Research Relay


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A brief overview of the research I am doing now.

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Research Relay

  1. 1. What I do When I’m Not Teaching (or farming) a.k.a. My Research Katrin Becker The outcome of any serious research can only be to make two questions grow where only one grew before. Thorstein Veblen (1857-1947) US Social Scientist
  2. 2. Current Research: <ul><li>Learning Design in Videogames </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Videogame Pedagogy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Magic Bullet (design model) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Instructional Ethology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(methodology for analyzing serious games) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Body of Knowledge in Interdisciplinary Applications </li></ul><ul><li>General Education Research (just getting started) </li></ul>K.Becker My Research
  3. 3. 1. The Invention of Good Games: <ul><li>Understanding Learning Design in Commercial Video Games </li></ul>One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time. Andre Gide (1869-1951) French Novelist
  4. 4. This work is based on three fundamental assumptions: <ul><li>Players must learn and indeed do learn new things while playing digital games. </li></ul><ul><li>It is possible to examine learning in a digital game without associating what is learned with value-laden education al aims. </li></ul><ul><li>Successful games are successful at least partially because they already facilitate learning . </li></ul>
  5. 5. 1.Players Learn While Playing <ul><li>All digital games are about learning. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>But NOT necessarily about Education </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Learning is what we DO. </li></ul><ul><li>Learning is how we win the game. </li></ul>
  6. 6. 2. Learning vs Education <ul><li>Learning </li></ul><ul><li>Value-Neutral </li></ul><ul><li>Can be Coincidental </li></ul><ul><li>Natural </li></ul><ul><li>Internally Motivated* </li></ul>Education Value-Laden Deliberate Coerced/Persuaded Externally Motivated*
  7. 7. 3. Games Facilitate Learning <ul><li>People succeed in good games because the games support them. </li></ul><ul><li>We can learn about how to make good games by studying good games... </li></ul>
  8. 8. My Approach: Study the Masters They already have it right. Why?
  9. 9. 1a. Games and Pedagogy Anyone who makes a distinction between games and learning doesn't know the first thing about either. Marshall McLuhan
  10. 10. 1a. Games and Pedagogy <ul><li>Made explicit connections between game design and formally accepted theory and models in teaching and learning. (connecting the dots) </li></ul><ul><li>Locate evidence of theories and models in games generally. </li></ul><ul><li>Map different theories and models onto games specifically, and entirely. </li></ul>K.Becker My Research
  11. 11. Successful Games K.Becker My Research Facilitate Learning
  12. 12. 1b. The Magic Bullet A Serious Game Design Model “ One of the most difficult tasks men can perform, however much others may despise it, is the invention of good games. And it cannot be done by men out of touch with their instinctive selves.” Carl Gustav Jung
  13. 13. Epistemology <ul><li>Things we CAN learn in the game </li></ul><ul><li>(as deliberately designed by those who created the game). </li></ul><ul><li>Things we MUST learn in a game </li></ul><ul><li>(will always be a subset of the first category). </li></ul><ul><li>Things we actually DID learn </li></ul><ul><li>(“your results may vary”). </li></ul><ul><li>Collateral Learning </li></ul><ul><li>(other things we can learn - these are not necessarily designed into the game, although sometimes designers may hope that players choose to take these up). </li></ul><ul><li>Cheats </li></ul>© 2009 K.Becker
  14. 14. © 2009 K.Becker
  15. 15. 1c. Instructional Ethology Reverse Engineering for Serious Design of Educational Games I have found the missing link between the higher ape and civilized man: It is we. Konrad Lorenz
  16. 16. 1b. Instructional Ethology <ul><li>This methodology combines behavioural and structural analysis to examine how commercial games support learning. </li></ul><ul><li>It examines the game itself from the perspective of what the game does . </li></ul><ul><li>Further, this methodology can be applied to the analysis of any software system and offers a new approach to studying interactive software. </li></ul>A new methodology for game design deconstruction and analysis to extract information about mechanisms used to support learning.
  17. 17. Methodological Synergy Behavioural Analysis Structural Analysis Ethology Ontological Excavation Game as Object Game Ethology (dynamic) Game Structure (static) Game Design Documents Reverse Engineering Behaviour Studies
  18. 18. Methodological Synergy Behavioural Analysis Structural Analysis Ethology Ontological Excavation Game as Object Game Ethology (dynamic) Game Structure (static) Game Design Documents Reverse Engineering Behaviour Studies
  19. 19. 2. Body of Knowledge in Interdisciplinary Applications What does someone from one discipline need to know about another if their work requires knowledge of both? It isn't that they can't see the solution. It is that they can't see the problem. G.K.Chesterton There is only one nature. The division into science and engineering is a human imposition, not a natural one. Indeed, the division is a human failure; it reflects our limited capacity to comprehend the whole. Bill Wulf
  20. 20. 2. Body of Knowledge in Interdisciplinary Applications <ul><li>What does someone from one discipline need to know about another to do work that requires knowledge of both? </li></ul><ul><li>For example, </li></ul><ul><ul><li>what does a graphic designer need to know about music? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>or, what does an instructional designer creating a digital game for learning need to know about game design? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This also touches on broader questions, </li></ul><ul><ul><li>such as what does an educated person (who is neither a scientist nor a mathematician) need to know about science and math? </li></ul></ul>© Dr. K.Becker 2009 Body of Knowledge Studies - BOKIA <ul><li>With: </li></ul><ul><li>Patrick Perri </li></ul><ul><li>Ron MacDonald </li></ul><ul><li>Margie MacMillan </li></ul><ul><li>Steven Kalmar </li></ul><ul><li>Jordan Pratt </li></ul>
  21. 21. 2. Body of Knowledge in Interdisciplinary Applications <ul><li>How to facilitate language and communication between disciplines: How do/can practitioners from diverse disciplines negotiate common meanings and terminology to facilitate effective communication? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we facilitate cross-disciplinary collaborations? </li></ul><ul><li>Is a viable approach to consider different disciplines as different cultures? </li></ul>© Dr. K.Becker 2009 Body of Knowledge Studies - BOKIA
  22. 22. General Education Research Project <ul><li>This project is looking into teaching Science and Math to non-majors generally, and The Cluster 1 collection of courses specifically. </li></ul><ul><li>With: </li></ul><ul><li>Patrick Perri </li></ul><ul><li>Susan Morante </li></ul>One learns more from a good scholar in a rage than from a score of lucid and laborious drudges. Rudyard Kipling
  23. 23. General Education Research Project <ul><li>How do learners connect what they have learned in their first Cluster One course to their own lives? </li></ul><ul><li>Goals include: </li></ul><ul><li>Identify those elements that students thought were most useful. </li></ul><ul><li>Examine the alignment of stated objectives with student-received (perceived) learning. </li></ul><ul><li>Examine how different approaches (for example 1101 vs 1102) affect student perceptions of learning and their perceptions of the utility of what they have learned. </li></ul><ul><li>Begin to gather a body of resources that can be applied towards further development of Level 1 General Education courses. </li></ul><ul><li>Add to the body of knowledge on preconceptions about science and math. This can be accomplished by collecting responses to surveys both at the start of the term and at the end. </li></ul>