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Yet Another Magic Bullet A Tool for Assessing and Evaluating Learning Potential In Games
What? <ul><li>Model for evaluating and assessing games </li></ul><ul><li>Subjective tool </li></ul><ul><li>All learning in...
Things I Can Learn <ul><li>deliberately designed by those who created the game </li></ul><ul><li>Includes things designers...
Things I MUST Learn <ul><li>should be a subset of the first category </li></ul><ul><li>Required in order to achieve a spec...
Collateral Learning <ul><li>other things we can learn </li></ul><ul><ul><li>these are not necessarily designed into the ga...
External Learning <ul><li>not  technically  considered part of the normal gameplay </li></ul><ul><li>Includes social learn...
Things I DID Learn <ul><li>“ your results may vary” </li></ul><ul><li>Will often be specific to the goal  </li></ul><ul><u...
A Good Game <ul><li>Good balance </li></ul><ul><li>Nothing I  MUST  learn that is outside of what I  CAN  learn. </li></ul...
A Good Game <ul><li>Things I  MUST  learn < ½ of what I  CAN  learn </li></ul><ul><li>External learning  not necessary </l...
MUST  learn =  CAN  learn <ul><li>Nothing to learn that isn’t part of the ‘goal’ </li></ul><ul><li>Often edutainment fits ...
MUST  learn  ≈  CAN  learn <ul><li>Challenging    for some, frustrating </li></ul><ul><li>Often requires players to repea...
MUST  learn  ≈   CAN  learn <ul><li>Puzzles </li></ul><ul><li>Mini-games </li></ul>Some Examples
MUST  learn >  CAN  learn <ul><li>Need  outside help / resources  to get into the game or progress </li></ul><ul><li>CAN s...
MUST  learn <<  CAN  learn <ul><li>Lacks direction </li></ul><ul><li>Aimless </li></ul><ul><li>Toy, not game </li></ul>Som...
MUST  learn  too small <ul><li>Not much to hold interest </li></ul>Some Examples That is what the game was meant to be. In...
Little Game <ul><li>Short form game </li></ul>Some Examples
Drill Game <ul><li>Short form game </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bad if not short </li></ul></ul>Some Examples
Short Form Game <ul><li>Can be great if carefully designed </li></ul><ul><li>Must be designed as <= 5 minute game. </li></...
MUST  learn includes collateral learning. <ul><li>Can make for great game </li></ul><ul><li>Tends to worry traditional edu...
MUST learn = 0 <ul><li>No direction </li></ul><ul><li>Even SIMs has some  MUST  learn </li></ul><ul><li>Game on rails </li...
No collateral learning. <ul><li>Imbalance between  CAN  &  MUST </li></ul>Some Examples
Re-cap <ul><li>No guarantees </li></ul><ul><li>A useful lens </li></ul><ul><li>Can indicate where we need to make changes ...
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Yet Another Magic Bullet: A Tool for Assessing and Evaluating Learning Potential In Games

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This set describes a simple, yet effective model that can be used to help in the design of games for educational purposes, as well as in evaluating existing games for their learning potential. Further, this model can help educators formulate strategies for using an existing game within a learning context. The model will be presented along with examples of assessments produced using it.

Published in: Design, Education, Technology
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Yet Another Magic Bullet: A Tool for Assessing and Evaluating Learning Potential In Games

  1. 1. Yet Another Magic Bullet A Tool for Assessing and Evaluating Learning Potential In Games
  2. 2. What? <ul><li>Model for evaluating and assessing games </li></ul><ul><li>Subjective tool </li></ul><ul><li>All learning in a game can be classified in one (or more) categories </li></ul><ul><li>Learning NEED NOT = education </li></ul><ul><li>Relative proportions are informative </li></ul><ul><li>Currently developed for single-player games </li></ul>
  3. 3. Things I Can Learn <ul><li>deliberately designed by those who created the game </li></ul><ul><li>Includes things designers *hope* people will take up </li></ul><ul><li>Includes game-specific objectives as well as general ones </li></ul>
  4. 4. Things I MUST Learn <ul><li>should be a subset of the first category </li></ul><ul><li>Required in order to achieve a specific goal or to win </li></ul><ul><li>Includes strategy </li></ul>
  5. 5. Collateral Learning <ul><li>other things we can learn </li></ul><ul><ul><li>these are not necessarily designed into the game, although sometimes designers may hope that players choose to take these up </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. External Learning <ul><li>not technically considered part of the normal gameplay </li></ul><ul><li>Includes social learning and outside communities </li></ul><ul><li>Also includes Cheats </li></ul><ul><ul><li>typically designed into the game for testing purposes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>often left in the game once it ships </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>deliberate design elements on the part of the designers </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Things I DID Learn <ul><li>“ your results may vary” </li></ul><ul><li>Will often be specific to the goal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>if there is more than one way to win </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>if there are multiple goals that can be achieved </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Not included in analysis models </li></ul>
  8. 8. A Good Game <ul><li>Good balance </li></ul><ul><li>Nothing I MUST learn that is outside of what I CAN learn. </li></ul><ul><li>Allows for learning outside of game and from cheats and community. </li></ul>
  9. 9. A Good Game <ul><li>Things I MUST learn < ½ of what I CAN learn </li></ul><ul><li>External learning not necessary </li></ul><ul><li>Collateral learning possible </li></ul>Some Examples
  10. 10. MUST learn = CAN learn <ul><li>Nothing to learn that isn’t part of the ‘goal’ </li></ul><ul><li>Often edutainment fits in here </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of collateral learning opportunities implies a single-purpose game (or an impoverished one) </li></ul>Some Examples
  11. 11. MUST learn ≈ CAN learn <ul><li>Challenging  for some, frustrating </li></ul><ul><li>Often requires players to repeat plays and levels many times </li></ul>Some Examples
  12. 12. MUST learn ≈ CAN learn <ul><li>Puzzles </li></ul><ul><li>Mini-games </li></ul>Some Examples
  13. 13. MUST learn > CAN learn <ul><li>Need outside help / resources to get into the game or progress </li></ul><ul><li>CAN still be good, but this has serious implications for audience and support requirements </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Very risky in serious games </li></ul></ul>Some Examples
  14. 14. MUST learn << CAN learn <ul><li>Lacks direction </li></ul><ul><li>Aimless </li></ul><ul><li>Toy, not game </li></ul>Some Examples
  15. 15. MUST learn too small <ul><li>Not much to hold interest </li></ul>Some Examples That is what the game was meant to be. In reality, the game has no gameplay. A lack of AI means that the opposing truck does not even move from its starting location, so there is really no &quot;race&quot; to begin with. Winning is virtually guaranteed. As well, the game lacks collision detecting which means you can go through any objects like houses, boulders, trees, and bridges that you are required to cross. Besides this, the trucks do not have any top speed, which means you are able to accelerate into infinite, even when going backwards. Traveling off of the edge of the map is possible in the game. Despite the fact that the back of the box and advertising said it would have police chases, absolutely no police cars are actually present within the game. Source: http://www.mobygames.com/game/big-rigs-over-the-road-racing
  16. 16. Little Game <ul><li>Short form game </li></ul>Some Examples
  17. 17. Drill Game <ul><li>Short form game </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bad if not short </li></ul></ul>Some Examples
  18. 18. Short Form Game <ul><li>Can be great if carefully designed </li></ul><ul><li>Must be designed as <= 5 minute game. </li></ul><ul><li>Includes many puzzles. </li></ul>Some Examples
  19. 19. MUST learn includes collateral learning. <ul><li>Can make for great game </li></ul><ul><li>Tends to worry traditional educators </li></ul><ul><li>Can be very useful in serious games </li></ul><ul><li>Games do not always need to be self-contained </li></ul>Some Examples
  20. 20. MUST learn = 0 <ul><li>No direction </li></ul><ul><li>Even SIMs has some MUST learn </li></ul><ul><li>Game on rails </li></ul><ul><li>This is a toy </li></ul>Some Examples
  21. 21. No collateral learning. <ul><li>Imbalance between CAN & MUST </li></ul>Some Examples
  22. 22. Re-cap <ul><li>No guarantees </li></ul><ul><li>A useful lens </li></ul><ul><li>Can indicate where we need to make changes / additions / deletions </li></ul>Some Examples
  23. 23. Thanks!

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