The Electronic Journal of e-Learning provides perspectives on topics relevant to the study, implementation and management of e-Learning initiatives
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Journal Article

Playing in School or at Home? An Exploration of the Effects of Context on Educational Game Experience  pp199-208

Frederik De Grove, Jan Van Looy, Joyce Neys, Jeroen Jansz

© Jul 2012 Volume 10 Issue 2, Special ECGBL Issue, Editor: Dimitris Gouscos, pp159 - 256

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Abstract

The goal of this study is to gain insight into the effects of context on educational game experience. Using a quasi‑experimental setup, it compares the playing and learning experiences of adolescent players of the awareness‑raising game PING in a domestic (N=135) and a school (N=121) context. Results indicate that both gaming (identification, enjoyment) and learning experiences are more intense in a home compared to a school context. However, all of the variance in gaming and part of that in learning experience are caused by longer playing times and better computer equipment. Moreover, the overall impact of context on perceived learning is significantly smaller than that of other experiential factors such as identification and enjoyment. Thus context should be considered as a significant yet relatively small determinant of learning experience.

 

Keywords: context, serious games, game-based learning, situated play, game experience

 

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Journal Article

A Platform Independent Game Technology Model for Model Driven Serious Games Development  pp61-79

Stephen Tang, Martin Hanneghan, Christopher Carter

© Feb 2013 Volume 11 Issue 1, ECGBL, Editor: Patrick Felicia, pp1 - 79

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Abstract

Game‑based learning (GBL) combines pedagogy and interactive entertainment to create a virtual learning environment in an effort to motivate and regain the interest of a new generation of ‘digital native’ learners. However, this approach is impeded by the limited availability of suitable ‘serious’ games and high‑level design tools to enable domain experts to develop or customise serious games. Model Driven Engineering (MDE) goes some way to provide the techniques required to generate a wide variety of interoperable serious games software solutions whilst encapsulating and shielding the technicality of the full software development process. In this paper, we present our Game Technology Model (GTM) which models serious game software in a manner independent of any hardware or operating platform specifications for use in our Model Driven Serious Game Development Framework.

 

Keywords: game technology model, platform independent game technology model, serious games engineering, model driven engineering, games based learning, model driven serious games development

 

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Journal Article

Children’s Problem‑Solving in Serious Games: The “Fine‑Tuning System (FTS)” Elaborated  pp49-60

Chinedu Obikwelu, Janet Read, Gavin Sim

© Feb 2013 Volume 11 Issue 1, ECGBL, Editor: Patrick Felicia, pp1 - 79

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Abstract

For a child to learn through Problem‑Solving in Serious games, the game scaffolding mechanism has to be effective. Scaffolding is based on the Vygotzkian Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) concept which refers to the distance between the actual development level as determined by independent problem solving and the level of potential development as determined through problem solving under adult guidance, or in collaboration with more capable peers. Scaffolds in serious games are learning stimulators. The effectiveness of these learning stimulators lies in the way they are managed or regulated. Scaffolds that are not regulated could lead to expertise‑reversal effect or redundancy effect which inhibits learning. In the current classroom application of serious games, the game‑based learning stimulators remain the same for everyone (“blanket scaffolding”) – the learning stimulators are not managed or regulated. In order to make scaffolding in serious games more effective for classroom use, the calibration of the game’s learning stimulators has to be enabled – this would help in meeting the changing needs of the learners. The concept of fading which is critical to scaffolding is introduced to serious games, to facilitate the fine‑tuning of the learning stimulators to the changing needs of the learners. This paper seeks to address the issues in the design and implementation of a Fine‑Tuning System for serious games based on the fading concept. Also discussed in this paper are the factors to be considered in the implementation of the Fine‑Tuning System in serious games. These include fading decisions; fading and learning rates; optimal scaffolding distance; classroom culture and collaborative learning. The adverse effects of neglecting fading such as expertise‑reversal effect and redundancy effect are also discussed.

 

Keywords: expertise-reversal effect, redundancy effect, fading, adaptable, serious game, fine-tuning system, problem-based learning, scaffolding, ZPD, peer-tutoring

 

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Journal Article

The Playful and Reflective Game Designer  pp271-280

Gunver Majgaard

© Jun 2014 Volume 12 Issue 3, Special Edition for ECGBL 2013, Editor: Carlos Vaz de Carvalho and Paula Escudeiro, pp227 - 311

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Abstract

Abstract: A group of first‑semester engineering students participated in a game design course. The aim of the course was to learn how to design computer games and programming skills by creating their own games, thereby applying their game‑playing experien ces to gain knowledge about game design. The aim was for students to develop a more critically reflective perspective on video games and game design. In applying their game experiences, they developed their own digital prototypes and participated in refl ective discussions on the concept of games: what makes them interesting and how they are constructed. The students used the GameMaker programming tool, which can be used without any prior programming knowledge. The tool allows for the easy development of 2D game prototypes.The didactic approach was based on play as a lever for the design process, and on constructionistic and reflective learning philosophies. Playing games constituted an integral element of the design process; new code added to the program was tested by playing the game. The students were constantly alternating between playing and adding and revising code. The learning environment where games were played and developed could be considered to be a sandbox where experimentation was a motivati onal factor for the students, as they could make mistakes and try out creative ideas. Although the constructionistic learning approach promoted creative and innovative learning, it did not develop competencies in articulation and analysis. The aim was for students to reflect on games in order to promote explicit knowledge. Based on the theory, we consider retrospective reflective discussions in the classroom and their programming experiences reinforced the learning process. In summary, we present the stud ents' first progression from native consumers in the game world to becoming reflective designers. Along their journey, they developed a reflective practice and an understanding of the profession they were entering. The article also throws light on the ver y dynamic and fruitful relationship that ex

 

Keywords: Keywords: Learning, play, constructionism, reflection, game-based learning, game design, serious games, university pedagogy

 

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Journal Article

Framing the Adoption of Serious Games in Formal Education  pp159-171

Sylvester Arnab, Riccardo Berta, Jeffrey Earp, Sara de Freitas, Maria Popescu, Margarida Romero, Ioana Stanescu, Mireia Usart

© Jul 2012 Volume 10 Issue 2, Special ECGBL Issue, Editor: Dimitris Gouscos, pp159 - 256

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Abstract

Nowadays formal education systems are under increasing pressure to respond and adapt to rapid technological innovation and associated changes in the way we work and live. As well as accommodation of technology in its ever‑diversifying forms, there is a fu ndamental need to enhance learning processes through evolution in pedagogical approaches, so as to make learning in formal education more engaging and, it is hoped, more effective. One opportunity attracting particularly close attention is Serious Games ( SG), which offer considerable potential for facilitating both informal and formal learning. SG appear to offer the chance to hookŽ todays (largely) digital‑native generation of young learners, who are at risk of falling into an ever‑widening gap betw een networkedŽ lifestyles and the relative stagnant environment they experience in school and university. However, there are a number of inhibitors preventing wider SG take‑up in mainstream education. This paper investigates SG in formal education, initi ally by concentrating on pedagogical issues from two different but complementary perspectives, game design and game deployment. It then goes on to examine game based practice in formal settings and focuses on the pivotal role of the educator within the em erging panorama. This is followed by a brief look at some specific implementation strategies, collaboration and game building, which are opening up new possibilities. Finally some points for further consideration are offered.

 

Keywords: serious games, game-based learning, pedagogical issues, formal learning, teachers role, collaboration

 

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Journal Article

Bridging Audio and Augmented Reality towards a new Generation of Serious Audio‑only Games  pp144-156

Emmanouel Rovithis, Andreas Floros, Nikos Moustakas, Konstantinos Vogklis, Lily Kotsira

© Jun 2019 Volume 17 Issue 2, Editor: Antonios Andreatos, Cleo Sgouropoulou and Klimis Ntalianis, pp66 - 172

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Abstract

Abstract: Educational practices are constantly adjusting to technological advances, in order to improve their effectiveness in delivering knowledge and preparing students for the challenges of modern digital society. Electronic games and augmented reality environments are two such media that can shape powerful modes of interactive and immersive experiences. Audio games in particular, i.e. electronic games that utilise data sonification and audio interaction techniques to express all narrative and gameplay content, have been proven to enhance players’ skills, such as concentration, memory, fantasy, emotional response, perception, data management and cooperation. However, despite the promising research findings reported in literature, there has been no systematic approach in integrating systems based on audio interaction into formal education. This article suggests that audio games can be designed and implemented for the delivery of targeted curricula through an engaging learning experience, whereas fusing audio game mechanics into new interactive technologies, such as augmented reality environments, will further enhance the students’ immersiveness in the learning process. Towards establishing the theoretical framework for the design of educational audio games, as well as educational augmented reality audio games, the authors review existing approaches and argue that the inherent features of both audio interaction and augmented reality systems agree with the official educational goals formulated by the Greek Ministry of Education and the International Baccalaureate Institution. Then, they discuss four original projects in terms of sound and mechanics design to demonstrate that audio games can address a wide range of subjects, adopt cross‑curricular strategies, facilitate complex modes of interaction, and realise creative, collaborative and inclusive learning activities.

 

Keywords: audio games, serious games, augmented reality, augmented reality audio, audio interaction, music education

 

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Journal Article

The Gameplay Loop Methodology as a Tool for Educational Game Design  pp207-221

André Czauderna, Emmanuel Guardiola

© Sep 2019 Volume 17 Issue 3, Editor: Melanie Ciussi and Margarida Romero, pp173 - 235

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Abstract

The field of game design for educational content lacks a focus on methodologies that merge gameplay and learning. Existing methodologies typically fall short in three ways: they neglect the unfolding of gameplay through players’ actions over a short period of time as a significant unit of analysis; they lack a common consideration of game and learning mechanics; and they falsely separate the acts of playing and learning. This paper recommends the gameplay loop methodology as a valuable tool for educational game design, as it addresses these major shortcomings. Furthermore, this paper outlines how this methodology can be supported by knowledge from subject‑specific didactics—considering both the curriculum and its mediation (contributed by experts from educational practice) as well as methods of player‑centered design—in order to ensure the appropriateness of learning objectives and techniques of mediation in the context of a particular field of knowledge, the game’s appeal to its target group, and the effectiveness of the learning mechanics. A case study of the design and production phases of Antura and the Letters, a literacy game for Arabic refugee children, illustrates the uses of the gameplay loop methodology situated in the described broader approach to educational game design. Finally, this paper explains the results of an impact study revealing that the approach indeed provides the opportunity to merge playing and learning.

 

Keywords: serious games, educational games, instructional design, game design, gameplay loop, player-centered design

 

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Journal Article

Accelerating the Energy Transition Through Serious Gaming: Testing Effects on Awareness, Knowledge and Efficacy Beliefs  pp410-420

Tania Ouariachi, Wim Elving

© Oct 2020 Volume 18 Issue 5, Editor: Rikke Ørngreen, Mie Buhl and Bente Meyer, pp373 - 459

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Abstract

To have sustainable societies, we need to accelerate the energy transition towards clean energy solutions, however, awareness and understanding of the process as well as intentions to change behaviors are still limited, especially among young people. An optimal balance considering the point of view from all parties involved is out of sight without a focus on social structures and a dialogue among all parties. In this context, universities have a critical role to play: these institutions build capacity through the development of new knowledge, new understanding and new insights, and can therefore provide effective solutions to complex societal challenges. In search of innovative approaches to reach young people, whose communicative paradigm has become more interactive and participatory, the use of serious gaming in formal education is gaining attention among scholars and practitioners: they can foster skills and abilities, contribute to content development of complex issues by integrating insights from different disciplines, and permit learning experiences that are not possible in real life. In this paper, we introduce “We‑Energy Game”, a serious game that address the urgency and complexities in the provision of affordable energy from renewable sources for an entire town. During the game, players negotiate, from their respective roles, which energy source they want to employ and on which location, with the goal to make a village or city energy neutral. Then, we present findings from a pretest and posttest completed by a hundred university students in The Netherlands to analyze the effects of the game on players awareness, understanding and efficacy beliefs. Results reveal positive outcomes on all variables.

 

Keywords: serious games, education, youth, sustainability, energy transition, effects

 

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