WoW! Roberts and Susans Game Learning: A Look at World of Warcraft, Higher Education Learning, and Motivation

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Research talk given to IDEAs Lab group at the University of Sussex on June 19 2009.

This talk summarizes and provides background motivation for my current research project. Specifically, I'm looking at how metaphors and game design of World of Warcraft motivate people to learn and to work, with an eye to transferring motivation, social knowledge building, and persistence to online distance education practices, like teaching and community building. This draws upon J.S. Brown's "social knowing", J. Biggs's constructive alignment, and E. Wenger's communities of practice. I'm especially enchanted with the idea of "Roberts and Susans" and their approaches to learning and their underlying motivation, both in e-learning and World of Warcraft communities.

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WoW! Roberts and Susans Game Learning: A Look at World of Warcraft, Higher Education Learning, and Motivation

  1. 1. WoW! Roberts & Susans Game Learning June 19, 2009 Michelle A. Hoyle IDEAs Lab eingang@sussex.ac.uk
  2. 2. Big Questions • How is the “Robert and Susan” !"# $%%&'()* metaphor W en ge r, *,-(* ./0*0,/1, 4+/*(&5, 89:0*;, <*,-%;*, applicable? E. (2 00 8, 2'3( 6*7&/( 8:90';*:0 =**>*:0 p. 73 ) • How does the @ A*:?&%%&/( 8/'% 4+/*(&5 2':@,B&(0 social structure !*'?0 resemble a community of practice? • What encourages game players to persist?
  3. 3. Robertpupil Biggs, J. & Tang, C. (2007) ‘Chapter 1: The Changing Scene in University Teaching’, in Teaching for Quality Susanlearner Learning At University, 3rd edition, Maidenhead, UK, Open University Press. pp. 1-14. Are you Robert or Susan?
  4. 4. Robertpupil “I tend to do the minimum to get by.” Are you Robert or Susan?
  5. 5. Robertpupil “If I just read the notes, I hope I’ll remember enough to pass the exam.” Are you Robert or Susan?
  6. 6. “This is really interesting. I wonder how it applies to that article by Brown I read last term?” Susanlearner Are you Robert or Susan?
  7. 7. Robertpupil Churches, A. (2008); Krathwohl, D.R. (2002) Susanlearner Are you Robert or Susan?
  8. 8. Robertpupil Prof Bailey, Queen Mary “The most important change in exams… is that… A mathematics A-level… is more like using a sat-nav system than reading a map. If you read a map to get from A to B, you remember the route and learn about other things on the way. If you use a sat-nav, you do neither of those things. The questions… are heavily structured in this way and the result is that students will retain very little knowledge and develop very little understanding.” Seligren, K. (2009) A-Levels 'Too Much Like Sat-Nav', [online] BBC. Available from: http:// news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/8103274.stm (Accessed June 17, 2009). Are you Robert or Susan?
  9. 9. World of Warcraft
  10. 10. How Is World of Warcraft Like Higher Education? 2005: WoW Demographics 12-19 16.30% 20- 83.70% Lenhart, A. et al. (2008) Teens, Video Games, and Civics, Pew Internet & American Yee, N. (2008) The Daedulus Project, [online]. Available from: Life Project. Available from: http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2008/Teens- http://www.nickyee.com/daedalus/docs/shared-data.php Video-Games-and-Civics.aspx (Accessed June 17, 2009). (Accessed June 18, 2009).
  11. 11. Communities of Practice “…are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.” Wenger (c2007) Wenger, E. (2007) Communities of Practice: A Brief Introduction, Wenger, E. (2008) Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning, [online] web page. Available from: http://www.ewenger.com/ and Identity, New York. USA, Cambridge University Press, p. 73. theory/index.htm (Accessed June 18, 2009).
  12. 12. Similar to Communities Warcraft? of Practice • Membership “…are groups of • Cohesion Basis people who share a concern or a passion • Duration for something they !"# do and learn how to $%%&'()* do it better as they ./0*0,/1, 4+/*(&5, 89:0*;, <*,-%;*, interact regularly.” !+*,-(* 2'3( 6*7&/( 8:90';*:0 =**>*:0 Wenger (c2007) 4&(@ A*:?&%%&/( 8/'% 4+/*(&5 2':@,B&(0 !*'?0 Wenger, E. (2007) Communities of Practice: A Brief Introduction, [online] web page. Available from: http://www.ewenger.com/ theory/index.htm (Accessed June 18, 2009).
  13. 13. Similar to Communities E-Learning? of Practice • Study Groups “…are groups of • Social Cafés people who share a concern or a passion • Facebook Groups for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.” Wenger (c2007) Wenger, E. (2007) Communities of Practice: A Brief Introduction, [online] web page. Available from: http://www.ewenger.com/ theory/index.htm (Accessed June 18, 2009).
  14. 14. Similar to Communities E-Learning? of Practice • Study Groups “…are groups of • Social Cafés people who share a concern or a passion • Facebook Groups for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.” Wenger (c2007) Conner, M. (2009) Introducing Informal Learning, Wenger, E. (2007) Communities of Practice: A Brief Introduction, [online]. Available from: http://marciaconner.com/ [online] web page. Available from: http://www.ewenger.com/ intros/informal.html (Accessed June 11, 2009). theory/index.htm (Accessed June 18, 2009).
  15. 15. Social Knowing “Our understanding of content is socially constructed through conversations about that content…” Brown, J.S. & Adler, R.P. (2008) ‘Minds on Fire: Open Education, the Long Tail, and Learning 2.0’ Educause Review, 43 (1), [online] Available from: http://connect.educause.edu/Library/EDUCAUSE +Review/MindsonFireOpenEducationt/45823 (Accessed August 22, 2008).
  16. 16. 8 Lessons to learn from WoW 1.Reduce barriers 2.Provide rich metrics 3.Raise the bar 4.Account & use intrinsic motivations 5.Provide opportunities to share 6.Create opportunities for self-organization 7.Encourage Feedback 8.Reward new dispositions Hagel, J. & Brown, J.S. (2009) ‘How World of Warcraft Promotes Innovation’ Business Week Online, January 14 [online] Available from: http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/ content/jan2009/id20090114_362962.htm (Accessed January 19, 2009).
  17. 17. How Does It All Fit Together? 1.How is the “Robert and Susan” metaphor applicable? 2.How does the social structure resemble a community of practice? 3.What encourages game players to persist?
  18. 18. How Does It All Fit Together? Motivation is the Key. extrinsic intrinsic
  19. 19. Where Next? • Data collection: social knowledge construction & Motivation. • Rewards undermine intrinsic motivation? (Deci et al., 2001) • Finding Roberts and susans. Elsheindra (me) • Types of studies?
  20. 20. Thanks To The One, The Roses of Judith Good, Blay Dawn, & the Whitby, & Graham Honourbound Alliance mcCallister at Sussex on EU-Thunderhorn. (thesis committee). @lizit, @MaddyLou, Basil (AKA Mr. IBM) @RobB, & @Misetak on for everything. Plurk.
  21. 21. References Biggs, J. & Tang, C. (2007) ‘Chapter 2: Teaching According to How Students Krathwohl, D.R. (2002) ‘A Revision of Bloom's Taxonomy: An Overview’ Theory Learn’, in Teaching for Quality Learning At University, 3rd edition, into Practice, 41 (4), [online] Available from: http://www.informaworld.com/ Maidenhead, UK, Open University Press. pp. 15-30. smpp/content~db=all?content=10.1207/s15430421tip4104_2 (Accessed January 12, 2009). Biggs, J. & Tang, C. (2007) ‘Chapter 1: The Changing Scene in University Teaching’, in Teaching for Quality Learning At University, 3rd edition, Lenhart, A. et al. (2008) Teens, Video Games, and Civics, Pew Internet & American Maidenhead, UK, Open University Press. pp. 1-14. Life Project. Available from: http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2008/Teens- Video-Games-and-Civics.aspx (Accessed June 17, 2009). Brown, J.S. & Adler, R.P. (2008) ‘Minds on Fire: Open Education, the Long Tail, and Learning 2.0’ Educause Review, 43 (1), [online] Available from: http:// Seligren, K. (2009) A-Levels 'Too Much Like Sat-Nav', [online] BBC. Available from: connect.educause.edu/Library/EDUCAUSE+Review/MindsonFireOpenEducationt/ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/8103274.stm (Accessed June 17, 2009). 45823 (Accessed August 22, 2008). Wenger, E. (2008) Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning, and Identity, New Churches, A. (2008) Bloom's Digital Taxonomy, [online] PDF. Available from: York. USA, Cambridge University Press. http://edorigami.wikispaces.com/Bloom's%20Digital%20Taxonomy (Accessed January 20, 2009). Wenger, E. (2007) Communities of Practice: A Brief Introduction, [online] web page. Available from: http://www.ewenger.com/theory/index.htm (Accessed June Conner, M. (2009) Introducing Informal Learning, [online]. Available from: http:// 18, 2009). marciaconner.com/intros/informal.html (Accessed June 11, 2009). Yee, N. (2004) Player Demographics, [online] The Daedalus Project. Available Deci, E.L., Koestner, R. & Ryan, R.M. (2001) ‘Extrinsic Rewards and Intrinsic from: http://www.nickyee.com/daedalus/gateway_demographics.html (Accessed Motivation in Education: Reconsidered Once Again’, Review of Educational March 9, 2009). Research, 71 (1), pp:1-27. Yee, N. (2008) The Daedulus Project, [online]. Available from: http:// Gee, J.P. (2007) What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy, www.nickyee.com/daedalus/docs/shared-data.php (Accessed June 18, 2009). 2nd Edition edition, New York, USA, Palgrave Macmillan. Yee, N. (2005) ‘WoW Basic Demographics’, The Daedalus Project, blog entry Hagel, J. & Brown, J.S. (2009) ‘How World of Warcraft Promotes Innovation’ posted July 28, 2005. Available from: http://www.nickyee.com/daedalus/ Business Week Online, January 14 [online] Available from: http:// archives/001365.php (Accessed March 9, 2009). www.businessweek.com/innovate/content/jan2009/id20090114_362962.htm (Accessed January 19, 2009).

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