Alternate Reality Gaming Spices Up Professional Development
Saint Leo University uses a game-based storyline to invigorate professional learning.
By Dennis Pierce, 01/27/16
Borden and his colleagues teamed up with Edchat Interactive, a company that is working to transform online professional development into a more interactive experience that reflects how people learn best, and Games4Ed, a nonprofit organization that brings together educators, researchers, game developers, and publishers to advance the use of games and other immersive learning strategies in education.
“People don’t learn by watching somebody discuss a series of slides; they learn best by interacting with others and reflecting. Great teachers always have people break into groups to accomplish a task, and then the different groups all report back to the group as a whole. That should be replicable online.”
Adult Learning Through Play
Using simulations for professional development is fairly common. For instance, in SimSchool, a program developed by educational scientists at the University of North Texas and the University of Vermont, new and pre-service teachers can try out their craft in a simulated classroom environment, doing the same activities as actual teachers but getting real-time feedback from the simulated program and their instructors.
Christopher Like, a science teacher and STEAM coordinator for the Bettendorf Community School District in Iowa, developed a game-based model for ed tech professional development that has been adapted by K-12 school districts across the nation. His game, Mission Possible, has teachers complete 15-minute “missions” in which they learn technology skills and advance to successively higher levels. “It engages teachers’ competitive nature just like Call of Duty does with my eldest son,” he wrote in a blog post.
Based on the literature regarding games, gaming, gamification, game-based learning, and serious games, several clear trends emerge:
- Gaming and gamification in the sense of game-based learning is about using games and game-like tactics in the education process, for greater engagement and better learning outcomes. However, this is only the first level of such initiative. The second and higher level is about involving students in the game-building and gamification of the learning process (as per Vygotsky’s Zone of…) thus achieving student-centered and experiential learning.
- When hosting games and gaming in any library, “in-person” or electronic/online games are welcome but not sufficient to fulfill their promise, especially in an academic library. Per (1), an academic library has the responsibility to involve students and guide them in learning how to engage in the building process required in true game-based learning.
- Game-based learning, gaming and gamification in particular, in educational (academic library) settings must consider mobile devices and the BYOD movement in particular as intrinsic parts of the entire process. Approaching the initiative primarily by acquiring online “in-person” games, or game consoles has the same limited educational potential as only hosting games, rather than elevating the students to full guided engagement with game-based learning. If public relations and raised profile are the main goals for the academic library, such an approach is justified. If the academic library seeks to maximize the value of game-based learning, then the library must consider: a. gaming consoles, b. mobile devices as part of a BYOD initiative and c. cloud-based / social games, such as MineCraft, SimCity etc.
- Design for game-based learning, gaming and gamification in educational (academic library) settings must include multiple forms of assessment and reward, e.g. badges, leaderboards and/or certificates as an intrinsic part of the entire process. Merely hosting games in the academic library cannot guarantee true game-based learning. The academic library, as the forefront of a game-based learning initiative on campus, must work with faculty on understanding and fine tuning badges and similar new forms of assessment and reward, as they effectively implement large scale game-based learning, focused on the students’ learning gains.
Recommendations for LRS
- In regard to LRS, the gaming and gamification process must be organized and led by faculty, including housing and distributing the hardware, software and applications, when needed.
- The attached paper and the respective conclusions summarized in four points demand educational and experiential background, which is above the limits of the LRS staff. In addition, the LRS staff has clearly admitted that the pedagogical value of gaming and gamification is beyond their interest. This recommendation is not contradicting to the fact and opportunity for LRS staff to participate in the process and contribute to the process; it just negates the possibility of staff mandating and leading the process, since it will keep the gaming and gamification process on a very rudimentary level.
- The process must be further led by faculty with a terminal degree in education (Ph.D.) and experience in the educational field, since, as proved by the attached paper and 4 point conclusion, the goal is not a public-library type of hosting activities, but rather involving students in a pedagogically-sound creative process, with the respective opportunity for assessment and future collaboration with instructors across campus. This recommendation is not contradicting the fact and opportunity for LRS library faculty to participate actively in the process and contribute to the process. It just safeguards from restricting the process to the realm of “public-library” type of hosting activities, but failing to elevate them to the needs of an academic campus and connecting with instructors across campus.
- This conclusions adhere to and are derived from the document recommended by the LRS dean, discussed and accepted by LRS faculty in 2013 about new trends and directions in academic libraries, namely diversification of LRS faculty; breaking from the traditional library mold of including faculty from different disciplines with different opinions and ideas.
Gaming Learning Society
Report from the intersection of Games, Learning, and Society
Games, Learning and Society conference in Madison, Wisconsin. practical ideas and arguments from GLS to help you get through the roadblocks that stand between you and learning or teaching through games.
Library Quest Wrap-Up and Post-Game Assessment
If you build it …? One campus’ firsthand account of gamification in the academic library
Straight from CRL News
SCVNGR as a platform was attractive to us for several reasons, including UCSD’s experience. First, it incorporated gaming into students’ experience of the library, which has been widely explored and recommended as a way to engage library patrons.2,3 Second, it would enable us to connect with students early in the year without needing to commit personnel to lengthy tours and other scheduled services during a busy time.
Pls consider former IMS blog entries. Keyword: “game”:
The Awesome Power of Gaming in Higher Education
EDUCAUSE 2013 welcomes Jane McGonigal and considers the potential of games in education.
The University of Washington’s Foldit game enables anyone to contribute to scientific research through virtual protein folding. The university’s game developers posit that human gamers’ propensity to not give up on a gaming task – resiliency – make them much more adept at solving complex protein structure prediction and design than supercomputers. And in some ways, they’ve already proven that to be so. Foldit game participants have been named in several published scientific journal articles, including one that describes how a protein structure could be solved and used in the treatment of HIV.
The rich, interactive universe of Grand Theft Auto was the inspiration for this game, developed for The World Bank as a way to teach Sub-Sahara African youths to solve social problems in ways that also could provide a sustainable living. The platform is free and available online and can be used by schools to teach social entrepreneurship. A graphic novel serves as the game’s centerpiece, and players build out their gaming profiles as a comic or graphic novel might retell a superhero’s origin story. Participants complete projects in real life to solve real problems, such as securing a community’s food supply or establishing a sustainable power source, then progress through levels of the game. Those who successfully complete their 10-week missions ultimately earn certification from the World Bank Institute. In 2010, 50 student participants saw their entrepreneurship models funded by the World Bank, including Libraries Across Africa (now Librii), a franchise operating in Ghana.
Not all games must be played out in a virtual space. This game – developed by McGonigal with Natron Baxter and Playmatics – combines real-world missions with virtual clues and online collaboration, resulting in young people working together overnight in the New York Public Library to write and publish a book of personal essays about what they learned.
“The game is designed to empower young people to find their own futures by bringing them face-to-face with the writings and objects of people who made an extraordinary difference.”
Participants spend a night wandering throughout the library’s stacks and research materials, scanning QR codes to prove they found and interacted with the objects of their clues or missions. One 2011 participant, upon discovering the library’s early draft of the Declaration of Independence wrote an essay called a “Declaration of Interdependence.”
More on Jane McGonigal on YouTube:
Ruffino, P., & Fizek, S. (n.d.). Rethinking Gamification
. Retrieved from https://www.academia.edu/7544496/Rethinking_Gamification
more on gamification in this IMS blog
Gamification can be approached in at least two ways. First, as a general process in which games and playful experiences are understood as essential components of society and culture.
Sebastian Deterding, Rilla
Khaled, Lennart Nacke and Dan Dixon have proposed a tentative history of
the term: “ ‘gamification’ as a term originated in the digital media industry.
The first documented use dates back to 2008, but gamification only entered
widespread adoption in the second half of 2010”
Jane McGonigal’s work, expounded in her contribution at the TED
Talk series in 2010, is also concerned with “selling” gamification to corporations.
In her book Reality is Broken. p.9 In her understanding, gamification is a concept that describes a new age where gamers can collectively use their problem-solving skills not only
to solve puzzles within a digital game but also to approach social and political
issues in the real world. Gaming, according to McGonigal’s vision,
could and should play a redeeming role. Game designers could become the
new social entrepreneurs, and citizens become gamers. From this perspective,
gamification thus becomes a technique for enabling greatly ambitious
p. 10 Consumer loyalty, issues related to finance and governance, workers’ productivity, training and development – these are only some of the areas that are allegedly being positively revolu tionised by the emergence of gamification
As outlined by Ian Bogost in several contexts (2011a, 2011b), gamificatio has little to do with the design of games (or an allegedly salvific process), and much more with the exploitation of consumers. It frustrates the practice of game design and reduces playing to a stimulus-response experience
p. 11 Niklas Schrape proposes looking, through Foucault, at how gamification might work as a method to regulate individuals and their social lives. It also works as a pleasant regulator of behaviour because it offers positive feedback (rewards, leaderboards, etc.) rather than
negative penalties (fines, prison, etc.).
Ruffino looks at the work of Tim Ingold and his reading of Bergson and Heidegger and argues that participation, dwelling and co-existence could be seen as alternative ways of thinking about engagement: less as a transitive process that goes from games to their players and more as an in transitive status that needs to be narrated in order to be of any value
Foursquare alters the experience of moving about on the streets of a city and establishes a form of communication based on bodily proximity
p. 12 Joost Raessens examines how gamification could be seen in the context of a more general “ludic turn”, which affects society and culture at many different levels. This century, Raessens notes, has seen several different kinds of “turns”: We have seen the linguistic turn, the digital, followed by the material one and many others. To what extent could we say that we are now experiencing a playful turnp.
p. 14 the definition of gamification as the use of game elements in a non-game context.
Philippette suggests the very idea that games that can influencethe non-game context could be re-interpreted following Henriot’s theories on play (https://www.academia.edu/16293099/Gamification_Rethinking_playing_the_game_with_Jacques_Henriot
Counter-gamification is not a precise practice; it is not defined in guidebooks, workshops, or tutorials. It is instead a form of appropriation of playful elements by artists in order to promote radical and oppositional values.
p. 15 Fizek’s proposal is to expand the concept of play and fun and to introduce new forms of engagement in the practice of gamification
If the endgame approach were applied to gamification, Nicholson argues, we could see very different ways of designing and playing. The author explores these alternative modes of gamifying things through a text that offers both a theoretical understanding of gamification and exceptionally useful suggestions for designers.
p. 16 an eudaimonic view of gamification could bring a “good” way of living and
playing, one where joy and satisfaction are at the centre of a responsible practice. Gamification, according to Deterding, could become the name of a play practice that truly helps human beings in fulfilling their own lives and those of others
More on Bogost in this IMS blog
VR Review: Here’s How Oculus Quest Compares With Go — Apps and All
When the Oculus Go was first released, the educational apps were limited.
many more educational apps flooding the Oculus Experiences market
The Oculus Quest is mainly being marketed as an all-in-one VR gaming system, but I see much potential for classroom lessons.
The Oculus Go delivered a VR view, but the Oculus Quest provides us with interactions.
One major difference between the Quest and the Go is the lack of motion sickness with the new device.
The 6 degrees of freedom (6DoF) provides mobility for the student to walk forward, backward, left, right, jump up and squat down. In other words, they can move around just like they would in real life.
The affordable starting price of $399 for 64 GB is comparable to other classroom devices, such as Chromebooks, laptops and iPads.
between the Quest and the Go is the high cost of the apps. By contrast, the majority of my Oculus Go apps were free.
more on Oculus in this IMS blog
Digital Game-Based Learning in Higher Ed Moves Beyond the Hype
Toolwire and Muzzy Lane, two digital game-based learning (DGBL) vendors that are making significant strides in higher education through their “serious game” products. The state of DGBL in higher ed is not nearly as prevalent and accepted as it is in K-12, but growing quickly.
Serious games feature evidenced-centered design, whereby data is collected, analyzed and adapted to the knowledge level of the player
Andy Phelps, director of the Rochester Institute of Technology Center for Media, Arts, Games, Interaction and Creativity (MAGIC) and executive committee member of the Higher Education Video Game Alliance (HEVGA),adds that “game-based learning has the opportunity to really challenge our assumptions about linear modes of educational interaction.”
Muzzy Lane, s higher-education-oriented Practice Series games, in partnership with McGraw Hill, feature titles in Marketing, Spanish, Medical Office and Operations.
The Challenge of Creating Worthy GamesBoth Toolwire and Muzzy Lane DGBL products are not of the “Triple A” PlayStation 4 and Xbox One variety, meaning they do not have all the high-fidelity, digital-media bells and whistles that are inside the heavily advertised war games and sports games geared toward the more than $99 billion global video game consumer marketplace, according to gaming market intelligence company Newzoo.
the state of DGBL in higher education consists of very effective digital games of less-than-Triple A fidelity coming out of private companies like Toolwire and Muzzy Lane, as well as from a good number of college and university game design innovation centers similar to RIT’s MAGIC. These include the Games+Learning+Society (GLS) Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; the University of Southern California Interactive Media and Games Division, the Carnegie Mellon University Entertainment Technology Center and the New York University Game Center.
more on DGBL in this IMS blog