Analyzing Game: Serious Games Design Assessment Framework

Here you will find how Eric Klopfer introduces Dr. Konstantin Mitgutsch of Playful Solutions and his Serious Games Design Assessment Framework for analyzing serious games (1:11). They go on to compare other game design frameworks, and discuss the importance of purpose, coherence and engagement in creating a great game (3:19).

The Serious Games Design Assessment Framework will provide some factors to consider as you reflect on some of the games we have discussed this week.  It will also be helpful as you begin to consider ideas for your course project.

From: MIT Ed Tech

Regards

Case Study part III:Designing Zoombinis

Hi, in this video, Scot Osterweil, and Eric Klopfer talk about how Zoombinis came to life, reflecting on the importance of an iterative playtesting process involving kids (3:21), as well the problems that emerge from the strict categorization of games (5:35).

By MIT máster “Ed Tech”

How to make a game 2

Article, entirely from gamasutra.com

Interacting

Picture and article from: http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/167418/what_makes_a_game.php?page=2

A Hierarchy of Interactive Systems

As I said, a lot of different types of media get bunched up together in a giant bracket we refer to as “video games,” but as I also said, I think we all know that games are also their own unique thing when it comes to any non-digital fields. Employees at Toys R Us have no problem separating their puzzles from their board games, each of which usually get their own separate areas, for instance.

I’ve created a chart that illustrates the relationships between some of the different types of interactive systems that we encounter in the world casually known as “games”:

Simulators (Examples: Flight Simulator, Sim City, Dwarf Fortress) — A simulator is a type of interactive system whose primary responsibility it is to simulate something.

In the end, one of the interesting differences between a simulator and a game is that it’s not a valid complaint to say that a simulator isn’t fun. Simulators really have no inherent requirement to be fun — they only need to simulate something.

So, you could have a simulator that simulates something fun and interesting as in Dwarf Fortress, or you could have a plant-growing simulator. It’s worth noting that even in Dwarf Fortress, there’s no guarantee that anything particularly interesting will happen.

I recall one game where my fortress went totally undisturbed, with almost no significant events happening for many hours. Were it a game, I might be disappointed, but given that it’s a simulator, I actually appreciate that this is a real possibility.

To be more precise, the real difference between a simulator and a game is that a simulator is not a type of contest, and a game is. Of course, I suppose you could have a “contest simulator”, but the fact remains that competition is not an inherent part of simulation.

Contests (Examples: a weightlifting contest, Guitar Hero, Simon) — All games are contests, but not all contests are games. The issue is that while contests are competitive, they do not require meaningful decisions. They are often a pure measurement of ability — a simple question of “how much weight can you lift”, or for the example of Guitar Hero or Simon, “how well have you memorized this sequence”. It can be a bit hazy in some situations, but generally I think most of us have a pretty good innate sense of what the difference is between a game and a contest.

One exception to this would be something like Guitar Hero, which I expect that many people would be appalled at the thought that it is a contest, and not a game. Firstly, you should know that calling something “not a game” is not a value judgment, although it’s often mistaken for one. I personally believe that Guitar Hero is a lot more like a contest than a game, because it is a pure measurement of ability, and I would argue that little or no meaningful decisions can be made during play.

Puzzles (Examples: a Portal level, a jigsaw puzzle, a math problem) — A puzzle is another word for “a problem”. A puzzle has a single correct answer — a “solution”.

Some games can also be solved (“perfect information” games, such as chess, where all the information about the game state is known to the player), however if it is common for people to be able to solve a game, it’s considered a knock against that game (Tic-Tac-Toe is solved easily by most people other than very young children, and therefore it is not considered a good game for adults). Puzzles, on the other hand, do not get a knock for having a solution; that’s what they’re all about.

So do puzzles have “decision-making”? I argue that they do not — at least, certainly not at all in the same way that games do. Puzzles are not games, because while some puzzles allow players to make decisions, this is actually rather irrelevant to the outcome. All that matters for a puzzle is whether or not the player gave the correct answer.

If a math problem asks four plus six, if you say 10, you have solved that puzzle. What you did along the way changes nothing about the outcome. So, while you can make decisions while attempting to find the solution, these decisions are actually irrelevant to the puzzle. In games, decisions that are made by the player have effects that change the state of the game, and the outcome of the game. So in games, a player’s decisions really matter in a way that they don’t in puzzles, and this is the way that I draw the line between games and puzzles.

Enemies of the Decision

As I see it, we’ve got three major issues that are most guilty of threatening the meaningful decision in games. These are also examples of problems which would naturally be avoided if game designers adopted my philosophy for games. They are character growth, saved games, and a story-based structure.

Character Growth. Ideally, a game should be increasing in difficulty as a game progresses. However, we’ve now got an expectation that our character — our avatar — will gradually increase in power as the game progresses.

Of course, designers try to make up for this by cranking the late game difficulty further, but this is a very bad position to put yourself in, and it’s one of the reasons why we in video games have such trouble balancing our games.

Essentially, you’re trying to hit a moving target. Assuming that the player can become better at the skill of the game, and the character can also become more powerful, and both of these can happen at somewhat irregular rates, the prospect of balancing late-game difficulty becomes impossible.

Anyone who’s played a Final Fantasy game through to the end can back me up on this (I remember the final boss ofFinal Fantasy VII being pathetically easy for my Cloud to take down.) I think the designers of such games are aware of this issue and prefer to err on the side of “too easy”.

Of course, if your game is too easy, then your decisions are no longer meaningful (as my decisions weren’t meaningful in my Sephiroth battle — I think it was a foregone conclusion just based on character stats alone).

Saved Games. I call the quicksave/quickload (or any similar system) “the most powerful weapon ever wielded” in a video game. This one is so straightforward that I can keep it short: essentially, a player’s job is to try to play his best; to try to make optimal moves. The game allows you to save and load whenever you want. So, when faced with a difficult decision, what is the logical thing to do? Save the game, then make the decision. Well, it looks like that was a bad idea! Re-load the game, and try Door Number Two. Hooray! I’m so good at this game!gamasutra.com

I will end to share with you this excellent article written on gamasutra.com

Julia

Attracting teachers to Ed Tech: Smartphone and learning

SMARTPHONE TABLET AND LEARNING

Introduction proposal

Attracting teachers to the use of technological devices in the classroom as part of the Project: learning challenge in the use of Technology for teachers with MITx and Peeragogy.org, Chapter II

smartphone 1

Image by bsbooklove.blogspot.com

There are many critics of the use of mobile phones in class, probably they are right.

The case is to understand its use in classes can be highly difficult to comprehend, not only for teachers but also for students.

This because none of both participants in this debate knows how to use it, students haven’t had adequate guidance or have not been at all. Teachers have not had time to learn to use to do the same, and the end is a problem somewhat difficult.

THE STUDENTS

  1. The student uses the mobile to play and chat, playfulness.
  2. The student has not been taught its use as a digital citizen.
  3. Students should be taught the correct use as an instrument for learning.

dlp-technology-for-classroom-projectors

Image b
THE TEACHERS
  1. For teaching staff, both technological change so quickly and with an antiquated education system committed to the status quo, it is understandable that the word technical device panic them.
  2. Teachers do not know that the specialized apparatus with which can save time and make their classes more motivating, is nothing more than the phone used as such, to chat, send messages, all tasks that have not required much learning as one might have thought at first.
  3. We should attract teachers to a simple, fun and totally practical learning these skills. Thus, they can pass on their knowledge to their students, promoting a new educational system in which technology has a place. Because we learn, puts us things easier to explain, we can have an immediate feedback if we wish and so much more.

 

“If educators teach the respectful and appropriate use of technology in the classroom and use it to build their skill as well, the future of education technology looks bright.”

By Marcus A. Hennessy

“Learning is natural; another thing is to teach.”

Julia Echeverria

Read more on in the next article

Active Learning challenge: auto draft

 

Dear readers, as part of the “Educational Technology” course, given by MITx (Massachuset Institute of Technology), “I’ve been thinking of my own learning challenge needs, in a real scenario. I do not say everything what I think is right, which is why I propose this reflexions, if you have any comment feel free to comment my autodraft. To start with the definition, I invite you to see the below video, very clear and instructive.

Video by: Andrianna Gervais

Abstract
My learning challenge on educational technology right now is: To design
 a course about educational technology for the teachers. The challenge will be to arrive to teacher who maybe want or not to learn some technology, and get in contact with some hight school in order to offer to test the course as an strategic that cover to challenge, if I present the course like a test, I think they will feel less stress, and at the same time, I test the course.
How the course would be used, and how it would benefit the learner.
Background.
All who are dedicated to teaching does want to engage and motivate student for better kownledge understanding using some technological tools
The professionals I know and my selve have understood that it is necessary to go on whith own PLE (personal learning environment), in order to be at the head of education, but the vast majority of teachers and students do notknow how to use educational technology in the classroom or on it.
We can find on the network that any researcher or teacher in these areas say it is necessary to move in that direction, we all agree that teachers andtrainer the need to acquire these skills.
Today we work with artificial intelligence, augmented reality, simulations,app that allow us to not only design customized courses but, also perform many collaborative actions that allow the students to improve their learninghow to properly use the tools found on the network such as educational video game, all this in order to motivate students to create their own PLE making collaborative work.
Here I have an interesting video: Building Connections by Breaking Barriers

https://youtu.be/HHKjDSu1vo0
What do I need? Research and design a course on digital skills for teachers aged over 25 years or either graduates and teachers no age limit in order to acquire the knowledge that is absolutely necessary for the school, in your personal life and with its surroundings. So, We Have to define Who the learner is and on what context They are using technology. For sure our learners will be teacher studying by themselves, or tailored a course for different schools and it's needed for learning. I will like to propose to find different free tool that will work with collaborative learning inside and outside the schools, the context I have say already is, “learning how to design a course with collaborative work”. I preferred to think in term of synchronous and asynchronous collaborative learning, using blended learning, or/ and other different methodology, in the first time we will work thinking on a Moodle platform but we can try another.

Leer más “Active Learning challenge: auto draft”

“Collaborative Learning: Group Work.”

What is collaborative learning?

eschoolsnews.com

Collaborative learning is based on the view that knowledge is a social construct. Collaborative activities are most often based on four principles:

  • The learner or student is the primary focus of instruction.
  • Interaction and “doing” are of primary importance
  • Working in groups is an important mode of learning.
  • Structured approaches to developing solutions to real-world problems should be incorporated into learning.

Collaborative learning can occur peer-to-peer or in larger groups. Peer learning, or peer instruction, is a type of collaborative learning that involves students working in pairs or small groups to discuss concepts, or find solutions to problems. This often occurs in a class session after students are introduced to course material through readings or videos before class, and/or through instructor lectures. Similar to the idea that two or three heads are better than one, many instructors have found that through peer instruction, students teach each other by addressing misunderstandings and clarifying misconceptions. For more on peer learning, visit The Official Peer Instruction Blog.

Group work or collaborative learning can take a variety of forms, such as quick, active learning activities in class or more involved group projects that span the course of a semester.

What is the impact of collaborative learning or group work?

Research shows that educational experiences that are active, social, contextual, engaging, and student-owned lead to deeper learning. The benefits of collaborative learning include:

  • Development of higher-level thinking, oral communication, self-management, and leadership skills.
  • Promotion of student-faculty interaction.
  • Increase in student retention, self-esteem, and responsibility.
  • Exposure to and an increase in understanding of diverse perspectives.
  • Preparation for real life social and employment situations.

What are some examples of collaborative learning or group work activities?

Stump your partner

  • Students take a minute to create a challenging question based on the lecture content up to that point.
  • Students pose the question to the person sitting next to them.
  • To take this activity a step further, ask students to write down their questions and hand them in. These questions can be used to create tests or exams. They can also be reviewed to gauge student understanding.

Think-pair-share/ Write-pair-share

  • The instructor poses a question that demands analysis, evaluation, or synthesis.
  • Students take a few minutes to think through an appropriate response.
  • Students turn to a partner (or small groups) and share their responses. Take this a step further by asking students to find someone who arrived at an answer different from their own and convince their partner to change their mind.
  • Student responses are shared within larger teams or with the entire class during a follow-up discussion.

Catch-up

  • Stop at a transition point in your lecture.
  • Have students turn to a partner or work in small groups to compare notes and ask clarifying questions.
  • After a few minutes, open the floor to a few questions.

Fishbowl debate

  • Ask students to sit in groups of three.
  • Assign roles. For example, the person on left takes one position on a topic for debate, the person on right takes the opposite position, and the person in the middle takes notes and decides which side is the most convincing and provides an argument for his or her choice.
  • Debrief by calling on a few groups to summarize their discussions.

Case study

  • Create four to five case studies of similar difficulty.
  • Have students work in groups of four or five to work through and analyze their case study.
  • Provide 10-15 minutes (or adequate time to work through the cases).
  • Walk around and address any questions.
  • Call on groups randomly and ask that students share their analysis. Continue until each case study has been addressed.

Team-based learning (adapted from L.K. Michaelsen in Davis, 2009. p.215)

  • Start a course unit by giving students some tasks to complete, such as reading or lab assignments. Consider assigning these to be completed before class.
  • Check students’ comprehension of the material with a quick multiple-choice quiz. Have students submit their answers.
  • Assign students to groups and have them review their answers with group members to reach consensus. Have each group submit one answered quiz.
  • Record both the individual student assessment scores and the final group assessment score (both of which are used toward each student’s course grade).
  • Deliver a lecture that specially targets any misconceptions or gaps in knowledge the assessments reveal.
  • Give groups a challenging assignment, such as solving a problem or applying a theory to a real world situation.
  • For more information on this strategy at teambasedlearning.org.

Group problem solving

There are many instructional strategies that involve students working together to solve a problem, including inquiry based learning, authentic learning, and discovery learning. While they each have their own unique characteristics, they all fundamentally involve:

  • Presenting students with a problem.
  • Providing some structure or guidance toward solving the problem. Note, however, that they are all student-centered activities in which the instructor may have a very minimal role.
  • Reaching a final outcome or solution.


Problem-Based Learning is a collaborative, student-centered approach to learning in which students learn about a subject by working in groups to solve an open-ended problem.

How can you design group work assignments?

First, think about the course learning outcomes and how group work might address them. Then consider how groups will be organized, how student learning and group processes will be supported, and how students will be evaluated, if at all.

Short in-class activities may take less planning, but it is still important to consider how the process will play out in a classroom situation.

How will you introduce the activity? How much time is required? How will you debrief as a group? For in-class collaborative activities, focus on asking effective questions that engage students in the types of learning you are trying to encourage.

For more involved projects that take place over a longer period of time and for which students will be graded, plan each stage of the group work.

How will groups be formed? Allowing students to form their own groups will likely result in uneven groupings. If possible, arrange groups by skills and/or backgrounds. For example, ask students to rate their comfort/ability level on a number of skills (research, background knowledge of course topics, work experience, etc.) and try to arrange groups that include “experts” in different areas. Another possibility is to do a preliminary assessment; and then based on the results, purposefully create groups that blend abilities.

How will you ensure that students are productive? Set aside time early in the semester to allow for icebreakers and team-building activities. Consider using class time for group work to eliminate students having to coordinate meeting times outside of class. Much of the group work can be done collaboratively online, again, lessening the difficulty of coordination. See more onhow to manage groups in the next question.

What technology might assist the group work? If technology use is required (e.g. wikis), you will need to incorporate learning activities around the use of the technology. At the beginning, do a low stakes activity that helps students become familiar with the technology. If other types of technology can facilitate the group work processes, guide students in its use.

What can the students do? Choose assignment topics or tasks that are related to the real world, and can be connected to students’ lives. For example, have students try to analyze and solve a current local or international problem. Have students complete tasks that involve using and developing skills that they will likely use in their future professional lives, such as writing a proposal or collaborating online. Here are some other considerations for creating effective group work activities:

  • Break a larger assignment into smaller pieces and set multiple deadlines to ensure that students work toward reaching milestones throughout the process rather than pulling it all together at the last minute.
  • Incorporate peer review at each milestone to encourage self-awareness and to ensure ongoing feedback.
  • Tie in-class activities and lectures to the group assignment. For example, in class sessions, provide clues that assist students in their group projects.
  • Be sure to explain how students will be evaluated and use a rubric to communicate these expectations. See more onhow to evaluate group work.

How can you manage group work?

Managing shorter in-class collaborative learning activities

This generally involves a 3-step process:

  • Introduce the task. This can be as simple as instructing students to turn to their neighbor to discuss or debate a topic.
  • Provide students with enough time to engage with the task. Walk around and address any questions as needed.
  • Debrief. Call on a few students to share a summary of their conclusions. Address any misconceptions or clarify any confusing points. Open the floor for questions.

This process can be as short at 5 minutes, but can be longer depending on the task at hand.

Managing larger group work projects

Here are some strategies to help ensure productive group dynamics:

  • Provide opportunities for students to develop rapport and group cohesion through icebreakers, team-building, and reflection exercises.
  • Give students time to create a group work plan allowing them to plan for deadlines, and divvy up responsibilities.
  • Have students establish ground rules. Students can create a contract for each member to sign; this contract can include agreed-upon penalties for those who fail to fulfill obligations.
  • Assign roles to members of each group and change the roles periodically. For example, one student can be the coordinator, another the note-taker, another the summarizer, and another the planner of next steps.
  • Allow students to rate each other’s quality and quantity of contributions. Use these evaluations when giving individual grades, but do not let it weigh heavily on a students’ final grade. Communicate clearly how peer assessment will influence grades.
  • Check in with groups intermittently, but encourage students to handle their own issues before coming to you for assistance.

How can you evaluate group work?

Student group work can result in the production of:

  • wikis
  • proposals
  • reports of case studies
  • in-class or video presentations
  • posters

Here are some ways to provide feedback on group productivity throughout the process as well as on the group product.

  • Evaluate students on both their contributions to group processes as well as the final product.
  • Create a detailed explanation of what your expectations are.
  • Provide scores for individuals as well as groups.
  • Use rubrics. Consider asking students for feedback and including some of their ideas to the rubric.
  • Incorporate peer and self-assessment at various milestones. This is a good way to check in on the assignment progress as well as the group dynamics.
  • Communicate clearly to students at the beginning how you will calculate their grades.

What are some general strategies to keep in mind when incorporating group work?

  • Introduce group work early in the semester to set clear student expectations.
  • Plan for each stage of group work.
  • Carefully explain to your students how groups will operate and how students will be graded.
  • Help students develop the skills they need to succeed in doing group activities, such as using team-building exercises or introducing self-reflection techniques.
  • Establish ground rules for participation and contributions.
  • Consider using written contracts.
  • Incorporate self and peer assessments for group members to evaluate their own and others’ contributions.

By

References

Barkely, E.F., Cross, K.P. & Howell Major, C. (2005). Collaborative learning techniques: A handbook for college faculty. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Bruffee, K.A. (1998). Collaborative learning: Higher education, interdependence, and the authority of knowledge. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

Davis, B.G. (2009). Tools for teaching (2nd ed). (pp. 190-221). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Felder, R.M., Felder, G.N. & Dietz, E.J. (1998). A longitudinal study of engineering student performance and retention. V. Comparisons with traditionally-taught students.Journal of Engineering Education, 87(4), 469-480.

Michaelsen, L.K., Knight, A.B. & Fink, L.D. (Eds.) (2004). Team-based learning: A transformative use of small groups in college teaching. Sterling, VA: Stylus.eschoolsnews.com

Peer 2 Peer University

Dr. J. Philipp Schmidt, a research scientist here at MIT, talks about Peer 2 Peer University (P2PU), an online platform that supports peer learning, a type of collaborative learning. In peer learning, learners are responsible for their own learning trajectory but by working together, they learn about a topic as well as other skills. Principles such as openness and creative learning guide the design of this type of community. Check out the segment where Philipp discusses the four Ps (4:10 in the video).

Educational technology: cooperative vs collaboraty learning

Dear reader, colleagues at peeragogy in action project, now and as the medium-term project to peeragogy, I’m working on what would be the educational technology with a collaborative learning.

So, to go on the subject, here I let you a video explaining the differences from one methodology and another concept.

I hope you all enjoy it, the credit is on the video

Cheers