Game Science in a Hybrid Learning Space

Slide1As mentioned in one of my blog posts, I’m working on a book idea around the power of gameful and playful learning as a response to the blurring of the boundaries between digital and physical contexts and spaces as well as between formal, informal and social settings. The idea was initially conceived mid 2014 and further developed in 2015. The initial idea has also inspired part of the development of the Beaconing project concept.  

This book will essentially explore existing work, trends and impact and implication in education. Existing projects I’m involved in  and leading will inform some of my thoughts and perspectives, including Beaconing, C4Rs, GameChangers, Starquest, Imparapp, etc. I have also spoken about some elements surrounding the topic in my various keynotes. My blog posts so far also give some flavour of some of the views and perspectives that will be further explored in the book.

The book proposal has been submitted to a publisher (Routledge) and has recently been approved and a contract is being sorted out as we speak. I will provide an update on the timeline and when the book will be expected. Watch this space!

The short summary of what the book will explore is as follows (all copyrighted 2015):

Games Science in a Hybrid Learning Space

Sylvester Arnab

Disruptive Media Learning Lab

Coventry University, UK

Games Science in A hybrid Learning Space will explore the potential, implication and impact of game-based approaches and interventions in response to the opportunities, requirements and challenges motivated by the blurring of the boundaries between digital and physical as well as formal and informal (including non-formal) learning spaces and contexts. Recognition of informal learning as an extension to formal methods is an important means for promoting ‘lifelong learning for all’ and, subsequently, for reshaping learning to better match the needs of the 21st century knowledge economies and open societies. The book will build upon the concept of a hybrid learning space that aims to reduce the barriers of time and physical space in teaching and learning practices, fostering seamless, sustained and measurable learning participation and outcomes beyond the barriers of formal education and physical learning contexts. The focus on a gamified approach is inspired by the increasing use of games concepts, techniques and technology to inject more fun into everyday spaces and contexts, and the evidence of increased engagement, enhanced experience and improved learning outcomes afforded by the approach.

Games Science in A hybrid Learning Space will delve deeper into the concept of, the opportunities afforded and challenges posed by a hybrid learning space, and how the science of games and the act of gameplay can better foster and scaffold teaching and learning experience and outcomes. The book will specifically focus on the crossings of pervasive technologies, gaming and gamification. Research and development of pervasive gaming is catalysed by the proliferation of more cost-effective, robust and mobile technology, providing opportunities for context-aware educational resources to be supported and delivered within a playful context. This in turn provides the mechanism for proactive discovery and learning, offering real benefits for teaching: they enable active pedagogy through physical and contextual immersion of learners, “in situ” information while practicing within authentic context. Existing findings (such as Schmitz, et al., 2013[1]) provide evidence that the appropriate use of context information within pervasive approach directs the use and presentation of content within a game and thus influences learning effects and motivation of individual players.

Based on original research, Games Science in A Hybrid Learning Space will also establish trans-disciplinary and holistic considerations for further conceptual and empirical investigation into this topic, with the dual goals of a better understanding of the role of a pervasive game-based approach in a blended environment, and of the possible structural and cultural transformation of formal education and life-long learning. The book will conclude with a future outlook on pervasiveness in teaching and learning practices, the enabling technologies and the impact they would have in future education and lifelong learning. This book is an essential guide for researchers, designers, teachers, learners and practitioners, who want to better understand the relationship between games and learning that merges digital and physical experiences and blends formal and informal instructions.

[1] Schmitz, B., Klemke, R., & Specht, M. (2013). A Learning Outcome-Oriented Approach towards Classifying Pervasive Games for Learning using Game Design Patterns and Contextual Information. International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning (IJMBL), 5(4), 59-71

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