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Practical, Appropriate, Empirically-Validated Guidelines for Designing Educational Games

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  • 45 - The paper is a review paper – 57 references. Very difficult to distil that into 15 minutes. I’ll try to say something interesting to make you go and read the paper.this talk will concentrate on what we CAN do, in practical terms. Frustration Funded by EC
  • 1.10 - I’m proposing some guidelines here. In reality I’m proposing nothing new – just bringing together stuff that’s already out thereFirst explaining why these guidelines are appropriate and practical..Steps 1-4 all based on empirical research. If we adopt this approach to designing ed games we will be making choices based on empirical evidence, rather than a whim. This is the big advantage.
  • End of 19 – 2.00
  • Apologies for the gratuitous copyright infringement
  • 2.45 - Evidence for success – more has been done since, but there is still no coherence to the way this stuff is explained and interpreted. It’s difficult to know what to learn from a successful game without a theoretical framework through which to interpret
  • 3.45 - Added to the lack of guidance in the literature……Games should be not only fun (still must be fun though)This is a very practical problemWe need an evidence base upon which to base our design choices
  • 4.00 (15)An appropriate educational method will combine processes of education & game designBut its not straightforward
  • 4.30 (45) But its not straightforward.This is a real problemMost games are neither fun nor educationally beneficial. The worst of both worldsHow do we get over this?
  • Games designers have already developed a very successful, incredibly engaging way of teaching.We need to identify those structural features of games that teach us.
  • Summary of the literature. There are obviously exceptions ……. The way we teach via games should also use these.Otherwise we’re missing the point.
  • 7.10 (30) Need some empirical evidence on which to base our design choicesRemember we must be sure they will workQuantitative, evidence based form of teaching called ABA
  • 8.00 (1.30) The methods through which games designers motivate & engage players are very similar to the methods through which ABA teaches.
  • 8.15 (1.45)
  • 8.45 (2.15) Just say - all of these things that we described games as having a few slides backThese are ridiculously similarIt makes sense to take what we’ve already learned in one field (ABA) and apply it to another in which we have little guidance (ed games)
  • 9.45 (3.15) Title of paper – appropriate, empirically validate, practical.We’ve described how its appropriate – its also empirically validatedIf we’re going to teach via games, we should base those games on a form of teaching that is quantitative.The machine does the teaching!
  • 7.10 (30) Need some empirical evidence on which to base our design choicesRemember we must be sure they will workQuantitative, evidence based form of teaching called ABA
  • In making an educational game, what guidelines can the ABA literature give? Whats the process?If we adopt this approach to designing ed games we will be making choices based on empirical evidence, rather than a whim. This is the big advantage.
  • Need to be able to tell when they have and have not learnedRemember there is literature on how to do all of these steps and why and how they work.
  • Recording and visualising data is one of the ways computer games can improve ABA programmesEverything they do is of interest to you. Must figure out beforehand how to make it effect future consequences/choices
  • Its in the literatureEnsuring that the game appeals to as many people as possibleThey’ve done the maths, tey use it in their teaching programmes – you just copy & paste it in
  • Might seem like a big problem, but this research has been done already
  • Have a look at this book if you’re interested in the nuts & bolts. Read my paper for an overview!Presents summaries and interpretations on decades of empirical research into just the kinds of things we’re interested in when making educational games
  • A lot of the science that we need in ed games has already been done by psychologists interested in learning
  • Transcript

    • 1. Practical, Appropriate, Empirically-Validated Guidelines for Designing Educational Games
      Conor Linehan1, Ben Kirman1, Shaun Lawson1, Gail G Chan2
      1Lincoln Social Computing Research Centre (LiSC), University of Lincoln
      2 School of Health & Social Care, Oxford Brookes University
    • 2. Structure
      Using games for education
      Integrating education & games design
      Building an educational game based on ABA
      Why?
      1. Measure
      2. Analyse
      3. Feedback
      4. Adapt
    • 3. Why use games in education?
      Good question!
      Generally
      Grabbing attention
      Maintaining attention over long periods of time
      Time-on-task predicts learning
      Games engender time-on-task
      Also….
    • 4. Fantasy narrative
    • 5. Fun
    • 6. Engagement
    • 7. Flow
    • 8. Feedback
    • 9. Goals
    • 10. Problem solving
    • 11. Game Balance
    • 12. Pacing
    • 13. Interesting choices
    • 14. Achievement
    • 15. Practice
    • 16. Discovery
    • 17. Creativity
    • 18. Experience
    • 19. Meta-learning
    • 20. It goes on!!
      Lots of literature exists on why games should be good tools for education
      Very little on how to ensure that they are
      Hence, very little evidence for success
      O’Neill et al, (2005) review article
      Thousands of articles on educational games
      Only 19 had any sort of analysis of outcomes
    • 21. Using games in education
      • When games are designed to educate, to train, or to modify the behaviour of players…..
      • 22. They should work
      • 23. We should should be able to make a case in advance that they will work.
      • 24. We need an appropriate, proven process
    • Structure
      Using games for education
      Integrating education & games design
      Building an educational game based on ABA
      Why?
      1. Measure
      2. Analyse
      3. Feedback
      4. Adapt
    • 25. Games are funLearning is hardForcing people to learn in games can ruin the fun
      “Chocolate Covered Broccoli”
    • 26. Integrating games design and education
      Can it be done?
      It has already been done! By Entertainment Games Designers!
      But games only teach how to jump over chasms, hack zombies, murder prostitutes, rescue princesses etc.
      We must understand the structure of games & use this in teaching
    • 27. Integrating games design and education
      Game Structure:
      Short, medium and long-term goals
      Players must act to reach those goals
      Immediate, specific feedback
      Complex system of rewards
      Long complex tasks broken into short, simple tasks
      These are trained individually then chained together
      Mastery criterions
    • 28. Structure
      Using games for education
      Integrating education & games design
      Building an educational game based on ABA
      Why?
      1. Measure
      2. Analyse
      3. Feedback
      4. Adapt
    • 29. ABA
      ABA teaching
      Typically one-to-one
      Teacher as coach
      High performance targets
      Repetition
      Quantitative
      Specific timely feedback
      ~90% passing criterion
      Sound familiar? It’s very appropriate
    • 30. The methods through which games designers motivate & engage players are very similar to the methods through which ABA teaches.
    • 31. ABA
      Also have:
      Short, medium and long-term goals
      Must act to reach those goals
      Immediate, specific feedback
      Complex system of rewards
      Long complex tasks broken into short, simple tasks
      These are trained individually then chained together
      Mastery criterions
    • 32. ABA
      Empirically validated:
      Successful wherever used
      University, secondary, primary, driver training, special populations.
      Early intervention for children with autistic spectrum disorders.
      Practical:
      ideal for machine implementation
      Quantitative; algorithmic
    • 33. Structure
      Using games for education
      Integrating education & games design
      Building an educational game based on ABA
      Why?
      1. Measure
      2. Analyse
      3. Feedback
      4. Adapt
    • 34. ABA
      Defining and measuring behaviour
      Recording and analysingbehaviour change
      Presenting corrective feedback
      Dynamically adapting to student performance
    • 35. 1. Defining & Measuring
      Define:
      clear, observable learning outcomes
      Intrinsic learning (Habgood, 2007)
      Hierarchy
      Measuring:
      Behaviour must be quantifiable
      Those numbers should be meaningful
    • 36. 2. Recording & Analysing
      Recording:
      Everything is recorded!
      meaningfully
      big benefit of games to ABA
      Analyse:
      change in behaviour
      Accuracy is dependent on how well behaviour has been defined, measured and recorded
    • 37. 3. Corrective feedback
      Operant Conditioning
      Importance of consequences
      Reinforcement and punishment as appropriate
      Scheduling rewards and punishment
      Huge amount of evidence on how this should be done
    • 38. 4. Dynamically adapting
      Challenges should be appropriate to the learner / player
      Balance / pacing
      ABA has developed algorithms that deal with this
      Evaluating effectiveness of feedback
      All ‘rewards’ are not reinforcing
      There are mathematical ways of evaluating the effect that rewards are having on player behaviour
    • 39.
    • 40. Conclusion
      To advance educational games we need a proven, appropriate scientific framework
      ABA teaches in a similar way to games, so it’s appropriate….
      ….and very successful
      …..and Practical
      If not ABA, we need something very like it
      Read the paper!
    • 41. Conor Linehan
      Lincoln Social Computing (LiSC) research centre
      clinehan@lincoln.ac.uk
      http://lisc.lincoln.ac.uk
      This work was carried out as part of the "Leonardo" project "Learn to Lead” funded by the EU Lifelong Learning Program (http://www.learn2lead.unina.it).