Authentic Learning
Experiences
Through Play:
Games, Simulations and the
Construction of Knowledge




Lisa Galarneau
Ph.D....
Games can motivate
learning…
                   People cannot be ‘taught’.
                   They must be motivated to
  ...
Is this the
 best use of
 learning
 games?
 – Game2Train’s
 Sexual
 Harassment
 Solitaire Game




Authentic Learning Expe...
The ‘language’
  of games and
  simulations…
                 New technologies are always first
                  imagined...
The sweet spot for
games and simulations…

          They are flexible environments
          that allow for infinite poss...
What is authentic
  learning?

                          learner-centered
                          active learning
      ...
Putting linear content
  Design                                      into an open-ended
  experiences,                    ...
What if you
   could change
   history?

   What if you
   are?

     – MIT’s Revolution




Authentic Learning Experience...
Situate learning
 opportunities in
 real world
 contexts.

   – SimSchool




Authentic Learning Experiences Through Play ...
Even low-
 tech
 methods
 can
 simulate an
 experience.

 – Magellan’s
 Understanding
 Diversity



Authentic Learning Exp...
How do people
  really learn the
  nuances of
  success in
  business?
  - Simulearn’s Virtual
  Leader




Authentic Lear...
Experience the
 human immune
 system from the
 perspective of a
 virus

 – MIT’s Replicate




Authentic Learning Experien...
Supplement
  theoretical
  knowledge with
  real world
  practice.

  - Calming & Restraint
  Training for Mental
  Health...
Legitimate
  peripheral
  participation can
  be valid
  experience.

  - Building & Carpentry
  Simulator




Authentic L...
Some final thoughts…

            Learning is an active, not a passive, experience
            An effective learning oppor...
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Authentic Learning Experiences Through Play

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DiGRA 2005, Vancouver, Canada

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Authentic Learning Experiences Through Play

  1. 1. Authentic Learning Experiences Through Play: Games, Simulations and the Construction of Knowledge Lisa Galarneau Ph.D. Candidate The University of Waikato, New Zealand
  2. 2. Games can motivate learning… People cannot be ‘taught’. They must be motivated to learn. When learners need to memorize information, making it fun might be key. Younger generations are increasingly bored with linear content. …but motivation is not the only thing games are good for! Authentic Learning Experiences Through Play DiGRA June 19, 2005
  3. 3. Is this the best use of learning games? – Game2Train’s Sexual Harassment Solitaire Game Authentic Learning Experiences Through Play DiGRA June 19, 2005
  4. 4. The ‘language’ of games and simulations… New technologies are always first imagined using old paradigms, and often stumble at first:  Cars: horseless carriages  Telephones: good for ‘speaking telegrams’  TV: see radio plays!  Movies: see stage plays from afar!  The Internet: online books, brochures or paper (with hypertext!)  e-Learning: online textbooks, lectures, classrooms  Educational games: ‘chocolate-covered broccoli’ Authentic Learning Experiences Through Play DiGRA June 19, 2005
  5. 5. The sweet spot for games and simulations… They are flexible environments that allow for infinite possibilities and points-of-view (‘going meta’) Allow learners to form connections by experimenting with knowledge in context Learners learn by doing, discovery and through failure They allow learning designers to foster authentic learning experiences Authentic Learning Experiences Through Play DiGRA June 19, 2005
  6. 6. What is authentic learning? learner-centered active learning authentic tasks in which the learning experience takes place around real-world situations Authentic Learning Experiences Through Play DiGRA June 19, 2005
  7. 7. Putting linear content Design into an open-ended experiences, game context is like shoving a round peg not wrappers into a square hole around Experience is the traditional story: one’s personal content narrative and the emotions that go with it Knowledge in context through experience Authentic Learning Experiences Through Play DiGRA June 19, 2005
  8. 8. What if you could change history? What if you are? – MIT’s Revolution Authentic Learning Experiences Through Play DiGRA June 19, 2005
  9. 9. Situate learning opportunities in real world contexts. – SimSchool Authentic Learning Experiences Through Play DiGRA June 19, 2005
  10. 10. Even low- tech methods can simulate an experience. – Magellan’s Understanding Diversity Authentic Learning Experiences Through Play DiGRA June 19, 2005
  11. 11. How do people really learn the nuances of success in business? - Simulearn’s Virtual Leader Authentic Learning Experiences Through Play DiGRA June 19, 2005
  12. 12. Experience the human immune system from the perspective of a virus – MIT’s Replicate Authentic Learning Experiences Through Play DiGRA June 19, 2005
  13. 13. Supplement theoretical knowledge with real world practice. - Calming & Restraint Training for Mental Health Professionals Authentic Learning Experiences Through Play DiGRA June 19, 2005
  14. 14. Legitimate peripheral participation can be valid experience. - Building & Carpentry Simulator Authentic Learning Experiences Through Play DiGRA June 19, 2005
  15. 15. Some final thoughts… Learning is an active, not a passive, experience An effective learning opportunity must provide an authentic experience, not simply information Experience should be central and content peripheral Knowledge must be applied and skills practiced using real world scenarios Allow learners to make content their own (construct their knowledge or narratives) through experience Context is key; more experience increases a holistic view Authentic Learning Experiences Through Play DiGRA June 19, 2005

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