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Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops
Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops
Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops
Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops
Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops
Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops
Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops
Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops
Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops
Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops
Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops
Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops
Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops
Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops
Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops
Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops
Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops
Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops
Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops
Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops
Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops
Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops
Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops
Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops
Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops
Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops
Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops
Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops
Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops
Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops
Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops
Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops
Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops
Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops
Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops
Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops
Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops
Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops
Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops
Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops
Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops
Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops
Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops
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Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops

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Copyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy

Copyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy

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  1. Designing engaging game-making workshops – the full picture Michael Hallissy Director of Learning Digital Hub Development AgencyCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy
  2. Presentation Overview • Introduction • The Digital Hub Learning Programme • 21st Century Learning – some challenges • Use of computer games in The Hub • Our experiences with MissionMaker • 5 Lessons we learnt • QuestionsCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy
  3. IntroductionCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy
  4. Introduction • Former primary teacher • Partner in H2 Learning • Teachers and Learners • Better teaching and learningCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy
  5. The Digital HubCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy
  6. The Learning Programme DHDA were tasked with implementing “a strategy for educational provision, particularly for digital arts and technology, including linkages with first and second level schools, with further education and third level institutions engaged in digital content production” (FGS, 2007: p.9) - Support from Diageo - The NCTE/DESCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy
  7. Focus on Literacy • Literacy levels were particularly low • Schools keen to implement new innovative approaches to literacy – to assist with traditional literacy – to develop new literacies • Influenced by research around an expanded notion of literacy – Literacy for the 21st century • Where young people could “read” and “write” digitalCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy
  8. Notion of Digital Literacy “Digital literacy is the awareness, attitude and ability of individuals to appropriately use digital tools and facilities to identify, access, manage, integrate, evaluate, analyse and synthesize digital resources, construct new knowledge, create media expressions, and communicate with others, in the context of specific life situations, in order to enable constructive social action; and to reflect upon the process.” (Martin, 2006: p. 19)Copyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy
  9. 21st Century Learners They have grown up digital: “They want a choice in their education, in terms of what they learn, when they learn it, where and how. They want their education to be relevant to the real world, the one they live in. They want it to be interesting, even fun” (Tapscott, 2008: p.126) • Digital technologies have the potential to redefine how we learnCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy
  10. Opportunities for change • Young people can create and publish at the click of a button • Exciting time for learning (Heppell) • New technologies are opening up new opportunities for learners • “Computers as finger paint” (Mitch Resnick in 2001)Copyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy
  11. Computer Games in Education • Important element of popular culture • Very much associated with play “Something one chooses to do as a source of pleasure, which is intensely and utterly absorbing and promotes the formation of social groupings” (Prensky, 2001; p. 112) • Evidence that games motivate reluctant learners – (Ellis et al., 2006 & Mitchell and Savill-Smith, 2006, Williamson, 2009)Copyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy
  12. Computer Games in Education • But also evidence that games can play a role in “development of critical-thinking, in problem-solving and in developing decision-making skills” – Tiong and Yong (2008) believe that it is their potential to engage and develop these 21st century skills that has attracted much attention in recent times. • Much of the literature has focused on playing games where our interest was in game-making • Ben Williamson reported in 2009 that: – “there are emerging practices around young people as creative producers of games” particularly when they develop their production skills.Copyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy
  13. Some literature on game-making • Williamson found that game-making in UK schools was not wide-spread – Not surprising as Futurelab found that 72% of teachers were not playing games for leisure (Sandford et al., 2006) • Tiong and Yong (2008) found there has been an upsurge in game-making in recent years – Associate this with advancements in game-authoring tools – Yet they have raised questions over the quality of games created – Raised questions about the suitability of the tutors – They quoted Zimmerman and Fortugno (2005) that “making games is hard” – They questioned the naivety of “education professionals and scholars of learning” in relation to game design and development – Contended that tutors should have at least have: • Experience in playing games • A deep knowledge of game design theory • “Some substantial experience in game-making”Copyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy
  14. Some literature on game-making • Despite these findings other research suggested: – that teachers/tutors had a key role in mediating computer game activities in schools – This was particularly true in simulation games (Mitchell and Savill-Smith, 2004) • But this is game playing activities! • Raised the question – How should teachers mediate game-making workshops and what is their role?Copyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy
  15. Studies on game-makingCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy
  16. Some Game-Making Tools Inventagiochi (Koala Games) MissionMaker GameMakerCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy
  17. Review of the Studies Element of the Study Finding Learning Environment Social Constructivist approach Learning/Teaching Strategies • Little direct teaching with Scratch • Direct teaching in school settings • Social Constructivist approaches common Tutor Role • Organiser • Scaffolding the learning process • Mentor Artefact Production • All wanted participants to create a game that others could play Environments • Game-making can take place successfully in both locations Support and Training • Howells and Robertson (2008) found that teachers did require extra support and trainingCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy
  18. MissionMaker WorkshopsCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy
  19. Our Interest in Games • Reluctant learners – how do we engage them? • Aware that young people love to play games their ability to engage young people • Some had even suggested that games can be viewed as digital texts – Locating game-making in this discourse – Linking the activity to digital literacy – Young people writing games • Let‟s do it – Summer project to enable young people create their own games – Selected a tool and off we wentCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy
  20. What did we do? • Need for an authoring tool – Suitable for teenagers with little or no programming experience – Allow them to create a game – Develop 21st century skills • Target audience was teenagers – 12 to 16 • Selected our tutors and off we went – Designed our programme (roughly) – Recruited young people and beganCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy
  21. MissionMaker – The Tool • All our energies focused on finding a tool • Selected MissionMaker • Developed by London Knowledge Lab and Immersive Education • Used in UK schools as part of their media education programme • New on the market – It came with – Training manuals – Training programme • We decided to run a – 3-4 day programme • 12 to 16 hours total – New setting for ImmersiveCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy
  22. Our Tutors• Two experienced tutors – Creative – Experienced in using digital media – Experienced in working with young people – However, they were not gamers• Support they received – They attended a one-day workshop – They taught themselves how to use the software – MissionMaker is not an easy tool to useCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy
  23. Tutor Training “From the beginning of the training I had a difficulty understanding and I think my difficulty was more to do with my lack of experience [in] the context of understanding “Suddenly I a game” realised that actually making a game became really good fun” “I learnt by taking time to sit down and do it myself”Copyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy
  24. Lessons Learnt Lesson 1 • Tutor preparation is vital – need to consider what competences they have and how we prepare them? • How do you deliver this training or support? • Not just teaching them the software functionsCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy
  25. Instructional Strategies • Structure of MissionMaker “A set timetable where I “MissionMaker is very have to introduce „formulaic‟ in that it is very something, explain it, concentrated on the step- and then let them test it” by-step” • Predominant Pedagogy – Direct teaching or „modeling‟ (Mellar, 2007) – Walk through the product on the big screen and participants mimic your actions • Impact on participants – “They never really look up” – Some participants found this approach tedious – Designed to “fast-track” learning of software featuresCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy
  26. Instructional Strategies • Tutors believed that – “it was the best way … they were still into it” – “need to know what the tools will do” • Consequences of this approach – Quietness in the room – No discussion/No peer conversations – Just young people working on computers • Combination strategy emerged – Directed teaching to introduce software features – More collaborative/facilitative strategies laterCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy
  27. Lessons Learnt Lesson 2 • What teaching strategies will tutors use? • How will you equip them with these strategies? • How will this impact on the learning activities? • What activities will you include in the workshop?Copyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy
  28. Collaboration and Teamwork “This was one of the quietest “The quietness was a big workshops I ever gave” concern … though the engagement is hugely positive it could promote “Game creation and game play isolation” are solitary activities” • Tutors viewed game-making as “head-centred” and “kind of myopic” • Lack of physical activity and contact • Tutors actively built in teamwork activities – Ice-breaker activities where they solved puzzles – “mental challenges worked well” as opposed to physical gamesCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy
  29. Teamwork • MissionMaker did not allow participants to build game sections • Each game was a stand-alone artefact • So what could we do? – Tutors developed a strategy around linked games – Team of 3 had to link their games “Think it worked out nicely … found out about each other’s games and really modeled the whole relay thing”Copyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy
  30. Lessons Learnt Lesson 3 • Be aware that game-making can be an isolated activity? • This is in contrast to the real-world • Collaboration needs to be organised and facilitated. • It will not happen of itself.Copyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy
  31. What games will they make? • The authoring tool is key to answering this question • MissionMaker came preloaded with scenes and characters “MissionMaker lets students rapidly create visually exciting, rich 3D worlds for first-person Missions - complete with sets, animated characters, dialogue and music.” (MissionMaker blurb) • Our tutors were keen to create: – Use participant generated media – Issue-based games (Hunger, Violence etc.) • Bridge too far in the time allowedCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy
  32. What about game literacy? • Consider the scope of the workshop: – Will they address game analysis? • Will participants play other games? • Will they critique and analyse games? – Will they address game play? – Will they create storyboards? – Will they work in teams? – Will they receive a brief in relation to their game? – ?????Copyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy
  33. Lessons Learnt Lesson 4 • Be clear what you want participants to achieve in the time allowed. • Structure the programme to meet these outcomes. • Don‟t be over ambitious – be realistic! • If needed organise follow-on workshops.Copyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy
  34. Time • How long should it take? • We initially worked over 4 days and then moved back to 3 days – We found that 4 is a minimum for game-making • We did not give adequate time to participants “We didn’t really get a whole heap “In terms of making a good game, of time to see the games that an extra day would have made it kids made as it was so rushed” a lot better” Tutor Participant – Lack of time creates pressure – Provide participants with a clear overview at the outset “And if you want a complex game you are going to be [stretched], your time is going to be a problem and putting in one or two props, trust me at the end, you will be glad”Copyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy
  35. Lessons Learnt Lesson 5 •Time management is key •Ensure you provide sufficient time – don‟t try to do everything •Provide a high-level overview of the programme at the outsetCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy
  36. Working with participants • Tutors noted that: – “this is the only thing I have done where the kids sit with you at lunch time” – Sense of community and common purpose • Tutors felt they did not need to know all the answers – “you can work here and be fallible” – “because I knew I didn’t know everything” • Challenge to scaffold participant learning – “I always have to make myself shut up and stand back and let them at it” – “I am quite aware that they have all the answers … and I am just the facilitator trying to help them implement their games”Copyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy
  37. Lessons Learnt Lesson 6 • Equip tutors/facilitators with the skills to scaffold learning and to learn from others • They are allowed to make mistakes and say “I don‟t know” • Everyone is a learner in such settingsCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy
  38. Some final observations • Tutor Skill-sets – Tiong and Yong (2008) • Both game players & game makers • Yet they need to be able to teach and work with young people • Trade-off • Tutor Training – 1 day tutor training insufficient – Needs a wider focus than just the software – Should equip tutors with a range of strategies • Develop their teaching/facilitation strategies • Discussion and listening strategies for example • Assistance on – Creating and managing constructivist learning environments? – Ensure they are competent and confident to lead the workshopCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy
  39. Further Observations • Selecting the appropriate authoring tool – Is it fit for purpose? – There is a need to evaluate the tool using a recognised rubric (OECD/TEEM etc.) • Is it stable? • Is it suitable for your target age group? • Can the participants use it to successfully build their game? • What support materials come with the software? • Is there a community of practice where tutors share ideas? • Do students have to purchase the software? • Can they work on their game outside of the workshop? • Be clear as to the goal of the workshop – What are your learning outcomes? – Be brave yet realisticCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy
  40. Summary • Game-making is hard and complex • Evaluate the software in context – reviews are not enough • We need to take a holistic view of the process and move beyond just focusing on the authoring software – Ensure there are support materials? – Develop a curriculum or programme of activities – Provide Ongoing Tutor Training • We need to support our tutors/facilitators – What professional development/training do they require? – How can they best mediate the software tool? • Develop a range of programmes – Beginner to Advanced with accreditation if appropriateCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy
  41. Participants want more “Yeah I would be interested in a longer course... maybe make two games or something and get to play around with other peoples games a bit to get more time would definitely be more interesting, even if it was just a few more days” Participant • Need for more variety in terms of the workshops we provide • Can we bring these activities into schools – Media Literacy – Digital Studies ??? • Does it have a place in a national literacy strategy? • What implications does this have for our system?Copyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy
  42. Selected References Mitchell, A. and C. Savill-Smith (2004). The use of computer and video games for learning: A review of the literature. London, Learning and Skills Development Agency. Tapscott, D. (2008). Grown up digital. How the net generation is changing your world. New York, McGraw Hill. Tiong, K. M. and S.-T. Yong (2008). Learning through Computer Game Design: Possible Success (or Failure) Factors. Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Computers in Education, Taipei, Taiwan. Sandford, R., M. Ulicsak, et al. (2006). Teaching with games: Using commercial off-the-shelf computer games in formal education. Bristol, Futurelab. Williamson, B. (2009). Computer games, schools, and young people - A report for educators on using games for learning. Bristol, Futurelab.Copyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy
  43. Thank You Michael Hallissy Director of Learning The Digital Hub Development Agency Crane St., Dublin 8 www.thedigitalhub.com mhallissy@thedigitalhub.comCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy

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