Educational games: Grounded in research or fun and exciting? Wayne Holmes Co-founder of zondle. DPhil candidate, University of Oxford. DPhil research • A design-based investigation of a prototype game for children who are low-attaining in mathematics; • Grounded in educational research: • • • Principles of an effective numeracy intervention; Bruner’s ‘modes of representation’ and ‘spiral curriculum’; Behaviourist and constructivist approaches to learning; • Developed through design-based research: • • Three cycles of design, intervention, analysis and reflection; Researched in real classrooms; • Outcomes: • A game might be most effective when it functions as an artefact that both supports individual learning and stimulates, scaffolds and mediates dialogue-based collaborative learning. zondle • A web and mobile platform that enables teachers and students to create and share games to support teaching and learning; • zondle aims to address the fact that most games-based learning: • adopts a traditional top-down publisher model; • prioritises being cutting-edge and exciting over the needs of real classrooms; • ignores high-quality education and neuroscience research. • zondle enables teachers to use games as they want to use games: • to help motivate and engage children; • to teach whole-classes and promote learning; • to help children consolidate what they’ve been taught; • for children to use as homework; • to help children prepare for high-stakes tests and exams. The zondle approach Database of educational content 1 million + questions zondle interpreter Database of short-form games 50+ games (web and mobile) 5,000,000 + content / game combinations zondle Team Play • zondle Team Play applies a game-based approach to teaching whole classes; • Grounded in three years of neuroscience and educational technology research by Paul Howard-Jones at the University of Bristol; • Developed through design-based research: • Five cycles of design, intervention, analysis and reflection; • Low-fidelity prototype, grounded in the literature; • Researched in a variety of school classrooms and developed iteratively; • Final version integrated with the zondle platform. zondle Team Play zondle Team Play ...in summary • GBL is all too often grounded in anecdotal evidence (rather than in educational or neuroscience research); • GBL all too often prioritises being fun and exciting over learning or addressing the needs of real classrooms; • GBL can be grounded in, and developed through research AND can be fun and exciting.