Month: October 2015

6720 Sept – 4

The gamification of Education.

Published by the Futurist September- October 2011

by Aaron M cohen

Why online social games may be poised to replace textbooks in schools.

  1. CMU online library
  2. This gives another view regarding how education and gamification can fit together
  3. There are no question this is an article
  4. The objective is to understand supporting research behind the idea of gamification in education
  5. na
  6. na
  7. na
  8. It was not confusion as much as the brief comment regarding getting students to stop playing

The main draw for this article was that it listed different references that I have seen in other places. Getting different perspectives on the same research helps one to interpret the resources better. This author strongly supports the idea that online social gaming in the future will be the tool of choice in many classrooms. The focus of this article was on young children (which is a focus of mine). How children learn when they are young is how they will enjoy learning when their are older.

This article discussed how professional training situations are already using games to replace lectures and presentations. This is an interactive way to draw employees into being excited about training opportunities. The author also discussed Thomas and Browns book, A new culture of learning, regarding the three aspects that are important to learning: curiosity, imagination, and a sense of play. These aspects are missing in traditional text book/lecture based learning experiences.

This article also mentioned the Quest2Learn charter school in New York, which was mentioned in the other article that I read earlier. The quote listed in the article was ‘a school that uses what researchers and educators know about how children learn and the principles of game design to create highly immersive, game-like learning experience in the classroom’. This view aligns with other research regarding how having an immersive interactive experience helps to deepen learning experiences and help the learner to enjoy educating themselves.

Interestingly it was noted that some subject were easier to gamify thane other. Science and math were at the top of the list. This surprised me as I would think that withe all the civilization creation games that History would be right up at the top as well.

The article brought up the downside of gamification, which is important to recognize as well. Student addition to gaming and playing for hours on end has been indicated in previous research as having the opposite affect on contextual learning. The author makes a suggestion that it would be an option for the characters in the game to ask for a break which would force the player to turn off the game thus giving them time to do something else. Including process the information they were seeking from the game.

6720 Sept – 3

The effect of gaming approach on learning in basic microbiology education: a pilot study.

Z karahan, A Kosan, M Demiroren. 2014

  1. found at CMU online library
  2. gaming in relation to context
  3. to see if gaming helped with context knowledge
  4. same
  5. This research was more longitudinal then the one that I will be completing as it was done over 16 weeks. Compared to my one time survey
  6. Data was collected during a text right after the context was taught then again 2 months later. There were 2 groups. Control (standard lecture), Sample (with gaming)
  7. There were 4 tables provided. Test results, Student direct reflection of the teaching methods. Student opinion of the learning process. Student perceptions about the learning environment. Each provided detail via Mean scores.
  8. Some discussion about biology was not familiar but the rest was clear.

The researchers were investigating the effect of replacing lecture with game experiences in a microbiology course at a college level. Freshman students participated in this study where the researcher analyzed the students perception of their own learning. The researchers used pre, post, and retention test along with the student questionnaires. Interestingly  the was not a significant difference in the terms of the means of the post test and retention test scores. There were significant differences regarding students views of the effect of the teaching methods between lecture, learning process, and gaming.

For the purpose of this research the researchers defined their view of games as: a competitive environment in order to fulfill a specific aim under previously defined rules during which they evaluate the activities critically. Adult learning was also discussed as being different from that of public school age children. Adult learners were considered to hold in higher importance self motivation and the need for self-directing learning process. (As an early childhood education I disagree with this because young children can and do complete and value the same tasks. The point being that our current school structure discourages child directed and guided learning)

The groups were divided up randomly but it was noted after the research that there was no significant difference between the the prior knowledge based on coursework taken in high school. Though this is still a concern form me regarding reliability as taking a course for each person is different and they did not all attend the same course in high school.

Table 1 indicated that there was not significant difference regarding test scores between those who used games and those who did not. Table 2, 3 and 4 did show a significant different regarding the students views of learning.

  1. An effective way of learning –¬† control group 3.86 compared to the study group of 4.83
  2. It improves reasoning skills – control group 3.57 compared to the study group of 4.92
  3. The purpose of the lesson was obvious – control group 3.78 compared to the study group of 4.83
  4. The lesson was well organized – control group 3.86 compared to the study group of 4.83
  5. Meaningful – control group 4.00 compared to the study group of 4.83
  6. Entertaining – control group 3.71 compared to the study group of 4.92

The highest mean score for the control group was for the meaningful definition and for the study group it was motivating, entertaining, dynamic.

Sept 6720 – 2

Popularity of Gamification in the Mobile and Social Era. Focus Game vs Gamification.

Published in Library Technology Reports February/march 2015 by Kim Bohyun

This article focuses on the research that  regarding the leveraging of gamification by companies to engage consumers and clients with both games and incentives for promoting, marketing, engagement, and customer loyalty. There have been over 350 companies involve in gamification projects since 2010. The current research is suggesting that this surge is taking place in reaction to the increase in mobile technology (2013 State of Online Gaming Report by Spil Games).

The word gamification was original coined by N. Pelling in 2002 but did not start to catch on until 2010. To clarify: gamification is not the creation of a game but instead transferring some of the positive context/attributes of come game into something that is not a game and is used for contextual learning in different subject areas. Example would be using the game World Of War Craft within a math class to discuss strategies for points value and trading. Teachers are finding ways to use a variety of different multi player online games to encourage a deeper understanding of specific context. Think about how history comes alive when playing Civilizations type game.

For the focus of this article the author used Foresquare and Waze. Both of these have mobile apps which allows for great diversity and exploration. Waze is a Global Positioning System app. It gives you driving direction and also tips from other participants when you are passing or stopping at different locations. This encourages the user to also participate by leaving their feedback.

The author discussed the adoption of gamification by Quest2learn charter school in New York City. The school is currently working towards gamifying the entire school. They use games as the rule -based learning system. The context is built into the system as characters are explorers, mathematicians, historians, writers, and biologists. Students use strategic thinking to make choices, solve complex problems, seek content knowledge, and consider others point of view. The schools choice is supported by a 2012 Higher Education report indicating that game-based learning would be increasingly wide spread over the next few years. Specifically in higher education. This schools choice will help prepare students for this trend.

Even with all of the benefits there are some draw backs. These include but are not limited to: economic hardship (students can not afford mobile devices) and lack of internet service.

This article give me a variety of different resources that I can look up as I move deeper into the research regarding games in context.

Sept 6720

  1. Found at CMU library resources
  2. Related – general gaming. specific types of games and outcomes
  3. Gamers and non gamers critical thinking and relationship of critical thinking disposition to gaming context
  4. Same
  5. Small limited base group
  6. Data from survey
  7. yes. 2 tables. 1 to define genre of games. 2nd to show percentages of participants
  8. No

Gamers and gaming context: relationships to critical thinking. S Gerber and L Scott

The United States Department of Education has outlined several 21st Century skills that students should attain while attending public school that should transfer over to higher education. One of the focuses of these skills is the skill of critical thinking. Current general belief is that people who participate in a variety of different gaming activities online have higher critical thinking skills compared to their counter parts who only participate in standard lecture type classrooms. The focus of this study was to examine within a small group of participants if that was true.

They based the tables and game genre on J. P. Gee’s research, What video games have to teach us about learning and literacy (2003). Outlining ten different types of gaming genres that they would be investigating: adventure, fighter, 1st person shooter, music, platformer, puzzle, racing, role play, simulations, sports, and strategy. Each type was given a brief discription that they would use as a guideline because the guidelines for gaming types fluctuate.

The first area of investigation was the differences between gamers and non-gamers on crital thinking dispostions. They wanted to find out if there was a significant difference. The second area of investigation was to examine the relationship of critial thinking dispositions to gaming context. This included game genre, daily playing time, and connection to gaming community.

A total of 121 individuals replied. 79 gamers and 42 non gamers, to the survey. Gender response was about equal with 46% being male and of that percentage 78% were gamers. This reflects the data from other studies indicating that males within the age range of most college students are most likely to be gamers. 33% played games up to 2 hours daily. Only 19% played more than 4 hours daily.

Based on the results of the first set of survey questions completed by the participants on themselves, there was no significant difference regarding critical thinking dispositions. This result disagrees with current literature. The second set of survey questions resulted in data that supported current research. Those participants playing daily under 2 hours scored higher then those who were playing 4 or more hours per day.

The division between the different types of games were: Role Play 73%, 1st person shooter – 71%, Strategy – 58%, Adventure 56%, Music 53%. The remaining six games were all below 50% participating with sports games ranking last.

Though this research did not support the idea that gamers have higher critical thinking skills it did support other research regarding the relationship between playing games and critical thinking when context knowledge is included in the gaming component.