Author: Paul Pivec.
Collaborative learning allows participants to exchange information as well as produce ideas, simplify problems, and resolve tasks. When using an e-learning platform in a collaborative environment, the teacher becomes an active partner, moderator and advisor in the educational process, as do the other learners.
The Language Campus: Role-Play in an eLearning Environment
In-depth The Language Campus: Role-Play in an e-Learning EnvironmentAuthor Collaborative learning allows participants to exchange information as well as produce ideas, simplify problems, and resolve tasks. When using an e-learning platform in aPaul Pivec collaborative environment, the teacher becomes an active partner, moderator and ad-PhD Candidate, MComp,GDipHE, Deakin University, visor in the educational process, as do the other learners. This paper looks at howAustralia multiplayer role-play games (games that have a social environment allowing firstname.lastname@example.org to communicate) are adept at fostering this type of learning experience and, based on previous studies by the author and others, discusses why role-play games are the most suitable digital game genre for Game Based Learning (GBL).Tags The article describes specific areas that should be considered when designing a role-language acquisition, role- play scenario to be used within a digital game and shares the experience of creating andplay games, Game Based subsequently testing these theories using a single-player example game. The resultingLearning, best practice platform, the Language Campus, is used to exemplify a best practice model of GBL thatmodel incorporates role-play scenarios within a collaborative, social e-learning environment. 1. Introduction Pillay (2003) studied groups of children playing computer games and their subsequent ability to complete instructional tasks. Pillay suggested that playing recreational computer games might influence performance of subsequent computer-based educational tasks. This could suggest that cognitive abilities have been increased while playing digital games, or the focus and motivation for completing subsequent computer-based tasks has been enhanced. Butler (1988) and McGrenere’s (1996) earlier findings were similar to those of Pillay, both conclud- ing that by using games for learning: 1. the time to learn information is reduced; 2. performance is increased through greater interest; 3. learners are motivated to participate; and 4. learner attendance is increased. Games for learning, or serious games as they are often called, vary from single player to multiplayer games. Different types of games have different sets of features that have to be considered in respect to their application for education. For declarative knowledge, features such as content, assessment ability, and the scaffolding of levels along with time constraints, are all very important. To acquire skills, games must be session based, where attention is paid to creating an immersive environment, thus encouraging persistent re-engagement invok- ing a drill and practice regime. In the area of decision-making and problem solving, games should be narrative based where chance is a factor, accurate in the problem descriptions, with background knowledge of the content being vital to successful completion. ing earn eLearning Papers • ISSN: 1887-1542 • www.elearningpapers.eueL ers 25 u ers.e gpap www .elea rnin n.º 25 • July 2011Pap 1
In-depthThere are specific educational domains where game-based ters creativity. Yatim (2008) from the University of Magdeburg,learning concepts and approaches have a high learning value. tested this with students between the ages of 9 to 12, and foundThese domains are interdisciplinary topics where skills such as through designing their own educational games, students ap-critical thinking, group communication, debate and decision- peared to be enthusiastic and showed a high level of interest.making are of high importance. Such subjects, if learned in iso- Prensky (2006) also suggests that games designed by studentslation, often cannot be applied in real world contexts. But, if for students would have a higher level of engagement, althoughreal world contexts are taught in collaborative environments, no supporting research was offered in this publication. Howev-learning is often accelerated. er, this would possibly overcome some of the barriers to accept- ance (Rice, 2007) by allowing teachers to work with students2. Digital Games versus Simulations versus aligning the game content to the curriculum. Although design- ing digital games to learn provides many opportunities (Pivec & Role Play Kearney, 2007) for students and teachers, the theory of learningTo create a successful Game-Based Learning opportunity, de- from mistakes and failure is not included.fined steps of game design with elements of learning and en-gagement should be taken into consideration (Pivec & Pivec, There are various platforms available that offer an environment2008). The main areas to be considered are as follows. where teachers and trainers, and even students, can define their own on-line role-playing scenarios or simulations, and • Determine a pedagogical approach for the lesson plan provide the opportunity for learners to apply factual knowl- • Situate the task to achieve the learning outcome in a edge, learn from mistakes through experiential learning, and to model world gain experience through a safe finite digital world. Teachers can • Elaborate on the details needed to complete the task define new games or adopt and modify sample games without • Incorporate the underlying pedagogical support any programming skills. Similar to the concept from EC funded • Map the learning activities to interface actions of the project Unigame (2004), products such as “Fablusi” (2009) pro- game vide a variety of communication means within the scenarios; • Map the learning concepts to interface objects on the players can communicate with the use of discussion forums, game email, and text chat modules. An important feature of this con-When designing an example of an educational game we must cept is the collaborative learning design, which allows partici-reflect upon didactical approach and related topics. Pivec & pants to exchange information as well as to produce ideas, sim-Pivec (2008) suggest that we have to create the situation ask- plify problems, and resolve the tasks. When using an e-learninging, “What do we want learners to learn?” Before defining the platform such as this for role-play scenarios, the teacher is theactivities we should reconsider the saying, “failure opens the active partner, moderator and advisor of the educational proc-gate to learning”, and we should try to provide an answer to the ess (Pivec & Pivec, 2009b).question “Why are the learners learning this?” There are many Salen and Zimmerman (2003) define games as systems where ainteractive learning techniques that have already been used player engages in conflict defined by a set of rules and the resultin Game-Based Learning. One of those techniques is learning is a defined outcome. They argue that while games and role-from mistakes (Prensky, 2001; Gee, 2003; Squire, 2003; Shaffer, plays share the key features that define them both as games,2006), where failure is considered a point where the user gets they are different in one critical respect; role-plays do not al-some feedback. In Game-Based Learning making a mistake - or ways have a defined outcome. However, Salen and Zimmermantrial and error - is a primary way to learn and some consider it concede that this depends on the framework or platform thatto be the motivation for players to keep on trying. In games, we provides the role-play. They suggest that where a game and alearn through failure and consequence and feedback is provid- role-play overlap is that they are systems requiring players to in-ed in the form of action (as opposed to feedback in the form of teract according to a set of rules in a contest or in conflict (Salenthe text explanation that is provided in instructional material). & Zimmerman 2003).Salen (2007) and Buckingham, Burn, and Pelletier (2005) ad- Linser (2008) suggests that for pedagogical purposes, a role-playvocate that allowing students to design and create their own is closer to a simulation than a game. Linser argues that witheducational games encourages meta-level reflection and fos- ing earn eLearning Papers • ISSN: 1887-1542 • www.elearningpapers.eu eL ers 25 u ers.e gpap www .elea rnin n.º 25 • July 2011 Pap 2
In-depththe acquisition of real world knowledge, and the understanding games nor role-plays. But, Fortugno and Zimmerman (2005)and skills acquired by the player, a role-play is designed as an suggest that teachers and trainers do not yet understand theattempt to simulate processes, issues and conditions that exist use and potential of games or simulations, and most games doin the real world. not include sound pedagogical principles in their design. How- ever, Sitzmann and Ely (2010) argue that simulation-type games have the potential to enhance the learning of work-related knowledge and skills. Their study concluded that when simula- tion games are actively used within the lesson, and at any other time available to the learner, declarative knowledge increased by 11%, procedural knowledge by 14%, retention 9%, and self- efficacy by 20%, than that of their comparison group. Akilli (2007) states that designers of both simulations and digital games need to improve their instructional design and equally, instructional designers need to give more attention to game design principles, as there is a lack of guideline documenta- tion supporting this area of pedagogy. Sitzmann and Ely (2010) state that designers need to exploit the motivational capacity of simulation-type games. Linser (2008) agrees and argues that while he considers role-play as a simulation, given the right en- vironment and delivery platform, a role-play can include all the engagement, immersion, and motivation elements that are in- herent in the commercial recreational game environment. Hence, through the successful implementation of documentedFigure 1: The Overlap of Simulation, Game, and Pedagogy (Aldrich, 2009) game design principles for GBL, and an appropriate environment and delivery platform, role-play games would appear to harbor a promise of persistent re-engagement and recursive learning toAldrich (2009) defines simulation, games, and pedagogy in support quality learning within education. The following sectionthree distinct areas but with overlapping elements (Figure 1). examines the use of e-learning platforms to create such games,He suggests that the pedagogical (also referred to as didactic) as one of the main issues raised by teachers at the Online Educaelements of a simulation or a game can act as a mentor and conference (2006) and reiterated by Clarke and Treagust (2010),take the place of the teacher. He also states that simulations was the lack of adequate technical resource and the barriersrequire game-like elements to be more engaging, and pedagogi- in allowing games to be installed into the school environment.cal elements to be more effective. On the topic of digital games, As the majority of schools have Internet access with browser-Aldrich concludes that elements of games are often controver- based systems (EUN, 2009; Futurelab, 2009), an e-learning plat-sial in the educational arena. He states that digital game ele- form would be a sustainable and cost effective solution.ments often; • dilute the learning, • are subjective in the “fun” aspect, 3. Role-Play Game-Based Learning in an • reduce the accuracy of any learning, e-Learning World • focus on competition, and • are often badly implemented. To create any successful e-Learning opportunity, the 14 learner- centered psychological principles defined by the American Psy-Kelly (2005) agrees and argues that simulations have an enor- chological Association (APA) are often regarded as a benchmark.mous impact on education and many products such as Micro- They are grouped in 4 areas and listed as:soft’s “Flight Simulator” are in fact simulations and neither ing earn eLearning Papers • ISSN: 1887-1542 • www.elearningpapers.eu eL ers 25 u ers.e gpap www .elea rnin n.º 25 • July 2011 Pap 3
In-depth • Cognitive and Metacognitive Factors Salmon (2002) proposed the design of a collaborative e-Learn- 1. Nature of the learning process. ing process that includes a five-stage framework, to build online courses to fit individuals with similar or diverse skill sets. 2. Goals of the learning process. 3. Construction of knowledge. 1. Platform design for access and motivation of the partici- 4. Strategic thinking. pants. 5. Thinking about thinking. 2. Online socialization of the learners. 6. Context of learning. 3. The exchange of information. 4. Knowledge construction. • Motivational and Affective Factors 5. The development of knowledge. 7. Motivational and emotional influences on learn- ing. Salmon notes that without successful processes in the first two 8. Intrinsic motivation to learn. stages, motivation of the learners and online socialization, there is no possibility for successful development of stages 3, 4, and 5. 9. Effects of motivation on effort. The motivation of the learners and online socialization are two • Developmental and Social Factors of the requirements highlighted by participants in part two of 10. Developmental influences on learning. this thesis. 11. Social influences on learning. To create a role-play game, we need to develop a storyline or scenario. Reese (2007) suggests that a successful story can • Individual Differences create the immersion needed to invoke a sense of Flow (Czik- 12. Individual differences in learning. szentmihalyi, 1990). However, we also need a set of goals and 13. Learning and diversity. challenges (Rollings & Adams, 2003) to create the gameplay and 14. Standards and assessment. this needs to be incased in a structure or framework. Finally, through selecting an appropriate topic and transforming it into (Learner-centered psychological principles revised, 1996) a role-play Scenario or virtual game, we have the basis to createMany educational technologists advocate the shift from in- effective Game-Based Learning.structor-centered to learner or learner-centered approaches(constructivism). Learner-centered pedagogy looks at what the 4. A Single Player Game Examplelearners need to learn, what their learning preferences are, and Creating a recreational digital game can costs tens of millionswhat is meaningful to them in their specific environment. E- of dollars (Federation of American Scientists, 2006), involvingLearning platforms provide opportunities for learning materials, many professionals from graphic artists to skilled programmers.tasks, and activities to fit individual learning styles and prefer- Universities and Companies are also investing large sums ofences. Networks of learning information, such as digital librar- money in the development of in computer-based simulationies and e-Learning platforms, are also available to motivate and training games to teach their employees and students (Bell,learner interests and spark ideas. An online role-play game fits Kanar, & Kozlowski, 2008; Summers, 2004). The challenge waswithin this realm and if designed correctly, can be categorized to create a game for learning that would be accessible to theas a multiplayer game, and could be equated to collaborative target audience, and come within a time allowance and minimale-Learning. Kennedy (2002) suggests that e-Learning environ- budget.ments have implications for individuals with diverse skills fillingdifferent roles “whose strengths lie in a various types of intelli- In line with comments from Online Educa (2006), where it wasgence as suggested by Gardner ” (p.8). Gardner’s (1993) theory suggested that schools often have difficulties with the techni-suggests that providing students with ways to be creative allows cal resources and required platforms form digital games, it wasthem to find and solve problems and communicate ideas in vari- perceived that many learners would not have the state-of-theous forms, and collaborate successfully with others. art computer systems that most commercial games and game engines require. For this reason, Adobe’s Flash was chosen as ing earn eLearning Papers • ISSN: 1887-1542 • www.elearningpapers.eu eL ers 25 u ers.e gpap www .elea rnin n.º 25 • July 2011 Pap 4
In-depththe game engine and Flex as the development platform. This sometimes the player must concentrate to understand the au-enabled rapid development for the software and would result dio, as this adds a “real life” aspect to the game – especially inin a professional product that would be accessible through any the level titled “Dealing with the language barrier”.Internet browser or Flash player. The game framework is based on a problem-based learning ap-The scenario (storyline) data was written as a separate file to proach, where learning is fostered by real life based situationsenable the game to be used in other situations and for other and pertinent feedback provided to the player.target audiences. The player data for restarting and progress Striving to maximize the satisfaction of the character, the playerfeedback, was originally stored on the players computer, how- learns how to respond and therefore acquire competences pri-ever as the game developed it became a server-based program, marily in areas:storing player data on an Internet server and allowing for teach-ers to access and view the player’s progress through each level • problem solving, resolution of conflictsand their results. • communication and co-operation skills • managing cultural diversities and multicultural dialogueThe main focus of the original scenario was to provide a singleplayer training game for learning soft skills and competencies. Depending on decisions made by the player and thus furtherThe storyline of a hotel management scenario used for the usa- development of the storyline, other competences are ad-bility testing in this Game-Based Learning example game, could dressed e.g. change management and learning to learn. Eachalso be self-employed people offering accommodation to tour- level of a scenario can be played multiple times with the playerists (e.g. in rural tourism) and other bigger accommodation pro- choosing different answers and thereby changing the outcomeviders, as well as kitchen staff or room service staff. Additional of each level. The path through the game is not linear and thisscenarios could be easily created with other fictional storylines adds to the re-playability of the game. It also allows the playersby using the web-based authoring tool, storylines such as “Man- to choose their own level of difficulty, by starting the game withaging an International Conference”, “The Uncooperative Staff troublesome characters and low satisfaction, thereby increasingMeeting”, and “ Dealing with Plagiarism”. the complexity of the game.The example scenario was designed for interactivity and highplayer involvement. It was based on serious but very often hu- 5. Design Principles of the Single Playermorous situations. Possible answers contain humor as addi- Exampletional motivation for the player (apart from curiosity to see also The single player game includes a role-play scenario in a graphi-what comes next). However, the situations might be humorous, cal environment that is played within an Internet browser. Thethey are still realistic which supports problem-based learning game is a text-based role-play game, where the player assumesand direct transfer of learned competences into practice. a role within the scenario, and during the game must to react toThe screen design incorporates game-like feedback to the play- various challenges presented in the form of real life situations.er, for example satisfaction meter of the guest, resources infor- At first glance, it may appear to be a multi-choice quiz as in themation, player financial situation and player time. Additional game Inquizitor (3MRT, 2009), however this game is based onfeedback is also provided after each decision and the visual a branched decision tree, providing a rich variety of situationsmood of the character is displayed with changing graphics. In- and several possible answers. This enables a development ofgame help is provided by the narrator, “Smooch” or “Marvin” the story and invites the player to come back and try other solu-depending on which interface has been selected, as well as tions creating an experiential learning environment.the context sensitive help system. Popup dialogs and rollovers There are many aspects that should to be considered when de-are context sensitive and are linked to the screen and players signing a Role-play scenario. Rollings and Adams (2003) provideprogress through the game. The game can be saved at the end a worksheet to test a game for good Gameplay within any gameof each level and the player’s progress can be seen from the design, recreational or otherwise, and this can be adapted forlevel screen. Levels can be played in any order, and replayed at Role-play scenarios. Their worksheet includes the followinganytime to improve on one’s score. Computer generated au-dio has also been added for the character’s question. However, ing earn eLearning Papers • ISSN: 1887-1542 • www.elearningpapers.eu eL ers 25 u ers.e gpap www .elea rnin n.º 25 • July 2011 Pap 5
In-depthquestions that have been answered in relation to the Single- choose from various scenarios that they are enrolled in by theplayer example. moderator and play them in any order.1. Are there clearly articulated learning objectives within the 6. Is there a scaffolding of learning objectives throughout the scenario? game?The learning objectives of the single player game are clearly If the game is played in a linear approach, the level of difficultlyspelt out to the player. Furthermore, the player has the ability to is increased through the game. However, the player can choosereview the learning objectives at anytime throughout the game to start at any level, and the storyline will still be relevant to thevia the help system. scenario.2. Are there clearly definable goals or tasks that can be solved? 7. Is the storyline able to be described adequately for the play- ers?This scenario includes an overview of what the overall storylineand object entails, as well as an introduction to each chapter The storyline for the demonstration game is described in textand character. The goals are displayed the beginning of each form. However, the platform also allows for graphics and mul-level and context sensitive help is available at any time through- timedia, such as sound bites and video clips, to be embedded.out the game. The description of the storyline is dependent on the scenarios that are created.3. Is there sufficient feedback to the player about their progress with the learning outcomes? 8. Is there additional resource and research information avail- able to the players?Feedback in the single player game is provided in the form ofhealth bars, both for the player and the character, in popup dia- The demonstration scenario for the single player game was tologs, if they are struggling with the answer or it is totally inad- teach soft skills such as communication techniques. Further in-equate, and visual representation of the character, with their formation on these topics can be found in the built in help sys-change in body language. Additional feedback is also provided tem or by researching outside sources.at the end of each level and at the end of the game. 9. Are there sufficient roles within each team for individuality4. Are both the learning objectives and scenario goals achiev- and equal opportunity to participate? able within the given timeframe? The single player game is to be used as a standalone resource orThe levels of the game are kept short to allow them to be played as a training tool for multiplayer scenarios. Hence, as it is singleand replayed within a 10 to 15-minute period. This allows for player, all users have an equal opportunity to participate.small bursts of game play to fit within a lesson or when time 10. Can the workloads of players be adequately balanced?allows. Each of the levels may cover different learning objec-tives, or the same ones from a different angle. The games can For assessment purposes, this product has developed into abe saved and the player’s progress resumed at the end of each server-based game with level completion and success beinglevel. Levels can also be replayed in any sequence using any reported back to the teacher or moderator. Hence, it is obvi-route through the game. ous which players have completed which scenarios and which levels.5. Are the players able to choose the level of difficulty to match their existing abilities? 11. Does the scenario allow for cross-team collaboration and is this desirable?The player is able to choose which level they wish to complete.Each of the levels displays the learning outcomes and the abili- The single player example game did not allow for collaborationties needed to achieve success. Players are able to decide where of players, however as this platform is server-based, mecha-their weaknesses may lie and where they need more practice. In nisms are available to support this.the server version of this platform, the players are also able to ing earn eLearning Papers • ISSN: 1887-1542 • www.elearningpapers.eu eL ers 25 u ers.e gpap www .elea rnin n.º 25 • July 2011 Pap 6
In-depth12. Does each team have sufficient power within the scenario The usability tests resulted in feedback stating that the game is to achieve the stated objectives? easy to use and that the interaction with the content is possible without any prior explanation or prior tuition. All participantsEach player has the ability to achieve the learning outcomes enjoyed the game and commented on the “replayabilty” of thewithin this game. The platform is designed to allow repeated created scenario. They enjoyed the fact, that they could replayaccess to each and every level, allowing the player to drill and parts of the game or the entire game with selecting various dif-practice as well as experiment with different options. ferent answers and thus experimenting with what will happen if13. Can the players customize their role to allow them to feel an they decide differently. ownership of the scenario? Shown below are some selected statements that suggest allIn example version of the single player game, no customization players enjoyed the game, and the targeted design featuresis provided. However, in the server version currently in beta, the of humour, player feedback, and expected learning outcomesinterface can be personalized, as can the avatar associated with were achieved.the collaborative features. “the game made me laugh, it was fun”14. Is the scenario re-usable? “way more fun than just reading pdf files or books”This platform has an authoring tool to allow scenarios to be “I like the humour built into the answers”changed, modified, and updated. As stated earlier, the scenariois in separate files to the program and therefore no re-program- “humour helps make learning fun”ming is necessary to reuse or modified the storyline or the dia- “most of the competencies are obvious but it reinforces them”log. “ the feedback was good, you knew how you were doing”6. Field Testing the Example Game “the game is great way to learn English”To test the game for bugs/errors, three volunteer testers playedthe game from start to the end. The participants were asked to “I played the same level several times to see different outcomes”note required changes, make report on errors, etc. for improve- In addition to the above tests, two didactic experts also re-ments of the game that resulted in the subsequent version. viewed the game. They suggested that it was a great way to getThe platform was also tested for consistency of play, accuracy sensitised about the importance of various competencies. Theyof scoring, and the validity of saved games. Further tests in- also pointed out that the game provides excellent opportunitycluded feature functionality, accuracy of wording, and browser to learn English, “the language that most target markets wouldcompatibility. The testers also played the game as an end user need in a real-life situation”. This was especially true in the levelwould. The total game playing time by each of the testers was 1 titled “Dealing with the language barrier”, where player con-hour and 20 minutes per player, providing a good estimate for centrates on the audio to understand the character, adding thetotal game time, however this does not take into account the “real life” aspect to the role-play.replayabilty of each level. Each of the testers also took variouspaths through the questions and answers, highlighting the re-playability of the scenario. 7. The Evolution of the Language Campus Sorensen and Meyer (2007) reviewed a Game-Based languageFurther sets of tests were subsequently carried out with respect course (English as a foreign language) introduced into primaryof usability and overall perception of the game. For these tests, schools in 2006 in Denmark. Using a web-based platform, thetwo different groups of players were consulted for feedback. To game “Mingoville” (2009) contains 10 missions in which play-obtain input from learners, fifteen university students were re- ers complete activities focused around vocabulary, spelling, andcruited to participate in the test. While some students tested word recognition. Aimed at children aged 5 to 14 years, thethe game in groups, applying usability test methods, others product is written in Adobe Flash to be easily accessed via a webplayed it independent. After playing the game feedback was so- browser and has now been translated into 31 languages. Thelicited in paper form as well as a moderated discussion session. ing earn eLearning Papers • ISSN: 1887-1542 • www.elearningpapers.eu eL ers 25 u ers.e gpap www .elea rnin n.º 25 • July 2011 Pap 7
In-depthgame centres on a village populated by flamingos and the player a basis to created a library of scenarios dealing with conversa-completes activities to advance through the mission within the tional situations involving cultural differences and multiculturalgame. The subscriber-based product is used within the school dialogs.lesson and at home, and Sorensen and Meyer recommend While the Language Campus is currently work in progress at thethat “Mingoville” is an excellent example of how Game-Based time of writing, it is envisaged that the same field trials and eval-Learning can successfully supplement traditional teaching, by uation exercises as the single player example, will be concludedproviding a motivational environment successfully aimed at the for this expanded platform. It is hoped that data collected willappropriate target audience. Being a browser-based product, support role-play e-learning in a collaborative environment asthe game can also be easily accessed in a low-resourced school the above referenced literature suggests that it should. Fur-environment. ther research will also be conducted into language learning inSorensen and Meyer (2007) suggest that to foster learning, a game-based environment, specifically English language. Whilegame-based products should also allow communication be- products such as “Mingoville” (2009) already exist, their targettween the players; the original example game discussed above market is children aged 5 to 14 years. The Language Campusdid not. Collaborative learning not only accelerates learning (Za- and included scenarios, specifically targets non-English speak-gal, Rick, & His, 2006), but was also a requested design feature ing University students wishing to improve their language skills,from an extensive survey of over 1000 learners and game play- and travellers from non-English speaking countries requiringers previously conducted by the author (Pivec, 2009). Commu- help with conversational techniques and cultural issues.nication between players not only fosters collaboration, but alsohelps to build a social environment and can often create a meta- 8. Conclusionsgame around the game (Consolarium, 2009), allowing playersto discuss and debrief outside of the gaming cycle (Kearney & Game-Based Learning provides an interactive and collabora-Pivec, 2007a). Communication between the teacher or trainer tive platform for learning purposes, especially when used in awho is moderating the game is also paramount, as is precise collaborative e-learning environment. Collaborative learning al-feedback from either the game itself, if an intelligent platform is lows participants to produce new ideas as well as to exchangeused, or the moderator. information, simplify problems, and resolve the tasks.Learners also require knowing what they are learning and how Linser, Ree-Lindstad and Vold, (2007) conclude “While experi-well they are doing, as opposed to learning by stealth. Sandford ence and research suggests that using games and simulations isand Williamson (2004) agree stating the “Games for learning clearly good pedagogy the next step is to infuse this pedagogyshould not be developed in such a way that their educational with engaging sparkle by implementing good game design prin-content is delivered ‘by stealth’. The reason to develop games in ciples in the creation of educational games” (p.8). It is hopedlearning is to help engage students with complex material and that the Language Campus achieves just this goal.processes, not to pretend that they are ‘having a break’ from Many studies have examined games and simulations and thethe hard business of their education.” (p.28). The participants pedagogy associated with both. They ask learners and playersin the earlier survey (Pivec, 2009) stated that learning is serious what would engage them in the playing of education games.and should be treated as such. They require concise feedback The conclusions were incorporated in game design principlesduring and after the period of play. associated with the creation of role-play scenarios for qual-Taking both the above paragraphs into account, and the state- ity learning, resulting in an e-learning framework integratingment from didactic experts that the game provides excellent role-play games called the Language Campus (http://www.the-opportunity to learn English, the Language Campus was created languagecampus.com), and providing for further research into(The Language Campus, 2011). Using a social networking envi- game-based learning.ronment with chat rooms, forums, and buddy lists, the campusincludes the above role-play scenario framework, and extends itwith learner feedback in the form of a bubble chart scorecards.The scenario “Dealing with the language barrier” was used as ing earn eLearning Papers • ISSN: 1887-1542 • www.elearningpapers.eu eL ers 25 u ers.e gpap www .elea rnin n.º 25 • July 2011 Pap 8
In-depthReferences Kearney, P. & Pivec, M. (2007a). Recursive loops of game based learning. In Proceedings of World Conference on Educational3MRT (2009) Game Development Company. Retrieved 1 May Multimedia, Hypermedia and telecommunications 2007 Vancouver2009 from http://www.3mrt.com/ BC, Canada, 2007, pp. 2546 – 2553Akilli, G. K. (2007). Games and Simulations: A new approach in Kelly, H. (2005). Games, cookies, and the future of education.Education? In Gibson, D., Aldrich, C. and Prensky, M. (eds.), Games Issues in Science & Technology, 21(4), 33-40and Simulations in Online Learning: Research and DevelopmentFrameworks (pp.1-20). Hershey PA: Information Science Kennedy, D. M. (2002).Visual mapping: A tool for design,Publishing. development and communication in the development of IT-rich learning environments. In A. Williamson, C. 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