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Using Game Design & Virtual Worlds for Creation of Interesting & Engaging Learning Courses
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Using Game Design & Virtual Worlds for Creation of Interesting & Engaging Learning Courses


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Presentation on the successes and challenges use of game design and virtual worlds by Macquarie ICT Innovations Centre in an school setting to engage students in learning.

Presentation on the successes and challenges use of game design and virtual worlds by Macquarie ICT Innovations Centre in an school setting to engage students in learning.

Published in: Education, Technology

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  • Over the last couple of days I have heard words such as ‘engagement’, ‘learner centric’, ‘blended learning’, ‘collaboration’ and creativity used on several occasions when referring to learners. These same or similar words are used to describe the type of learning we aim to design for our students. The huge challenge for educators today is to transform our teaching to meet the needs of our 21st century learners. Teachers are grappling with new ways of learning for themselves and their students which often involve a huge paradigm shift. Some of these new ways include:Personal learning networks (PLN) or learning communitiesCrowd collaborationCrowd sourcingPassion learningStudent voiceDifferentiated learningAuthentic/ real world problem solvingStudents as creators of digital content not simply consumers and the greatest shift in pedagogy. i.e. student led learning design.And of course the flood of digital technologies including web 2.0 tools availableTeachers are faced with teaching key skills including: creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration, and new literacies including information literacy, media literacy and ICT literacy.
  • This is where my organisation has an important role to play.The Centre’s focus:a project-based approach to working with teachers and their students. Core business includes: comprehensive teacher professional learning and support program where MacICT staff and school teachers develop projects that are curriculum-based and meet the individual needs of the teachers and their classesDual purpose:Training teachersWorking with students
  • What is project based learning?a systematic teaching method that engages students in learning essential knowledge and life-enhancing skills through an extended, student-influenced inquiry process structured around complex, authentic questions and carefully designed products and tasks.When working with teachers we:Decide on what learning outcomes linked to curriculum we want to achieveSkills of learnersTeacher skills and resourcesBlended learning environment: face to face, video conference, onlineWhere possible, open source or free software
  • design thinkingcreative process based around the “building up” of judgments early on in design thinking.eliminates the fear of failureencourages maximum input and participation in the ideation and prototype phasesAn example of a design thinking process could have seven stages: define, research, ideate, prototype, choose, implement, and learn.Within these seven steps, problems can be framed, the right questions can be asked, more ideas can be created, and the best answers can be chosen. The steps aren’t linear; they can occur simultaneously and can be repeated.
  • Slide shows what we learn when we play video games.Games are everywhereDid you know -10, 000 hours spent playing games by the age of 21.Globally – 3 billion hours a week spent playing digital games Video game market (excluding hardware) is projected to grow more than 100% in 10 years.Growth outstripping movie & music industry – games part of daily lifeHardcore gamers – multiple consoles & gaming rigsCasual gamers – mess around with smartphones. Games are cheaper and fasterVideo games are increasingly being recognised as the literacy of the 21st century.
  • What if we immersed our students in designing games to tackle the world’s most urgent problems?
  • The Invasion of the Shadow Plague Kodu project is a narrative based metagame built within a WordPress Blog. It offers students learning that is situated and gamelike. The project: requires students to take on the identity and behaviour of a hero and design games to save the people from the ‘Realm of Light’.has a gamelike approach to learning that draws on the intrinsic qualities of games and their design. requires students to complete nine missions and write nine mission reports.provides feedback loops designed so that as each mission is successfully completed, the students earn a digital badge allowing them to level up and attempt the next mission.situated learning is learning that takes place in the same context in which it is applied
  • No more than 15 students in world at one time on remote locations.Between 20 – 30 if at MacICTGreater bandwithReliable technology
  • Last slide.Infrastructure including:BandwithTechnologySkills of teacher ICT coordinator
  • Transcript

    • 1. A NSW Department of Education & Communities case studyUsing game design and virtual worlds for creation of interesting and engaging learning projects.
    • 2. Macquarie ICT Innovations Centre collaborative agreementMacICT mission is ‘to develop, implement and evaluate innovative ways of enhancing learning through the application of dynamic and emerging information and communication technologies.
    • 3. 2011 Projects: Clients:Game2Design - K – 12 teachers & students - Public & private systemsVirtual Worlds – Trinity We provide:Mobile Learning - Project-based approachRobotics - Authentic context - Teacher trainingLearning Design workshops - Student bootcamps - Student showcases - Ongoing support for duration of project
    • 4. Design thinking underpins all projectsA methodology that teaches people to creatively solve problems bootcamp.2008Promotes action orientated behaviour rather than discussion based work
    • 5. Why Game Design? The heart of 21st Century learning is not about the tools, it is about learning how to learn.Game design offers students and their teachers a unique platform to address essential skills in becoming independent learners while meeting curriculum outcomes.
    • 6. Key Issues in Gamification:Through video games,players attain:Positive EmotionsRelationshipsMeaningAccomplishment P.E.R.M.A Dr. Martin Seligman
    • 7. 10 powerful positive emotions games activate:10. Joy 5. Curiosity9. Relief 4. Excitement8. Love 3. Awe & Wonder7. Surprise 2. Contentment6. Pride 1. Creativity Jane McGonigal
    • 8. The Project: Invasion of the Shadow PlagueA narrative based metagame centred in a Wordpress blog teaching students to design and build using Microsoft Kodu Game Lab
    • 9. Good Game Design Workshop Students & teachers completed these activities: Deconstructed games Reviewed real games Designed a game level Built a game levelTo learn the following principles: Clear goal Story World Challenge Player feedback Difficulty curve Krill & Zed from Little Space Heroes
    • 10. Missions
    • 11. MissionReports
    • 12. Training and Resources Provided• Good Game Design workshops for teachers & bootcamps for students• Students design documentation• Access to 140 video tutorials• Fully moderated blog• Ongoing support via Edmodo, email, school visits
    • 13. Trial of prototype:5 x schools- 2 x primary- 3 x high schools600 students, Years 3 to 10549 posts in 1½ weeks2nd iteration:4 x schools- 2 x primary- 2 x high schoolTotal students: - 886 in project- Additional 356completed bootcamps
    • 14. What worked:• Workshops & bootcamps, particularly 2 day immersion program• Software was free & accessible from school and home.• Real – world links with Indie game development community• High levels of participation (1300 students, 60 teachers)• High levels of engagement from both male and female students.• Curation of a large number of student reflections & games
    • 15. “When we are designing games we are learning to solve problems incontext. We come across a problem like a crash message, we have to recognise the problem, understand the problem, and its source and work out a solution. I’d rather fix a crash than some abstract scenario that I can’t relate to.” Year 6 student
    • 16. Successful 3dedratsGame On festivalIndie Game Designer’s showcaseInfo sessions presented by students,teachers, academics & parents.Game Design Speed ChallengeMinecraft multiplayer worldMobile phone QR code hunt, Mario Kartchallenge, Retro gaming, Battle Tetris,Kinect dancing, Microsoft xbox kinecttrailer & zombie live action nerf gameABC’s Good Game field reporter, Gooseand robot D.A.R.R.E.N. covered the day.Game On festival was the feature story onGood Game Spawn Point
    • 17. What we learnt:• Inconsistent student expectations and monitoring by teachers• Instructions not always read• Manual moderation of mission posts was time consuming• Scalability - better hosting solution e.g. Drupal, bigger budget (web design, graphics, support staff etc)• Commitment of teachers to a long term project• Teachers need to be key stakeholders in the development of the project
    • 18. When 2050A virtual world is a 3D computerenvironment.Users are represented as avatars.MacICT’s world, Trinity is The Habconstructed using an open source MacICT’s virtual world - Trinitysoftware called OpenSim
    • 19. Year 10 students designed and constructed architectural prototypes forAustralian cities for the year 2050. Designs incorporated:- ideas such as, sustainability, function and aesthetics.- needs such as communication, energy, food, housing, recreation & transport.
    • 20. “Trinity (3D Virtual Worlds) has changed the way I design … I will nowdesign with a very open mind. This project has pushed me to work harderto develop my concepts and ideas.” Year 10 student
    • 21. What we learnt:• Powerful collaborative, immersive tool• Technology constraints• Bandwith• Scalability• Exhibition at SCA & School Spectacular“The technology provides for the quick activation of ideas, construction of shapes, use of textures all within a 3D space. Students are fully engaged in the whole process of having the power to create majorstructures, to move around, in and out, above and below their building structures. This is total immersion.” Teacher comment
    • 22. Contact Part of a Kodu game storyboard by Jenna age 7