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The decorative media trap

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Presented at CNIE, 2012, Canmore AB, May 2012 …

Presented at CNIE, 2012, Canmore AB, May 2012

This is a concept I devised some years ago. It provides a name for a very common phenomenon: the mistaken belief that something that looks good IS good. Educators fall into this trap ALL THE TIME when looking at online media but especially digital games.

It is also a BIG problem for organizations that fund the design and development of serious games - often times, they never bother to look beyond the still images.


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  • 1. THE DECORATIVE MEDIA TRAP And how to avoid it. Katrin Becker, Ph.D.CNIE 2012 © 2012 K.Becker Thursday, May-10-12 1
  • 2. WHAT AM I PLAYING NOW?CNIE 2012 © 2012 K.Becker Thursday, May-10-12 2
  • 3. FIRST IMPRESSIONS Do they matter?CNIE 2012 © 2012 K.Becker Thursday, May-10-12 3
  • 4. FIRST IMPRESSION S You never get a second chance to make a first impression.CNIE 2012 © 2012 K.Becker Thursday, May-10-12 4
  • 5. A bad design with a good presentation is doomed eventually. A good design with a bad presentation is doomed immediately. Source: Akin’s Laws of Spacecraft Design (#20)CNIE 2012 © 2012 K.Becker Thursday, May-10-12 5
  • 6. DECORATIVE MEDIA PRINCIPLE • Promotes: • Scaffolding • Interest • Cues (mnemonics) • Mental Model FormationCNIE 2012 © 2012 K.Becker Thursday, May-10-12 6
  • 7. LINEAR VS. INTERACTIVE MEDIA • VIDEO : all about visual • Games : about interactionCNIE 2012 © 2012 K.Becker Thursday, May-10-12 7
  • 8. DECORATIVE MEDIA TRAP Attractive = GoodCNIE 2012 © 2012 K.Becker Thursday, May-10-12 8
  • 9. DECORATIVE MEDIA TRAPCNIE 2012 © 2012 K.Becker Thursday, May-10-12 9
  • 10. WRAPPERCNIE 2012 © 2012 K.Becker Thursday, May-10-12 10
  • 11. FUNCTIONALITY We reviewed each of these games to make sure that they provide students with skill development and critical thinking sequences.CNIE 2012 © 2012 K.Becker Thursday, May-10-12 11
  • 12. CNIE 2012 © 2012 K.Becker Thursday, May-10-12 12
  • 13. WRAPPERCNIE 2012 © 2012 K.Becker Thursday, May-10-12 13
  • 14. DIFFERENT WRAPPERCNIE 2012 © 2012 K.Becker Thursday, May-10-12 14
  • 15. GAMECNIE 2012 © 2012 K.Becker Thursday, May-10-12 15
  • 16. SPLIT BRAINCNIE 2012 © 2012 K.Becker Thursday, May-10-12 16
  • 17. DNA GAMECNIE 2012 © 2012 K.Becker Thursday, May-10-12 17
  • 18. CNIE 2012 © 2012 K.Becker Thursday, May-10-12 18
  • 19. CNIE 2012 © 2012 K.Becker Thursday, May-10-12 19
  • 20. CNIE 2012 © 2012 K.Becker Thursday, May-10-12 20
  • 21. CNIE 2012 © 2012 K.Becker Thursday, May-10-12 21
  • 22. SUDOKUCNIE 2012 © 2012 K.Becker Thursday, May-10-12 22
  • 23. DOING IT RIGHT…CNIE 2012 © 2012 K.Becker Thursday, May-10-12 23
  • 24. THANKSCNIE 2012 © 2012 K.Becker Thursday, May-10-12 24