The book – Part 1- The premise…

9781138239760_Sylvester Arnab_ Twitter-1200x675[4]The book that I have been working on for the past couple of years has finally been published by Routledge (Taylor and Francis). It is now available on the publisher’s website (paperback, hardcover, and e-book with discounts) and other books and shopping outlets. Links are provided at the end of this post.

I first revealed the book project in 2016- see my previous post here, I have also touched on some of the materials I was developing in the various keynotes, interviews,  and lectures.

So how did “Game Science in Hybrid Learning Spaces” come about?

I have explored and investigated the application of games and gameplay in supporting, complementing, and also enhancing educational experiences since 2009. The main focus is on the experience that we wish to create and facilitate; experiences that would engage and empower learners and education, and also nurture creative and co-creative practices. How should games and gameplay be utilised as inspirations for informing the design and the enabling of such experiences?

Game Science

There are so many terms that have been used to categorise the enabling tools, methodologies, and principles – serious games, game-based learning, gamification, etc. In this book, I emphasise a more holistic approach in enabling anyone from any background to explore the characteristics and components of games and gameplay for their own practices.

Based on 10 years of experience in research, development, and practice in this domain, my observation is that games and gameplay are becoming more pervasive – not only technologically but also contextually and culturally. This aligns with how education is continuing to blend seamlessly into our daily lives and vice versa.  The world (both digital and physical) has become our biggest playground for exploration, experimentation, and meaning-making.

“Game science in this book is defined as a field that investigates how playful and gameful experiences are designed and applied based on strategies and elements commonly used by game-based approaches (analogue and/or digital), which include game-based learning, serious games, and gamification and how their operations are underpinned by pedagogical and motivational theories and practices…” Arnab (2020, p. 57)

Game Science focuses on the use of game principles in a strategic way in order to make a process and experience more accessible and engaging, which is further discussed and explored throughout the book.

Hybrid Learning

As pedagogical paradigms continue to evolve in response to the shift in socio-cultural, economic, and technological landscapes, learners are expected to be more self-regulated, agentic, and empathic in the way they author and configure their learning experiences.

This calls for hybridity in the practice of education, which breaks the boundaries of the traditional classroom and didactic methods, favouring the overlapping and cross-fertilisation of often separate educational dimensions and modalities. Such modalities include pedagogical constructs, spatial modality (digital/physical, online/offline), formality, and temporality of contexts, personal and social relationships, as well as identities.

“With the perspectives of learning at the speed of need across different spatial, contextual and material modalities, and the blending of these modalities, hybrid learning proposes a more pragmatic and holistic approach for finding the right combination out of all modalities, whether they are offline or online, digital or analogue, passive or experiential, formal or informal…” Arnab (2020, p. 40)

Hybrid learning is strategic. It defines a series of varied processes and practices at the speed of need with a focus on the experience compared to blended learning that is more tactical, where the configuration of educational modalities is constrained by the binary of digital and physical didactics.

Hybrid education emphasises the value of relevant and meaningful experiences. It proposes the need to configure and contextualise the connections between experiences and situations, devices, resources, and people, and put these together in a way that makes sense for the learning process.

Game Science and Hybrid Learning

In the book, I propose a hybrid approach as a principle that is not defined and restricted by specific technologies and/or pedagogies but a practice that is rooted in holistic considerations at the speed of need. Putting the learners at the heart of the agenda, hybrid education allows their learning experience to be configured as and when it is needed for supporting the learners’ growth in their learning process. This opens up opportunities for the different modalities of games and game-like experiences (whether they are analogue, digital, or hybrid) to be applied in an educational context that crosses formality, spatial and temporal boundaries.

Ian Livingstone, CBE summarises the key message in his foreword:

“This book provides valuable insights and discussions into the engaging and pervasive nature of games and gameplay, and how hybrid education that breaks the barriers of space and time can benefit from the science and practice of games – i.e. the use of games as instruments for teaching and learning and also the use of game creation as a hybrid educational process.” Ian Livingstone (Arnab, 2020, Foreword)

How to cite the book:

Arnab, S. (2020). Game Science in Hybrid Learning Spaces. (1 ed.) (Digital Games, Simulation and Learning; No. 6). NY: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.

Where to purchase the book (amongst others…):

Publisher’s site

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Barnes and Noble

Waterstones

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