Terça-feira, 6 de Outubro de 2009
Investigation question + more homework

Right. I forgot to answer one question on the previous blog post. But first:

 

 

Why are you writing in English?

 

Because I'm a masochist, and I like to write posts filled with typos in another language.

Seriously, I have another blog, and I write in English most of the time. It's convenient because I have several friends/gaming partners/victims scattered around the globe, and 80% of them only know how to say a couple of swear words in Portuguese. Which I have taught them.

 

Did I mention I'm going to write my thesis in English? Yes, it's going to be f***ed up, but I have two mentors, one speaks in Portuguese, the other speaks in Greek, but both know enough English to be able to interact with each other. And I'll be able to reach a wider audience when I start publishing articles.

 

 

With which question do you plan to start the project?

(lol, I translated this the best I could from the slides)

 

Ah. Good question.

 

I don't have a defined question, what I have is a problem based on a pattern I have observed so far while reading these articles about creating digital learning games: most of them are meant to be used in classes which students find themselves unmotivated to learn something.

 

What I could ask is: "What elements should I include in a digital learning game in order to motivate the student -and- teach something at the same time?"

 

 

 

What's been done so far in this field?

 

 

Let's start with my Greek mentor, who wrote this article about a game she created "for learning computer memory concepts, which was designed according to the curricular objectives and the subject matter of the Greek high school Computer Science (CS) curriculum". This game was compared with another similar application, but sans game elements, and introduced to two groups. She also observed if there were any difference between boys and girls as they interacted with the game.

She concluded the game did motivate and promote students' knowledge, and both boys and girls' gainings with the game were similar.

 

Another example comes from Atif Waraich's studies, as described in the article I'm reading right now, about a "prototype multimedia Interactive Learning Environment (ILE)" for students learning about computer architecture. Once again, the issue is to find out how to motivate the students and engage them in learning something, by bringing game elements to their learning process.

It's concluded games can motivate students "to learn abstract domains", but further studies are necessary.

 

And most of my articles at hand are basically about this: teachers and investigators who seek and create games which can promote learning and appeal students.

 

 

Any notable results from the previous studies?

 

In a nutshell:

 

- The games used in those studies did appeal students, from children to adolescents, and they're able to learn something with it;

 

- The games used are not always compared with traditional methods of teaching, but with multimedia/web applications used for learning;

 

- I have yet to read an article where it's proved that games didn't have an efficient impact in the students' knowledge like other learning methods (if there's one, please tell me where I can find it), yet most investigators still say more studies are required.

 

 

So far, so good. Time to resume reading, I have a meeting this week, and my mentor will smack me if I don't read all articles. I also have to set a Gantt diagram to control my schedules.

 

... I hate Gantt diagrams.

 

 

 

 

 

Works cited for the masses:

 

Papastergiou, Marina. "Digital Game-Based Learning in High School Computer Science Education: Impact on Educational Effectiveness and Student Motivation." Computers & Education.52 (2009): 1-12.

Waraich, Atif. "Using Narrative as a Motivating Device to Teach Binary

Arithmetic and Logic Gates."  (2004).

 




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