming culture. Paper presented at Interactive Technologies and Games (ITAG), November 2008, Nottingham, UK. Bates, M., Brown, D., Cranton, W., and Lewis, J. (2009). A design for learning: exploring serious games design with children. Paper presented at Interactive Technologies and Games (ITAG), October 2009, Nottingham, UK. Bates, M., Brown, D., Cranton, W., and Lewis, J. (2010). Formulating a serious games design project for adult offenders with the probation service. Paper presented at Interactive Technologies and Games (ITAG), October 2010, Nottingham, UK. Druin, A. (2002). The role of children in the design of new technology. Behaviour and Information Technology, 21(1), pp.1–25. Steinkuehler, C. (2004). Learning in massively multi-player online games. Proceedings of the 6th international conference on learning sciences (ICLS), June 2004, Santa Monica, CA, USA, pp The Optimal Level of Children’s Participation – Matthew Bates References


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