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LEARNING VIA GAMES AND SIMULATIONS

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Title: LEARNING VIA GAMES AND SIMULATIONS


1
LEARNING VIA GAMES AND SIMULATIONS
Researcher Lauren Milstid, Graduate
Student Instructional Technology Program Chestnut
Hill College
This is an introductory presentation to my
thesis. My study is still in progress and will
be completed in May 2009.
2
Introduction
Why do we care about learning through games?
  • Technology-based learning is a modern learning
    approach.
  • To accommodate the needs of todays learners
  • Learners will acquire an educational experience
    filled with value, respect, and enjoyment.

3
My studys transformation
  • My topic idea has stayed the same, but the road
    to collecting data has been a roller coaster.
  • I tried to
  • Survey E-learning users
  • Interview employees from corporations
  • Survey visitors at video game expo
  • Interview college students experience with
    Second Life in philosophy course
  • Interview or survey Alice users, via the online
    Alice forum

4
My studys transformation
  • Where did the roller coaster stop?
  • I will ask available professors and graduate
    students to experiment with Alice
  • I will then conduct interviews based on their
    experience with exploring the Alice software.

5
My studys transformation
  • What exactly is Alice?
  • An innovative 3D programming environment that
    makes it easy to create an animation for telling
    a story, playing an interactive game, or a video
    to share on the web.
  • Alice allows students to immediately see how
    their animation programs run, enabling them to
    easily understand the relationship between the
    programming statements and the behavior of
    objects in their animation.
  • Descriptions taken from www.alice.org

6
My literature review - Part I
  • Constructivism
  • Constructivism as a learning theory
  • Learning is not acquired through structured
    problems and rules, rather the learning is
    obtained by constructing knowledge and making
    inquires.
  • Distributed cognition as a framework
  • Technology is an involved team member in
    cognition and not just a device that carries out
    information.
  • Situated learning and meaning as a model
  • Learning that takes place in the same environment
    that it will be applied.

7
My literature review - Part I
2 minute video on situated learning
http//www.youtube.com/watch?vBVPayUDJMX4
8
My literature review - Part I
Gee (2008) thinks that learning is attained
through games because they allow players to
exercise the following capabilities identifier,
producer, risk taker, discoverer, organizer,
owner, creative problem solver, master (with
practice), and critical thinker.
Lets hear what an expert has to say.
9
My literature review - Part I
  • Constructivism
  • Teaching with new learning approaches
  • Instructors must design and establish curriculum
    that helps people learn, which is possible when
    four learning categories are present
  • knowledge-centered
  • community centered
  • assessment centered
  • learner centered

10
My literature review - Part I
  • Constructivism
  • Teaching with new learning approaches
  • Knowledge centered provide hyperlinked content,
    references, and multiple and ever-present sources
    for acquiring information (Gibson et al., 2007).
  • Community centered facilitate collaborative work
    and group learning, as well as provide the tools
    for learners to connect globally with
    international peers (Gibson et al., 2007).
  • Assessment centered provide instant feedback.
  • Learner centered allow students to choose their
    desired course/scenario as well as decide on the
    proper tools to work with (Gibson et al., 2007).

11
My literature review- Part II
  • The Power of Games and Simulations How Games
    Teach and Users Learn
  • It is not the theme of the game that attracts
    players it the ubiquitous rewards that can be
    attained via a game (Johnson 2006).
  • Aldrich (2007) indicates that engaged learners
    become immersed into the games environment
    where they acquire total control and every aspect
    of the game depends on their actions.

12
My literature review- Part II
  • The Power of Games and Simulations How Games
    Teach and Users Learn
  • Van Eck (2007) asserts that interaction is the
    impetus to effective play because players must
    respond and provide input.
  • Bogost (2008) points out that we are always
    playing when immersed in a video game however,
    the term play is synonymous with exploring and
    interpreting the meaning of the game.

13
My literature review - Part III
  • Learning through Quality Game Design A Study in
    E-Learning
  • Learning is meaningful, memorable, and
    motivational.
  • Prensky (2007) asserts that good games are
    challenging, original, fun, memorable, and make
    the player feel tense and energetic.
  • Allen (2003) believes that if learning is neither
    memorable nor meaningful, then a learner will not
    grasp what is trying to be taught.

14
My literature review - Part III
  • Learning through Quality Game Design A Study in
    E-Learning
  • Learning is meaningful, memorable, and
    motivational.
  • Gee (2008) affirms that motivation is intrinsic
    within games.
  • For example, players become more motivated when
    failure is impossible.
  • Allen (2003) concludes that motivation
  • Filters out distractions
  • Strengthens ability to retain knowledge
  • Stores new connections in the long-term memory

15
My literature review - Part III
Allen (2003) notes, The purpose of
instructional interactivity is to wrestle our
intellectual laziness to the groundto reawaken
our interest in learning, strengthen our ability
to learn, and provide an optimal environment in
which to learn (p. 93).
Lets hear what an expert has to say.
16
My research questions
  • What is the experience of learning through games
    and simulations?
  • How does good game design affect the users
    quality of learning?
  • What happens when learners interact with the 3D
    programming environment known as Alice?
  • How may using Alice affect the learners
    learning?
  • How may using Alice affect the learners
    motivation?
  • How would learners expect to apply what they
    learn from using Alice to future learning
    situations?

17
My potential findings
  • Participants will acknowledge and understand the
    value and effectiveness of games and simulations
    by
  • Discovering more about themselves, as learners
  • Being aware of personal learning styles and how
    games accommodate those styles
  • Experiencing a high level of motivation
  • Understanding how to apply what was learned to
    future scenarios

18
References
  • Allen, M. W. (2003). Michael Allens guide to
    e-learning. Hoboken, NJ John Wiley Sons.
  • Gee, J. P. (2007). What video games have to teach
    us about learning and literacy (revised and
    updated ed.). New York Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Gibson, D., Halverson, W., Riedel, E. (2007).
    Online games for 21st century skills. In D.
    Gibson, C. Aldrich, M. Prensky (Eds.), Games
    and simulations in online learning (pp. 175
    187). Hershey, PA Information Science.
  • Johnson, S. (2006). Everything bad is good for
    you. New York Penguin Group.
  • Salen, K., Bogost, I., Gee, J. P., Ito, M.
    (Eds.). (2008). The ecology of games.
    Cambridge, MA The MIT Press.
  • Van Eck, R. (2007). Building artificially
    intelligent learning games. In D. Gibson, C.
    Aldrich, M. Prensky (Eds.), Games and
    simulations in online learning (pp. 271 307).
    Hershey, PA Information Science.

19
Final questions
  • Any thoughts?
  • Any unclear points?
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