The Game Science team has been carrying out various research and development in the area of game-based learning, serious gaming and gamification within the context of the experimental Disruptive Media Learning Lab. On top of providing adaptable and adoptable approaches for use at Coventry University Teaching and Learning, we are also publishing findings in peer-reviewed journals (mentioned in previous posts) and also in conferences.
In particular, this year we are targeting for our work to be presented and disseminated at the 10th European Conference in Game Based Learning (ECGBL 2016), 6-7 Oct in Paisley, Scotland, a fantastic conference to engage with key researchers in the domain.
The five papers in the conference collectively highlight findings on the impact of play and gameplay in supporting teaching and learning within formal or informal contexts:
Paper 1: ImparApp: Designing And Piloting A Game-Based Approach For Language Learning
- Authors: Luca Morini, Koula Charitonos, Sylvester Arnab, Tiziana Cervi Wilson, Billy Brick, Tyrone Bellamy-Wood, Gaetan Van Leeuwen
- Abstract: The paper gives an overview of the development, deployment and evaluation of ImparApp, a location-based game to support teaching and learning of Italian Language. It draws on a project currently developed at Coventry University, which examines pervasive approaches to learning and exploits game-based techniques in contextualising language learning in a more active, innovative and engaging way.
Paper 2: Competition And Collaboration Using A Social And Gamified Online Learning Platform
- Authors: Sylvester Arnab, Roy Bhakta, Sarah Kate Merry, Mike Smith, Kam Star, Michael Duncan
- Abstract: Gamification is defined as the use of game techniques in a non-game context and has demonstrated potential impact in a wide range of subjects. Informed by the design and processes of digital gaming, gamification often exploits competition to motivate, personified by points, badges and leader boards. Success, however, seems to go beyond these basic features and rely on a concrete acknowledgement of the motivational model of the user, taking into account concepts such as situational relevance and situated motivational affordance, which can be framed under competition and/or collaboration. This paper investigates the impact of competitive and collaborative environments on summative assessment. This study bases its investigation on the StarQuest platform (http://starquest.eu/), a social and gamified collaboration application hosting a private online environment for small groups of individuals to co-curate and share digital contents. Participants were second year undergraduate students (Sport Psychology, n=94), who enrolled on a module entitled “A Fundamental Approach to Motor Learning and Control”. The module ran for 11 weeks and the curriculum was delivered using a Problem-Based Learning (PBL) approach. The results highlighted a number of strengths and weaknesses of implementing a gamified online platform for team working, which will inform future design, development and deployment of gamified and learning platforms.
Paper 3: EscapED: A Framework for Creating Live-Action, Interactive Games for Higher/Further Education Learning and Soft Skills Development.
- Authors: Samantha Clarke, Sylvester Arnab, Luca Morini , Oliver Woo, Kate Green, Alex Masters
- Abstract: There is a rapid growing interest and demand globally, for developing and participating in live, team-based, interactive gaming experiences otherwise known as Escape Rooms. Traditionally designed to provide entertainment, Escape Rooms require its players to solve puzzles, complete tasks and work together efficiently in order to complete an overall goal such as solving a mystery or escaping the room itself. The structure of Escape Rooms and their overall growing popularity, equally amongst players of all ages and genders, indicates that the premise of interactive, live-action gaming can be adapted to develop engaging scenarios for game-based learning. The authors therefore present; EscapED, as a work in progress, case study and paradigm for creating educational Escape Rooms and Interactive Gaming Experiences aimed at staff and students in further/higher education institutions. A focus is drawn to designing and developing on-site experiences, to provide engaging alternatives for learning and soft skills development amongst higher education staff and students. A review of a prototype scenario, developed to support Coventry University staff at a teaching and learning training event is given, alongside participant’s general feedback and reactions to the overall experience and perceived educational value of EscapED. The EscapED framework is then discussed and offered as a tool to help foster a best practice approach to developing future Interactive Game-Based Learning Experiences (IGBLE). To conclude, the authors examine future needs and requirements for refining scenario design, development and iterative live-player testing, to ensure the EscapED Programme meets all educational and player engagement standards.
Paper 4: The andragogical perspectives of Older People’s interaction with digital game technologies: Game-play on gesture and touch-based platforms
- Authors: Suriati Khartini Jali, Sylvester Arnab
- Abstract: Due to the engaging factor of gameplay afforded by digital game technologies, the application of games is becoming a popular medium in promoting and fostering serious outcomes in domains, such as education and health. For instance, social inclusion and healthy lifestyle can be motivated and stimulated through social interaction, cognitive exercises and physical activity afforded by digital game technology. Acknowledging the potential benefits of game-play, this paper explores digital gaming from the perspectives of a specific target group – older people above the age of 55. It is essential that users or players are captivated and engaged by a game before any serious purposes/activities can be imposed. The design of most games used for both entertainment and serious purposes however focuses on the general player population, and mostly targeting a much younger population currently engaging with digital gaming. The paper thus aims to specifically investigate the correlation between the challenges associated with older people, their existing engagement with digital gaming and other interactive technologies, the andragogical perspectives and existing game design attributes. A pilot study was carried out with 14 participants. Data was collected from their interactions with and experiences of digital gaming. Questionnaires and group discussions were utilised in order to collect their feedback and perspectives on the experience. The results of our study show that there are three key findings which are; 1) the interaction types and the experience provided by the game itself, 2) the game interaction styles which is supported by the platforms and 3) gameplay interaction and challenges associated to age-related changes. These findings should be considered when considering the interaction and experience of older people for digital game design.
Paper 5: SimAULA: Creating Higher-Level Gamification, through adoption of a Learning-Objective to Game-Objective Mapping Approach.
- Authors: Samantha Clarke, Petros Lameras, Sylvester Arnab
- Abstract: In order to support the development and implementation of higher-level gamification in e-learning towards encouraging and sustaining player motivation and engagement, the authors present an analysis of the design and development approach to creating SimAULA; a gamified simulation for training teachers in using Inquiry-based learning (IBL) theory and practice. This study seeks to transfer an understanding of the design and creation methods of utilising a learning-objective to game-objective mapping process in which pedagogic theories are transformed into game objectives and challenges to create interesting learning experiences for players. A prototype version of SimAULA is presented alongside the method taken that informed the development considerations and choices whilst mapping pedagogic theory and learning outcomes of IBL practice to SimAULA’s design style, delivery, game mechanics and game-play features. The paper further highlights key game mechanics that have been chosen to align with the learning-objective to game-objective mapping (LO-GO) approach, in which player choice, player ownership and learning feedback play vital roles in developing higher-level gamification methods. The authors present a case for adopting a higher-level gamification approach for advancing serious games, simulations and applications through development of player choice & ownership, narrative, feedback and game metrics to create enhanced e-learning solutions. Furthermore, the design and development methodology adopted for SimAULA is transcribed to inform the LO-GO mapping approach which is presented as a recommendation to inform future research and developments of higher-level gamification approaches for e-learning.
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