Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Using video games for educational purposes


Published on

ModSim World Canada 2009 Conference presentation

  • Be the first to comment

Using video games for educational purposes

  1. 1. Using video games for educational purposes Sonya Milly Educational Studies, Concordia University Photo credit: from The Movies , Lionhead Studios
  2. 2. Intended Audience <ul><li>This presentation is intended to serve as a brief overview and stepping stone for </li></ul><ul><li>educators who have limited or no expertise in using videogames as teaching tools, but who would like to explore their pedagogical value. </li></ul><ul><li>individuals interested in the use of video games in formal educational settings from an educational theory perspective. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Overview <ul><li>The case for and against using videogames in classrooms </li></ul><ul><li>Learning through videogames </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching with videogames </li></ul>
  4. 4. Research rationale (i) <ul><li>There is a need to equip teachers with new pedagogical approaches and curriculum frameworks so that students and teachers can benefit from technological advances afforded by new media. </li></ul><ul><li>(de Castells, Bryson and Jenson, 2001; Barrell, 2001; Hawisher and Selfe, 1997, 1999; Klopfer, Osterweil and Salen, 2009; Kress 2000; Leu and Kinzer, 2000; Snyder, 2002; Tyner, 1998; Yee, 2001). </li></ul>
  5. 5. Research rationale (ii) <ul><li>Current and emerging research is showing that video games can be powerful learning and teaching tools. </li></ul><ul><li>(Becker, 2007a, 2007b; Gee, 2003; Gibson, Aldrich, & Prensky, 2007; Johnson, 2005, Sanford and Madill, 2007) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Research rationale (iii) <ul><li>Yet, little guidance on how to adapt teaching practices to benefit from technological innovation such as commercial video games is available. </li></ul><ul><li>(de Castells, Bryson, and Jenson, 2001; Gee, Hull and Lankshear, 1996; OECD 2001; Ng, 2006; Nixon, Atkinson and Beavis, 2006; Shaffer, Squire, Halverson, and Gee, 2005; Van Heertum and Share, 2006) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Research questions (i) <ul><ul><li>What are the potential benefits and concerns related to using video games in classrooms? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. What theoretical frameworks, games-based teaching methods, and resources are available to inform and guide teachers’ practices in using video games in classrooms? </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Approach <ul><li>A literature review of theoretical frameworks and games-based teaching methods suitable for K-12 levels. </li></ul><ul><li>An online search of resource support sites for teachers using video games. </li></ul>
  9. 9. The case for using video games as pedagogical tools (i) <ul><li>Research is showing that games-based teaching and learning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Expands children’s engagement with written and visual texts, images and sounds (e.g., multisensory learning). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leads to new forms of literacy (e.g., multimodal literacy, games literacy). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Serves as a precursor to facilitate learning of other computer and technology domains as well as the learning of higher-order cognitive skills. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(Gee, 2003) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. The case for (ii) <ul><li>Using video games in the classroom can </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make learning more engaging, meaningful and relevant to those who have grown up with and value technology. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. Allow young people to build upon technological skills developed through leisure activities. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3. Meet curricula requirements to actively incorporate technology in school activities. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Gee, 2003) </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. The case for (iii) <ul><li>Using video games in the classroom can bridge the gap between </li></ul><ul><li>Technology-savvy young people and their teachers. </li></ul><ul><li>Formal traditional schooling and out-of-school learning. </li></ul><ul><li>3. Those who can afford technology at home and those who cannot. (Gee, 2003) </li></ul>
  12. 12. The case for (iv) <ul><li>Educational and cultural theorists stress the importance of play in childhood learning. (Piaget,1951; Bruner,1966; Huizinga, 1950) </li></ul><ul><li>Media-inspired play, such as videogames, occurs alongside or within other forms of imaginative play (e.g., Animé). </li></ul><ul><li>(Weber and Dixon, 2007; Ito, 2008) </li></ul>
  13. 13. The case for (v) <ul><li>Children’s principal access to computers is through the world of video games. </li></ul><ul><li>(Papert, 1993; Buckingham, 2006) </li></ul><ul><li>Children begin to learn through games and their play activities. Why disrupt or remove this effective learning process from formal education? (Rieber, 1996). </li></ul>
  14. 14. The case against using video games for educational purposes (i) <ul><li>Using video games in classrooms is controversial due to their alleged potential to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increase violent and addictive behaviors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promote social isolation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>(Anderson, 2005; Jenkins, 2005, 2006; Walsh, 2001) </li></ul>
  15. 15. However, evidence supporting this view is increasingly questioned. <ul><li>1. Most research concerning videogames stems from media effects studies. </li></ul><ul><li>Content analysis - the methodology commonly used in media effects studies - is increasingly considered of limited value because it isolates media content from its historical, cultural, and social contexts, rendering it inadequate to explore new media. </li></ul><ul><li>(Buckingham, 2006; Goldstein, 2005; Tyner, 1998) </li></ul>
  16. 16. Evidence increasingly questioned <ul><li>The highly collaborative nature of many video games played in online environments ‘strongly refutes’ the thesis that playing computer or video games is a solitary or anti-social activity. </li></ul><ul><li>(Buckingham, 2006; Livingstone and Bovill, 1999) </li></ul>
  17. 17. Evidence increasingly questioned <ul><li>The culture surrounding video games (e.g., gaming communities) plays a significant role in helping young people develop interpersonal relationships and serves as a platform for knowledge exchange. </li></ul><ul><li>(Gee, 2003; Dixon and Weber, 2007; Ito, 2008; Jenkins, 2006) </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>Learning through video games </li></ul>
  19. 19. My findings (i) <ul><li>The learning that takes place in video games results from staying ‘in the flow’ and active engagement. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The highly interactive nature of video games make them fascinating and fun. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>(Prensky, 2006) </li></ul>
  20. 20. Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow Theory of Optimal Experience <ul><ul><li>A state of flow comes from immersion, intense concentration and enjoyment. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>As flow increases, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> attitudes improve </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> anxiety diminishes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> creativity heightens </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> problem-solving skills strengthen </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>(McMillan, 2006) </li></ul>
  21. 21. Malone’s four criteria of engagement <ul><li>For a game to be motivating, it requires the right blend of: </li></ul><ul><li> challenge </li></ul><ul><li> curiosity </li></ul><ul><li> fantasy </li></ul><ul><li> control </li></ul><ul><li>The right balance of these ingredients builds players’ intrinsic motivation that, in turn, entices learning. </li></ul><ul><li>(Akilli, 2007) </li></ul>
  22. 22. Findings (ii) <ul><li>Active learning from video game play comes from: </li></ul><ul><li>experiencing the world in new ways, </li></ul><ul><li>forming new associations, and </li></ul><ul><li>results in the acquisition of resources and knowledge that prepares for future learning in other domains. </li></ul><ul><li>(Gee, 2003) </li></ul>
  23. 23. Findings (iii) <ul><li>People learn a variety of valuable skills playing video games. </li></ul><ul><li>Socializing skills </li></ul><ul><li>Life skills </li></ul><ul><li>Strategizing skills </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative skills </li></ul><ul><li>Problem-solving skills </li></ul><ul><li>Decision making skills </li></ul><ul><li>Social values </li></ul>
  24. 24. Findings (iv) <ul><li>Video game play develops several types of intelligence </li></ul><ul><li>For instance, </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the visually rich 3-D environments build spatial intelligence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>musical scores and sound-effect elements that enhance play and enjoyment help develop musical intelligence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>requirements for players to become part of the virtual world (physically, emotionally, and visually) contribute to kinesthetic intelligence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Becker, 2007a) </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Findings (v) <ul><li>Commercial video games meet the needs of various learning styles. </li></ul><ul><li>For instance, </li></ul><ul><li>Players with concrete learning needs find the support they seek through game feedback mechanisms. </li></ul><ul><li>Abstract learners are able to actualize and test their theories in virtual environments. </li></ul><ul><li>(Becker, 2007a; Gregorc, 1985) </li></ul>
  26. 26. Finding (iv) <ul><li>Playing video games fosters numerous types of learning </li></ul><ul><li>For instance, </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Role-playing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning from mistakes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Experimental learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Self-directed learning (e.g., task-based, goal-based) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Problem-based learning </li></ul></ul><ul><li>(Akilli, 2007; Gee, 2003; Prensky, 2006; Royle, 2008) </li></ul>
  27. 27. Example - experimental learning <ul><li>Experimental learning calls for learners to have concrete experiences, reflect on their experiences and observations, and then actively experiment with new ideas and situations. </li></ul><ul><li>(Kolb and Fry, 1975) </li></ul><ul><li> Video game environments support risk-taking, exploration and experimentation with minimum consequences. </li></ul><ul><li>(Becker, 2007a) </li></ul>
  28. 28. <ul><li>Teaching with video games </li></ul>
  29. 29. My findings (i) <ul><li>Very few instructional design models or guidelines for creating game-like learning environments exist. </li></ul><ul><li>(Akilli and Cagiltay, 2006; Bates, 2000; Morrison and Aldrich, 2003 ) </li></ul>
  30. 30. Findings (ii) <ul><li>However, many well-known pedagogical theories, models, and approaches are as relevant and as well supported when applied to commercial videogames as when there are applied to classroom settings. </li></ul><ul><li>(Becker, 2007a, 2007b, 2008; Gibson, Aldrich, & Prensky, 2007; Rieber, 1996) </li></ul>
  31. 31. Learning theories and teaching models that apply to games <ul><li>Gardner’s theory of ‘multiple intelligences’ </li></ul><ul><li>Reigeluth’s elaboration theory </li></ul><ul><li>Gagné’s ‘nine events of instruction’ </li></ul><ul><li>Bruner’s psycho-cultural approach to education </li></ul><ul><li>Merrill’s ‘first principles of instruction’ </li></ul><ul><li>Story telling </li></ul><ul><li>(Becker, 2007a) </li></ul>
  32. 32. Example 1 - Reigeluth’s Major Strategy Components … applied to games (Teacher Talk) (Translation) An elaboration sequence <ul><li>Well-paced, simple-to-complex sequence progression </li></ul>Learning prerequisite sequences <ul><li>Tutorial/practice mode </li></ul><ul><li>Players only advance from one level to the next when specific challenges have been met and specific status acquired. </li></ul>Summary <ul><li>Game’s “tab sheet” that tracks players’ accomplishments and discoveries </li></ul>Analogies <ul><li>Players create their own analogies by identifying common approaches , tactics and characteristics amongst similar game genres or earlier sequels </li></ul>Cognitive strategies <ul><li>Players’ desire to discover the game’s requisite strategies needed to beat the game move players through planed experiences </li></ul>Learner control <ul><li>Seemingly infinite choices for players </li></ul><ul><li>Individual decision-making within the game’s designed perimeter. </li></ul>
  33. 33. Example 2 - Video games allow players to learn about, and participate in, great stories and myths. (Kelman, 2005). Photo credit: Hulu
  34. 34. Findings (iii) <ul><li>Theories that influence videogame designers may help educators adjust their teaching methods in ways that enhance learning outcomes in the classroom. </li></ul><ul><li>(e.g., Flow theory of optimal experience) </li></ul><ul><li>(Gee, 2003; Prensky, 2006, Van Eck, 2007) </li></ul>
  35. 35. Findings (iv) <ul><li>Students and teachers can benefit from video games, even without their direct </li></ul><ul><li>use in the classroom by: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>incorporating them in class discussions, and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>by drawing upon the many learning principles captured in the design of video games. </li></ul></ul>
  36. 36. Conclusion No.1 <ul><li>The success of video games as teaching tools remains largely un-established. </li></ul><ul><li>(Akilli, 2007; Buckingham, 2006) </li></ul><ul><li>The extent to which games influence students’ learning in a positive way remains unknown. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Games are amongst the least used technology application in education. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There is a “lack of available well-designed research studies” about teaching and learning with video games (Akilli, 2007, p.6). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The field of education has a longstanding wariness of the value of games for instructional purposes (Rieber, 1996). </li></ul>
  37. 37. Conclusion No. 2 <ul><li>Teachers (pre-service and practicing) need opportunities to experiment with video games, as well as fora to discuss their experiences and concerns with peers. </li></ul><ul><li>(Schrader, Zheng, and Young, 2006; Squire, 2005) </li></ul>
  38. 38. Conclusion No. 3 <ul><li>To integrate videogames into teaching practices, educators will need to: </li></ul><ul><li>See concrete examples of the educational benefit of videogames. </li></ul><ul><li>Have assurance that methods supporting the use of video games are pedagogically sound. </li></ul><ul><li>Have adequate support available (e.g., institutional, industry, technical). </li></ul><ul><li>(Gibson, Aldrich, and Prensky, 2007; Wright and Vongalis Macrow, 2006; Wright, 2009) </li></ul>
  39. 39. Conclusion No. 4 <ul><li>Video game design and play exemplify sound learning theories </li></ul><ul><li>Look at what is educational about successful video games. </li></ul><ul><li>Try to make teaching practices as game-like as possible. </li></ul><ul><li>(Gee, 2003; Becker, 2007a, 2007b; Prensky, 2006) </li></ul>
  40. 40. Recommend strategies (i) <ul><li>Make maximum use of resource support websites dedicated to digital game-based learning and teaching. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Where possible, contribute to the development of these sites by sharing your findings, experiences, and examples. </li></ul></ul>
  41. 41. Recommended strategies (ii) <ul><li>Model pedagogy on gaming, </li></ul><ul><li>not gaming on pedagogy. </li></ul><ul><li>(Becker, 2007a, 2007b, 2008; Gee, 2003, 2005; Prensky, 2006; </li></ul><ul><li>Royle, 2008) </li></ul>
  42. 42. <ul><li>It is better to examine design elements of successful games and find theories to explain them than design a game based on a learning theory. </li></ul><ul><li>(Becker, 2007a) </li></ul>
  43. 43.
  44. 44. The Arcade's Revolution “ Games-to Teach” project – MIT and the University of Wisconsin.
  45. 45. Revolution’s characters
  46. 46.
  47. 47.
  48. 48.
  49. 49.
  50. 50.
  51. 51.
  52. 52.
  53. 53. Main presentation websites <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  54. 54. Thank you for your attention <ul><li>Questions, comments? </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>
  55. 55. Read on <ul><li>Games and simulations in online learning: Research and development frameworks. </li></ul><ul><li>David Gibson, Clark Aldrich, and </li></ul><ul><li>Marc Prensky, (Eds.) </li></ul><ul><li>Hershey, PA: Information Science Pub., (2007). </li></ul>