Serious games PSST 2012 Linz


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Serious games PSST 2012 Linz

  1. 1. Serious computer gamesas instructional technologyJože RugeljUniversity of LjubljanaFaculty of EducationChair of Didactics of Computer Science PSST IP Linz 2012 1
  2. 2. Introduction Information society and a need for knowledge Explosion of info sources and accessibility Data ≠ info ≠ knowledge Need for more efficient approaches to education  student centered  problem based  motivational  active  directed to higher ordered educational goals  supported by ICT PSST IP Linz 2012 2
  3. 3. Games Game is a structured or semi-structured context where players have goals that they try to achieve by overcoming challenges. Players must respect a set of rules that exist in reference to that restricted context. Failure to follow those rules constitutes mistake and implies a penalty. Games can involve one player acting alone, two or more players acting cooperatively, and, more frequently, players or teams of players competing between themselves. PSST IP Linz 2012 3
  4. 4. When an activity is a game? Lots of different opinions from various researches about characteristics that make certain activity a game. Johnston suggests that such features:  dynamic visuals,  well defined goals,  applied rules, and  constant interaction. Thorton claims the most important aspect of the game is interactivity. Malone points out four elements of computer games:  fantasy,  curiosity,  challenge, and  control. PSST IP Linz 2012 4
  5. 5.  For Garris the most important elements of every game are:  competition,  challenge,  social interactions,  conversion, and  fantasy. Prensky states that game can be characterised by six key elements:  rules,  goals and objectives,  outcomes and feedback,  conflict/competition/challenge/opposition,  interaction,  representation or story. PSST IP Linz 2012 5
  6. 6.  Authors of the book “Serious games” define game as voluntary activity (a form of freedom) separated from real life (imaginary world that may have or not have relation to real life), absorbs the player’s full attention and is played according to established rules that all players have to follow. PSST IP Linz 2012 6
  7. 7. Involvement and engagement An important aspect of playing a game is intensity of involvement and engagement that games can invoke. Positive experience of being fully engaged in an activity is described as a state of “flow” (Csikszentmihalyi). Flow represents an optimal state of performance at a task, a sense of enjoyment and control, where an individual’s skills are matched to the challenges faced, with clear goals, feedback, high degree of control and where users are absorbed to the extent that they lose a sense of time and self. PSST IP Linz 2012 7
  8. 8.  Prensky summarizes this as: “In the flow state, the challenges presented and your ability to solve them are almost perfectly matched, and you often accomplish things that you didn’t think you could, along with a great deal of pleasure. There can be flow in work, sports, and even learning, such as when concepts become clear and how to solve problems obvious.” PSST IP Linz 2012 8
  9. 9. Conditions for inducing “flow” Malone characterised conditions that induce state of flow:  activity should be structured so that player can increase or decrease the level of challenges faced in order to match exactly personal skills with the requirements for action,  it should be easy to isolate the activity from other stimuli, external or internal, which might interfere with involvement in it,  there should be clear criteria for performance; a player should be able to evaluate how well or how poorly (s)he is doing at any time,  the activity should provide concrete feedback to the player, so that she can tell how well she is meeting the criteria of performance,  the activity ought to have a broad range of challenges, so that the player may obtain increasingly complex information about different aspects of her/himself. PSST IP Linz 2012 9
  10. 10. Games and learning Importance of child’s play on development of emotional, social, physical and cognitive skills has been emphasized by the leading psychologist of the last century. Children’s play is one of the most important activities where they develop important skills for life regardless of age or level of development:  quick adoption to new circumstances  handling change with ease. When child plays, she discovers basic concepts from real world and first fundamental relationships between them are made. PSST IP Linz 2012 10
  11. 11.  Jerome Bruner, educational and cognitive psychologist: “Play provides a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere in which children can learn to solve variety of problems, making him able to efficiently cope with complex problems of real world”. Jean Piaget, the author of the most influential theory of children’s intellectual development: “The primary functions of all organisms is adapting to an environment.” “Play is incorporation of new intellectual material into the already existing cognitive structures, without a corresponding alteration of the structures themselves”. “Play is consolidation of newly learned behaviour. Repetition of learned concepts makes them an established part mental repertoire.” PSST IP Linz 2012 11
  12. 12.  Vygotsky stated: Play contain in a concentrated form all developmental tendencies - the most significant psychological achivements of the early childhood occur while children engage in play. Zone of proximal development is term for the difference between the range of tasks that a child can complete independently and those completed with the guidance and assistance. Play creates a broad zone of proximal development in cognitive and also socio-emotional development. Children perform above their cognitive abilities when they are engaged in play. PSST IP Linz 2012 12
  13. 13.  A lot of educational computer games designed according to behavioristic theory of learning: tutorials, which are basically forms of programmed instruction.  one correct answer, immediate response  positive response (happy sound, positive character reaction that stimulate positive emotions), instance of action-reaction pair enforced.  with wrong answer the connection has to be weaken and reaction is provided in a form of negative stimuli. Trivia games, quizzes, point and click games…all of them have drill and practice concept build in a very core of the game design and are broadly used in game based learning. PSST IP Linz 2012 13
  14. 14. Cognitivism Cognitive learning theory emphasizes learner cognitive activity and formation of appropriate mental models. The truth is “out there” and we are learning fundamental concepts and then using logical deduction to gain new knowledge. The most advanced forms of cognitive theory based games are intelligent tutoring systems:  use machine learning algorithms to model student’s current knowledge, his learning style and emotional responses.  ITS compare that to the model of expert knowledge in order to provide personalized materials enhancing the learning process. PSST IP Linz 2012 14
  15. 15. Constructivism Constructivism is an alternative view suggesting that learners construct their own knowledge  a number of individually constructed knowledge representation, all equally valid. Learning is active process of constructing rather the acquiring knowledge, built recursively on knowledge that user already has. In a process of construction, sensory data is combined with existing knowledge to create new viable mental models, which are in turn the basis for further construction. Constructivist learning emphasizes discovery and inquiry learning arguing that students should be placed in an environment (which can be modeled with computer game) where they construct their own knowledge. PSST IP Linz 2012 15
  16. 16.  3 fundamental principles defining the constructivist view of learning: 1. Each person forms their own representation of knowledge 2. Learning occurs when the learners exploration uncovers an inconsistency between their current knowledge representation and their experience 3. Learning occurs within a social context and interaction between learners and their peers is a necessary part of the learning process. Learning materials provide instruction that consists of supporting the knowledge construction rather than declaring the knowledge in behavioristic fashion. PSST IP Linz 2012 16
  17. 17.  Computer game simulations replicate various real-life scenarios in computer game format. They present model of abstracted reality in which learner inhabit a certain role. The role of teacher is to provide guidance and feedback when student is learning – constructing viable mental models. PSST IP Linz 2012 17
  18. 18. Reasons for using games in education In formal education we experience a shift from traditional didactic model, focused on instruction, to learner-centred model which emphasizes the active learner’s role. We changed the view of learning goals from lower taxonomic levels (just recalling information), to higher levels, such as finding and using of information in a new settings. Games can provide motivation for learning, thus increasing the chance that desired learning outcomes will be achieved. Gross claims that games must have well defined learning goals and must promote development of strategies and skills to increase cognitive and intellectual abilities of learners. PSST IP Linz 2012 18
  19. 19.  According to Malone and Garris the elements contributing to educational values of digital games are  sensual stimuli (visual and audio representations of learning material),  fantasy (context presented in imaginary setting),  challenge (demanding or stimulating situation) and  curiosity (desire to know or learn). These elements must be incorporated on an integrated platform, to structure objectives and rules, a context of meaningful learning, an appealing story, immediate feedback, a high level of interactivity, challenge and competition, random elements of surprise and rich environments for learning. PSST IP Linz 2012 19
  20. 20. Elements of games PSST IP Linz 2012 20
  21. 21. Motivation Games have positive impact on student motivation. Motivated learner is enthusiastic, focused, engaged, interested, tries hard, persists over time, is self-determined and driven by its own volition which results in enhanced learning and in accomplishing instructional objectives. Self-determined learner behaviour can stem from both intrinsic motivation (i.e., the learner engages in an activity because it is interesting or enjoyable) and from extrinsic motivation they termed identified regulation (i.e., the learner engages in the activity because he or she desires the outcome and values it as important). PSST IP Linz 2012 21
  22. 22.  Computer games motivate via fun, instant visual feedback, challenge, curiosity and fantasy, active participation, intrinsic and prompt feedback, challenging but achievable goals and mix of uncertainty and open-endedness. What makes computer game educational? They must have well defined learning goals and have to promote development of important strategies and skills to increase cognitive and intellectual abilities of learners. PSST IP Linz 2012 22
  23. 23. Serious computer games We also need good learning materials so learners will actually gain new knowledge from materials presented in a computer game form. The main characteristic of educational game is that instructional content is blurred within game characteristics. Students play the game and have fun, forgetting about the “learning” part of the experience. (Eventhough they are constantly presented with new concepts which they have to adapt in order to be successful in game.) PSST IP Linz 2012 23
  24. 24.  We should foster motivation with game design that promotes repeating the cycles within game context. Player is expected to elicit desirable behaviours based on emotional and cognitive reactions that result from interaction with and feedback from gameplay. PSST IP Linz 2012 24
  25. 25. Use of games in classroom Limited time for use of alternative teaching/learning resources in formal education Hints how to overcome this problem Each of the presented methods has some positive effects on teaching/learning PSST IP Linz 2012 25
  26. 26. Suggested methodologies Game as a motivation before the lecture Teacher playing game during the lecture Game as a group activity in the classroom Game as a home activity / independent learning PSST IP Linz 2012 26
  27. 27. Motivation before the lecture The importance of motivation The game environment can be used to focus the student’s attention on what needs to be learned Motivational elements  Illustration of the era (time and space)  Identification with the main character Activities:  Teacher showing scenes as an illustration before the lesson  Teacher showing parts of the game before the lesson Recommendation: the activity should be followed by gameplay PSST IP Linz 2012 27
  28. 28. Teacher playing game during the lecture Still traditional approach, but with the attractive/multimedia elements Illustration of the teacher’s explanation of the theme Motivational elements:  Illustration of the era (time and space)  Identification with the main character Activities:  Teacher playing parts of a game during the lesson  Teacher playing minigames during the lesson Recommendation: the activity should be followed by gameplay PSST IP Linz 2012 28
  29. 29. Game as a group activity in the classroom In collaboration with pupils from other locations Constructivistic approach – not classical lectures Motivational elements:  Flow experience  Challenge of the game that should fit the ability of the player  Feeling of control of the situation  Clear, appropriate and immediate feedback  Peer interaction  Collaboration: responsibility for the learning outcomes of the group and others Activities: Playing the game in groups during the lesson Recommendation: time consuming – plan enough time (min. 2 hours) PSST IP Linz 2012 29
  30. 30. Game as a home activity As a continuation of the first two methods As a independent activity, but followed by analysis and reflection in classroom Motivational elements:  Flow experience  Challenge of the game that should fit the ability of the player  Feeling of control of the situation  Clear, appropriate and immediate feedback Activities:  Home activity followed by discussion/group work in classroom based on the game, making joint conclusion, detecting and correcting misunderstandings Recomendation: some initial background is needed PSST IP Linz 2012 30
  31. 31. SELEAG EU LLP Comenius 2 years project  7 partners from 6 EU countries (PT, ES, BE, UK, EE, SI) Serious learning game for learning history  topics of common interest, important for European history Game development and evaluation of its use for learning PSST IP Linz 2012 31
  32. 32. Project SEGAN (LLP)
  33. 33. SEGAN - Community of Practice about Serious Games It produces reports on the design, development, and evaluation of Serious Games and their use in specific contexts. Network supported by virtual tools and face to face events. SEGAN results also include:  development of a repository with products and projects relatedto SeriousGames  setting up of small-scale, local events on the design and development of SeriousGames  setting up of a series of annual European conferences and SummerSchools
  34. 34. TIME MESH – serious learning game PSST IP Linz 2012 34
  35. 35. TIME MESH PSST IP Linz 2012 35
  36. 36. Local episode from WW II in Ljubljana PSST IP Linz 2012 36
  37. 37. Testing with history teachers• Motivational• Helps imagine life in certain history period• Can be used in a classroom or as a homework• For introductory activity or for revision• Various activities• Interesting storyline PSST IP Linz 2012 37
  38. 38. Serious games projects Design of serious games is suitable for teacher education. Students at the Faculty of Education, UL, design and implement serious games as a part of their study activities. The profile of graduates from “CS in education” Different learning goals for students:  analysis of all crucial elements,  identification of learning goals by teachers / curriculum,  definition of a didactical approach,  specification of technical requirements,  implementation,  testing and evaluation, PSST IP Linz 2012 38
  39. 39.  Serious games were designed and implemented by:  graduates as diploma work  by groups of four undergraduate students in the 4th year of CS teachers study program Games selected for presentation:  World of Variables  Logical Operators  Bitty and Routers  Fiona and Computer Network  Johnny’s World of Hardware PSST IP Linz 2012 39
  40. 40. Web portal for serious games at FE UL PSST IP Linz 2012 40
  41. 41. Design process Specification of “didactical problem” Analysis phase curricullum, time, resources, technology, … Design content, “story”, graphical, feedback, Implementation Testing and evaluation PSST IP Linz 2012 41
  42. 42. World of Variables Diploma thesis The goal of the game is to organize the logistics for delivery of goods to some planets in the universe. Learning goals:  variables (types, declarations,…)  assignments Target audience: primary school Semantic model, independent of syntax Understanding of concepts PSST IP Linz 2012 42
  43. 43. Logical operators• Diploma thesis• The goal of the game to save the trapped princess• Learning goals:  logical operators  first-order predicate calculus• Target audience: primary school• Initial testing, determines starting point in the game• Explanation of basic concepts, exercising and “collecting points” PSST IP Linz 2012 43
  44. 44. Bitty and Routers Student project in the Use of ICT in Education course The goal of the game is to send a mail massage via computer network. Learning goals:  getting familiar with routing  understanding IP addressing Target audience: primary school Player travels in IP packet and decides in each router where to go PSST IP Linz 2012 44
  45. 45. Fiona and Computer Network Student project in the Use of ICT in Education course The goal of the game is to help Fiona to connect to the Internet and to set up local area network Learning goals:  to set up networking components Target audience: secondary school Understanding of concepts PSST IP Linz 2012 45
  46. 46. Johnny’s World of Hardware Diploma thesis The goal of the game is to help Johnny to repair computer. Learning goals:  getting familiar with PC components Target audience: primary school Mini games for collecting points Points needed to buy damaged components PSST IP Linz 2012 46
  47. 47. Conclusions Game is very powerful instructional technology. Its use can be justified by all relevant learning theories. But it can only be efficient when it is properly integrated into learning / teaching Very challenging topic in computer science teacher education! PSST IP Linz 2012 47
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