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Posts Tagged ‘research’

  1. What are 21st Century Literacies?

    June 17, 2011 by Josh Caldwell


    What is information literacy in the context of an MMORPG?

    How do you assess learning in a tabletop RPG?

    What makes a proficient reader of graphic novels?

    How do readers approach text in video games?

    What literacies will be essential for 21st century learners?

    When will formal testing adapt to the shift from individual knowledge to social knowledge, and what will that assessment look like? (more…)

  2. Education Should Be More Like Video Games

    April 14, 2011 by Josh Caldwell

    Achievement Unlocked

    Differentiated instruction, intrinsic motivation, meaningful rewards, achievable challenges, corrective feedback – sounds like a laundry list of traits associated with Good Teaching. It also sounds a whole lot like video games. Neurologist Judy Willis makes that case that video games can be not only powerful learning tools, but also a model for classroom instruction.

    Video games with levels of play allow the player to progress quickly through early levels if the gamer already has the skill needed. Gamers reportedly make errors 80% of the time, but the most compelling games give hints, cues, and other feedback so players’ brains have enough expectation of dopamine reward to persevere.

    Try, fail, learn through feedback, succeed, achieve reward. So why are kids willing to persevere through a challenging game, but not through a challenging school assignment?

    Good games give players opportunities for experiencing intrinsic reward at frequent intervals, when they apply the effort and practice the specific skills they need to get to the next level. The games do not require mastery of all tasks and the completion of the whole game before giving the brain the feedback for dopamine boosts of satisfaction.

    Who has the time to provide the kind of constant, and automated, feedback and reward we get from video games? Willis suggests individual goal setting based on incremental level progression.

    Free bar graphs downloaded from the Internet can be filled in by students as they record and see evidence of their incremental goal progress. In contrast to the system of recognition delayed until a final product is completed, graphing reveals the incremental progress evidence throughout the learning process.

    Forget gold stars, I think I’ll start providing Xbox Live style Achievements…

    [via Edutopia]

  3. PBS Survey: More Teachers Using Digital Media

    January 20, 2010 by David

    Is this a good thing?

    The study says that:

    K-12 teachers most frequently use the Internet to find games and activities for students, followed by professional development resources, and lastly for collecting images. [From Digital Education]

    But my main question is, “What kind of games?” or, “Which games and activities?” Nevermind that they are using the internet for collecting images. That’s just the 21st century version of looking through old copies of magazines your teacher collected and cutting out pictures.

    Full study at

  4. Investigating the Impact of Video Games on High School Students’ Engagement and Learning about Genetics

    January 20, 2010 by David

    That’s quite a title. But look! Someone’s doing actual research on video games and their impact on students!

    From the abstract:

    This quasi-experimental study evaluated a teacher created video game on genetics in terms of its affective and cognitive impact on student users. While statistical results indicated no differences (p greater than 0.05) in student learning as measured by our instrument, there were significant differences (p less than 0.05) found in the participants’ level of engagement while interfacing with the video game.

    There’s more if you want to pay for the article from ERIC.

  5. Why educators should care about games

    January 6, 2010 by David

    A paper authored by Sasha A. Barab, Melissa Gresalfi, and Anna Arici makes exactly that point, why should we care about games? The obvious answer is because that’s what our students play and in order for our curriculum more meaningful and authentic to them we should meet them where we already are.

    They make the case that games, and specifically virtual worlds, allow students to really see and experience the content they are learning. “(S)tudents learn how to investigate and pose solutions-and they learn what it means to be historians, scientists, or mathematicans.”

    Educational Leadership / September 2009 or via Atlantis Quest