Games

Report
‘Off the Shelf’ Computer Games: Some
Initial Research Considerations
‘Unbox 21’: British Council Project
Dr. Tim Rudd, Education Research Centre, University of Brighton
What is a computer game?
- Multitude of types, foci, subject - Varied platforms
- Increasing elements of ‘user’ control, design, and
collaborative and networked play
- Game like qualities in many interactive resources and tools
- Multi billion pound industry(s)
- Current trends and socio-political climate (e.g. Nesta report;
emerging UK policy direction)
Changing
what it means
to be educated
today?
Changes in
practice and
pedagogy?
Increased
importance of
critical digital
literacies
Increased
emphasis on
develop 21st
Century skills
COtS games in
education
1 Year – 1st of
kind/scale
Varied use,
application &
impacts
Great potential
– new
possibilities for
pedagogy and
practice
Teacher and
pedagogical
understanding
key
Why are games potentially powerful
learning tools?
•
Media rich, original, engaging content
•
Dynamic and high speed
•
Provides instant feedback
•
Flexible and customisable – end user choice
•
Collaboration and cooperation
Why are games potentially powerful
learning tools?
•
High engagement – low stakes
•
Ipsitive (assessment) play and challenge
•
Multi-layered and multi level - varied complexity suited
to ‘skills’ of user (internal individual differentiation &
response)
•
Discovery and exploration – self regulated
Reported benefits
•
Motivation, engagement, stimulation
•
Involvement, collaboration, communication
•
Co-constructed learning, shared knowledge and skills
exchange
•
Visual, spatial & cognitive processing
•
Functional and technical skills and understanding
•
Critical digital literacies, higher order thinking skills
Reported benefits
•
Creativity, problem solving and decision making
•
Strategy and planning, decoding game and narrative
•
Conceptual understanding, deduction and hypotheses
testing
•
Subject and skill specific improvements, test scores
•
New pedagogies and practice, communities of interest
and practice
•
Technological dispositions and wider resonance
BUT...
Technoromantic and
determinist?
Many begin &
end with
motivation,
engagement,
technical
mastery
Often
unreported,
poorly reported
or promotional
Many one offs –
no
sustainability or
transfer or not
replicable
Direct causality
of impact
incredibly
difficult
Multiple
influential
variables,
Hawthorne
effect,
contextual
milieu
Positivist,
pseudo
scientific
approaches
inappropriate
How might this
influence our
research
approach?
Knights of Honor
Intervention
project
Action research,
CPD
Iterative research
and analysis
P1.
‘Baseline’ a)
context b) prior
use, knowledge,
perceptions
(survey)
Initial stimulus
materials /events
– (logs/capture)
Visits and
workshops –
opening minds to
new possibilities
Phases 2 & 3
•Framed
as action research/CPD – requirements explicit – guidance but not
prescriptive/onerous
•Develop
‘research’ questions/frame
•Research
•Develop
logs/diaries, broad framework – key foci, theoretical constructs
individual (cluster?) projects
•Observation,
•P3
interviews, focus groups
- Post project reflections / interviews/ post ‘baseline’ perceptions
(baseline) – next steps
Some key areas for investigation
Type of game – affordances, functionality, narrative
How applied – subject, skills, objectives, time, location etc.
Changes in learning and teaching practice and structure & organisation of
learning, and relationship
Impacts – to subject, skills, achievement
Incidental/unexpected changes
Changes in perceptions and attitudes
Changes in pedagogical practice, perceptions of identity
Techno-dispositions and trajectory
Some theoretical
considerations...
Funds of knowledge
Person plus
‘Distributed
cognition’ or
‘cognitive surplus’
4C’s
Mediational means
and refraction
through practice
Contextualisation,
decontexualisation
and
recontextualisation
Cultural, social and
economic capitals
Rollercoaster tycoon
Sustainability – of
tools, resources,
learning, of
knowledge into
system,
Core reading for all
teachers
Offer key guidance
and raises important
questions educators
should address from
the outset
Taken for granted
assumptions:
Workshops?
What is a game? –
what is the
functionality,
components
What makes good
learning?
What is (e.g.)
citizenship
What are 21st
Century skills?
Why/how can games
be better for learning
aims than other
resources?
Thinking = better
learning discussions
Current and emerging technology trends
The information landscape & data flood
Socio-technological trends – 4 C’s and ‘network logic’
Institutional boundaries
Importance of geography
Working with machines
‘Digital natives’ grow up
‘Hyper’ personalisation
Trusted following
*Adapted from Futurelab’s Beyond Current Horizons Programme

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