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Game-based learning: Who, why and how…?


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Talk for teachers at Microsoft learning alliance event in London under the team Playful Learning.

Game-based learning: Who, why and how…?

  1. 1. Game-based learning: Who, why and how…? PhD, Cand. Psych. Simon Egenfeldt-Nielsen CEO Serious Games Interactive 13. Januar 2012 Microsoft – PlayfulLearning +45 40 10 79 69
  2. 2. My background• MA Psychology• PhD Games & learning• Between industry & researchDeveloping games• Three series for education• +50 client projectsResearch projects• Commercial video games for learning• Educational potential of video games: GC: Palestine• Research project: Serious Games on a Global Market place•PlayMancer – Serious Games for Rehabilitation
  3. 3. Our background• Research-based company• Using games for more than entertainment Research• 18 employees located in Copenhagen• Won several awards for our productions Flagships• +50 games for clients Work-for-hire• Global Conflicts-Series, Citizenship, +13 years (10)• Playing History-Series, History, 9-13 years (2)• Trunky-series, 3-8 years (6)
  4. 4. AwardsBETT Finalist (UK)– Primary educational products 2012.Børsen Gazelle (DK)– Among 200 fast-growing DK companies in 2007-2011BETT Award (UK)– Secondary educational products 2010.PC ZONE (UK)– Independent Game Award 2007.Nordic Game (Scandinavia)– Best Nordic Game 2007 & 2008 nominee.Children’s Technology Review (US)- Editors Choice Award 2008.IndieCade (US)- Best Indie Game Nominee 2008 & 2009.
  5. 5. Agenda• How do teachers use of games?• How can we use games?• What should we look for?
  6. 6. Participants 185 Teaching with IT 275 respondents 70 60 21 50 All % 40 66% Females DK % 34 30 34% Males 20 World % Male 9 10 Female 0 Medio 2010 No A little Average Extensive Vast 25 experience experience experience experience experience Teacher Age 50 Experience with Games 45 40Above 61 years 35 All % 30 51-60 years 25 DK % 41-50 years 20 World % 15 10 Male 31-40 years 5 Femalebelow 30 years 0 No A little Average Extensive Vast 0 20 40 60 80 100 experience experience experience experience experience
  7. 7. Adaptation in teaching706050 Female teacher40 use them most!30 Yes 60% use computer 64% vs. 51%20 No games in teaching10 (but only on lower0 grade) All DK World Male Female Games used in teaching Ways used to teach with games Games useful in teaching about them as a medium About games as a cultural Games enhancing pupils’ phenomenon creative/production skills For interdisciplinary Games primarily developed teaching for entertainment Pupils’ skills in design & Games geared towards inter- creative production disciplinary teaching To teach in specific topics Games for teaching in specific topics For training in specific Games for the training of skills specific skills
  8. 8. Barriers Top 6 – selected barriers (top1) Top 6 – categories barriers (top1)1. Problems with computer equipment2. Problems with installing the software Practical: 7%3. Computer games are too expensive 6% Software, hardware & setting4. Learning games not on par with other games 6% My own lack of knowledge5. My own lack of knowledge about games6. Inappropriate physical surroundings 11% Learning games not on a 58% par with other games 12% Limited relevance to the syllabus of my subjectBoring barriers• Schools still struggle to get a proper infrastructure• There is a quality challenge according to especially male teachers• DK teacher perceives more practical barriers: Equipment, installation and setting
  9. 9. Learning outcomesTeachers perception of learning outcomes for different students Pupils learn MORE from games The weak students and male students All look to gain Strong studentsPupils learn the SAME from games Weak students significantly more Male students according to Female students teachers Pupils learn LESS from games 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90Male/female Teachers perception of learning outcomes gender Pupils learn MORE from games Male teacher seesPupils learn the SAME from games Female greater potential. Male Pupils learn LESS from games 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90
  10. 10. Why don’t use games Attitude towards teaching with gamesIn general teachers are focused on lack of knowledge and having a difficult time connecting gamesand learning in a ‘hostile’ environment.Very few dismiss games out right, but have valid reservations.Are you considering using games in your teaching? Top 4 – selected barriers (top1)Maybe Female 1. My own lack of knowledge No Male 2. Limited relevance to syllabus World 3. Inappropriate physical surroundings DK 4. Problems with computer equipment Yes All 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70
  11. 11. Agenda• How do teachers use of games?• How can we use games?• What should we look for?
  12. 12. Games in education overviewGames in school are many things – challenges, didactics and approachis VERY different. Teaching through computer games: Use computer games to teach aspecific curriculum. Teaching with computer games: Use computer games as leverage inthe teaching of existing themes, concepts and methods from thecurriculum in play. Teaching by making computer games: Use game authoring tool tomake a computer games about a given subject or with relevant contentsto learn about IT, games, design, story-telling and the game’s topic.
  13. 13. Learning process ReflectiveKolb’s cycle showing different observationteaching forms w. modes forachieving best results. Group work Concrete Instructor Abstract experiences concepts Game Active experimentation Source: Egenfeldt-Nielsen, 2007
  14. 14. Teaching and didactic approach Reflection with Facts Applying through making Behaviourism Constructivism BDifferent game didactics can do different things with different students in different context by different teachers
  15. 15. Ex. Teaching through gamesClosest type of games to a textbook.Very broad variation across target groups in relationto characters, contents, scope and genres.Games can be aimed, refitted or reconceived foreducation.Didactical approach varies but mostly lean towardsbehaviorism and cognitivism.They can have a continuum from focus on what ismost important: fun or learning.
  16. 16. Ex. Teaching through gamesA good place is to look at the success criteria for mastering a game, the core ofa game. Not so much the setting. Succes criteria Interaktivity Knowledge domainAction Quick reflexes Large PsychomotorAdventure Puzzle& logic thinking Small AffectiveStrategy Overview, prioritistion& Medium Cognitive analysis
  17. 17. Ex. Teaching with gamesThis approaches is driven by students’ interestand motivation, so you need differentiation andfreedom.Another challenge is dealing with very differenttypes of student game literacy.Didactical approach varies but mostly leantowards cognitivism.
  18. 18. Ex. Teaching by making gamesQuite a challenging and demanding approachboth for teachers and students.Get an inside perspective on a subject bydissecting it while using creative expressions.Didactical approach varies but mostly leantowards behaviorism and constructivism.The expression and scope may disappointsstudents.
  19. 19. Agenda• How do teachers use of games?• How can we use games?• What should we look for?
  20. 20. Are these learning games? Are these good learning games?Simcity 4 SporeCivilization 4 Bully
  21. 21. A good game (teaching through games) A good learning game is also a good game. A good game is also a good learning game. Substantivs • Audiovisual • Story Interesting • Problem space • Choices/decisions Verbs Engaging • Consequence Challenging • Feedback • Balance • Reward
  22. 22. Are these good (learning) games? + Motivation - - - IntegrationAll have elements of learning. - - - FocusWhen learning focusincrease, motivation tends todecrease. + + Motivation -Integration - Focus • Substantives (ship/cannon) • Verbs (sail/shoot) • Integration + Motivation • Motivation + Integration • Focus - Focus
  23. 23. A good learning game… Computer game Learning game Substantivs Quality & abstraction • Audiovisual • Right substantivs • Story • Right verbs • Problem space • Choices/decisions • Integration Verbs • Motivation • Consequence • Focus • Feedback • Balance • Reward
  24. 24. Conclusion Plan realistically and consider the practical barriers.These will probably be your biggest challenge. Clearly set out what way you want to use games, andevaluate the game on those premises. Recognize that game is a medium where verbs arecentral, and that game and learning have to align well forit to work. Thank you for listing – and hope you will give games a go.
  25. 25. Contact infoCompany detailsSerious Games InteractiveRavnsborggade 2-4, 2. floorDK - 2200 Copenhagen Nwww.seriousgames.dkMy details:Simon | +45 40 10 79 © Serious Games Interactive