Authentic Learning Experiences Through Play

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Digra 2005

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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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