Game Based Learning Conference

Game based learning conference has gathered for 2 days (8-9 march 2018) more than 100 participants for lectures and workshops about use of game in teaching and learning. This multiplier event of STEAM project has been organised and hosted by AFBB, FHD and Media Zentrum in Dresden.

It was an opportunity to bring together actors interested in the issue of game based learning. The discussions were built from the definition of the concepts through the different fields of application, to the impacts.

Hereafter we deliver a summary of the conference with a focus on game design, gamification at school, in a company and in daily life

Game Design

​What about the instructional design?

Dr. Maria Denami, from Strasbourg University (France) shared her experience about serious game design to help us better understand how designing a multimodal learning.

She has suggested a formulation of the main and essential steps:

STEP 1: identification of the pedagogic content

STEP 2: identification of the simulation and technology to be used and adaptation of the content

STEP 3: designing the scenario, integrating the game mechanics, the pedagogical aim and create the environment

STEP 4: evaluation, assessment, may include monitoring of the time to complete the mission, hesitations

STEP 5: HMI (human machine interaction)

She asked the question of the effectiveness of Serious Game in comparison to other teaching methods. Her conclusion is that a serious game, when well designed, can be more efficient and provides unexpected results, such as enabling discussion and knowledge creation among users. A serious game can resolve the problem of multimodality. It’s possible to conceptualize the design without any computer development skills. The lecturers can constitute a team to work on a project. As a project manager, it will personalise content and scenario according to technical opportunity.

How to design a Serious Game?

How to design a serious game after thinking about steps? Petros Lameras, from Coventry University shared some cards he and his partners created in Magellan and Horizon 2020 project. These cards guided us on the way to create a location based game and a traditional game. An interesting experience for both teams and for the student panel who assessed the original game concepts.

What does a game and learning designer do?

A technical designer and the other as a user: Willy Dumaz a game a learning designer who is currently working for several companies, has introduced different (game) projects from different fields.

The aim of the workshops was to discuss with the participants on what game and learning design means, which competencies a game and learn designer needs to have and in which professional positions there are able to work.

Gamification at school

STEAM and Multimodality: a serious game to train teachers

One certainly wonders what multimodality is. To this question Dr. Petros Lameras, from the Serious Game Institute of the University of Coventry (UK) has shared progress about multimodality investigations in STEAM project.

Multiple modes of representation exist including combinations of oral and written language, visual, gestural tactile and spatial representation, as described by Cope and Kalantzis in 2009. A multimodal teaching strategy will use them all for an efficient knowledge transmission.

To deepen your knowledge, read the full report in our End users analysis.

Questioned by a participant about the fact that students are becoming knowledge consumers and how should the teachers deal with this emerging behaviour, Petros has mentioned that students are innovative! It’s important that they become the producer of knowledge, with help of teacher.

So multimodality is therefore learner-centred. It offers a form of learning that is both cooperative and collaborative.

Multimodality is the use of a variety of approaches. The idea is to promote variety to ensure the learner's long-term commitment. The variety of approaches also ensures optimal understanding for each student.

How to accompany teachers who are new to the mechanism and support them in the development of various approaches?

That’s the purpose of STEAM project: creating a serious game to increase awareness of teachers regarding multimodality and which tools, activities, strategies and approach they can use and mix for a new teaching and training experience.

To promote multimodality, the player must combine "strategy" + "tool" + "place" in his lessons, with more or less committed combinations.

The current concept of the game design was presented to workshop participants, get their feedback and contribution to the pedagogical content.

How to use the video in the classroom to support the learning experience?

We have identified game as an interesting support for learning. Video is another one. Sidsel Vadsholdt Jonk from VUC Storstrom (Denmark) presented how to support the learning experience using short videos in mathematics courses. Is she afraid of disappearing and being replaced by videos and other digital contents? Not at all! This allows her to make a more personalised teaching and spend more time with students who needs.

How to increase learners’ participation and engagement?

Besides, Dr. Lars schlenker an experienced instructional Designer and educational researcher from University of technology Dresden has introduced techniques to gamify learning scenarios in higher education, such as lectures or seminars. During the workshop all participants have been able to gamify an own teaching scenario.

Dr. Helge Fischer, a postdoc at University of Technology Dresden added that designing a playful start significantly motivate students. He has presented the gamified learning environment gOPAL, which helps students in the beginning phase of their studies to get in touch with the challenges of academic environment. He was able to show how the construction of the story could increase the participation and engagement of students.

How to use gamification as a tool for personalised project-based learning in Vocational Education & Training? Another way to implement game was presented by Pyry Antola, from SEDU Education (Finland). He has introduced his talk with this question: is vocational education a dead-end system? Of course not and it can even lead to a PhD. The idea is to build your own learning path through progressive achievements and rewards.

With gamification, student can be the project manager and the designer of his/her learning.

Gamification in a company

How gamification modifies the workplace?

Games can also be implemented in professional environment.

For the question of change management, Tobias Göcke CEO of the company Supratix, has presented several Gamification projects, mainly focused on digital workspace or new work and school education. He could show how employees react when they are facing new learning formats such as game based learning. In other words he worked on the Gamification transformation of the workplace.

Which methods to apply for developing game scenarios in a company?

According to methods for developing game scenarios, the example of the project Stress-Record was presented by Dr. Sandra Döring, TU Dresden, Media Centre. She has developed this serious game to help reducing the stress level in nursing homes and health companies.

What are the challenges of the industry?

Thus, Emmanuel Le Gouguec the CEO of Perfect Industry, has shared the vision of Industry of tomorrow. European industry is facing important challenges and digitalisation could be the key to solve some issues. In this context, Perfect Industry ambitions to create new tools, combining video game, operational excellence and data science. With the idea that the human is a key component of the transition and evolution, Perfect Industry works of the improvement of commitment and engagement of employees with new generation tools. The direct benefits from these tools and their gamification are contribution to the continuous improvement of employees’ skills and of industrial performance.

Gamification in daily life

What are the links between culture and games?

Playing game in training is a practice that is becoming widespread and is being integrated in new media. About that, Dr. Jens Junge from Institute of Ludology at the design academy (German), has presented the links between culture and games.

He offered the audience a time travel in games and society: how game has evolved in ages and how it is important for us as humans to understand our environment. He also emphasised that instant feedback is a key element of using games for training purpose, i.e. Serious Games.

This presentation contributes our understanding that learning through games is a way to engage learners.

How Game Based Learning can be used in Sport?

When you talk about gaming, some associate it with sport based on e-sport. Thus, Dr. Josef Wiemeyer, from TU Darmstadt, has presented the theory of game based learning in sports sciences and provided a state of the art of evidence of efficiency. He has explained that the challenge of serious gaming is to maintain the perfect equilibrium between game and player experience on the one hand and learning and training on the other hand. The performances are improved only when the game includes precise training objectives, and is not only designed for fun purpose, as described by Fere & Ponsere with a study on video game golf training.

Although both sides are important, it’s surprising to note that many studies focus on the learning experience, and don’t actually evaluate the gaming experience. Yet, several standard Game Experience / Engagement Questionnaires (GEQ) to assess this aspect are available, as reviewed by Norman, for instance.

Dr. Josef Wiemeyer also provided some elements on the mechanisms involved in the learning process in sports. Indeed, although the player does not actually do the movements, the outcome of symbolic actions is important and contributes to the learning process. The molecular bases underlying the learning process with serious game are also investigated. Evidence have been brought that the game activates a particular state in the brain associated with a high plasticity potential. Indeed, the plasticity of adult brain is low compared to child brain; yet some degrees of plasticity are retained in adulthood and allow adults to learn. Several studies, including the work of Bavelier, suggest that this plasticity is favoured by the game.

How to use gamification in the field of renewables energies?

On the other hand, we got a teacher point of view based on the Point-and-Click Adventure Serena Supergreen. It a serious game for professional orientation in the field of renewable energies.

Having different perspectives provides a representation of the workload and resources required for the success of such an initiative.

We also had Dr. Felix Kapp, TU Dresden, a psychologist of teaching and learning.

How to use gamification for tourism?

For the problematic of smart cities, Dr. Sander Münster demonstrated how 3D and 4D-visualizations can be enriched by gamification in order to motivate visitors to learn about urban history.

Many researches which take into account the European society are ongoing.

How gamification can help in daily life?

Finally, how about daily life? Is it possible to apply it as a use case? You’re bored with vacuum and with tooth brushing? The life span of your green plants is abnormally short? You never dare talking to strangers while waiting for the tram? You always forget your passwords?

The participants to the Inventor’s workshop that took place in parallel to the conference have addressed these issues we all face every day and showed us… very creative solutions!

What’s the impact of gaming in the European society?

Developing a game for teaching implies to have a look at the project from a macro-economic perspective. To this regard, the European dimension is a key challenge., Dr. Donatella Persico, from University of Leeds (UK) has presented the Horizon 2020 project Gaming horizon, which tackled gaming as an important topic for society. Partners challenged some assumptions usually taken for granted to understand whether they are correct or not and if needed propose alternatives. They highlight the fact that the use of game supports the increase of engagement, intrinsically toward playing, not necessarily toward learning: the game has to be carefully design and objectives perfectly aligned to ensure an efficient serious game. You can find the full conclusion in the Gaming Horizons Manifesto.

In a few words: “Play is our past, present, and future”.

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