National Programme & Study on Game-Based Learning

The GBL Research group @ WIT will be launching a national programme/study in September 2012, and we are looking for 20+ schools to take part in the study. This longitudinal study will last for at least one year and include the following aspects:
– Teachers will be provided with resources to use GBL in their classrooms
– Workshops will be provided to inform teachers on evidence-based best practice, resources, and the latest research findings on GBL
– A portal will be created to allow students and teachers to access the material at all times.
– Resources will consist of  teacher training, handbook for teachers, templates to conduct and evaluate classes, templates to create games, and tutorials to use GBL tools, access to database of existing games used in education 
– A study will be conducted to evaluate the benefits provided by this approach. The study will investigate how GBL approaches and teaching
strategies, in addition to traditional teaching methodologies, can be harnessed to improve both learning and motivation on the part of the
learners
– In addition, this study will also seek to evaluate teachers’ interest for GBL approaches, and to identify possible challenges and opportunities for the introduction of GBL in classrooms.
– Finally, the portal will be the opportunity to create and expand a network of teachers interested in the use of GBL, making it possible
for teachers to discuss and exchange ideas and best practice on the theme of GBL.
 
This programme should provide all teachers interested in using GBL with the the necessary resources, training and support that they require to do so. No prior knowledge of games or game development is required and all teachers are welcome. 

If you are (or know a colleague who would be) interested in such a programme, feel free to contact Patrick Felicia (pfelicia@wit.ie).

 
Best Wishes,
 
Patrick

Call for Speakers ECGC 2012 is now accepting submissions for speakers for the upcoming conference! The early submission date is February 19, with a late submission date of March 11. Prospective speakers are encouraged to submit their ideas for lectures, roundtables, and panels for the conference as soon as possible.

This year, the ECGC board is seeking sessions in game-related tracks including but not limited to Academic, Business, Design, Programming, Production, Social, Mobile, Serious Games, and Visual Arts. For more information on the seven topical tracks at ECGC, please visit the Track Overview.

The East Coast Game Conference is the largest game conference on the East Coast and will take place at Raleigh’s state of the art Convention Center on April 25/26, 2012. This is the premier industry event for developers to make connections, share ideas, and find inspiration in the Eastern US.
If you have a great talk and are a great speaker please submit it to ecgcspeakers@gmail.com!

Speaker Expectations
Conference attendees expect excellence from ECGC speakers. They will evaluate your sessions based on delivery, knowledge on the topic addressed, and the visuals presented. Please consider the following when proposing to speak:

* The proposed outline must match the talk you present at the Summit.
* You agree to commit adequate time to prepare for your session.
* You may be required to submit your presentation slides for review prior to acceptance.
* We strongly encourage that you rehearse the delivery of your session for it to be effective; preferably in front of your peers.
* Your presentation materials will be subject to review prior to the conference.
* You agree to have adequate visual accompaniment to your speech.
* You agree to allow ECGC to record and distribute copies of your presentation.
* The submitter also agrees to be available to present his/her session during either day of the Conference-April 25/26, 2012.

International Journal of Game-Based Learning (IJGBL) : Submissions are welcome for Volume 2 Issue 3

Researchers are welcome to submit manuscripts to be considered for inclusion in the third issue of the second volume of the International Journal of Game-Based Learning (IJGBL)to be published in July 2012.All submissions should follow the publication guidelines and be sent to pfelicia@wit.ie, no later than 23rd January 2012.

All articles received on or before this date will be sent for double-blind review, and authors should be notified of the status of their submission by 6th February 2012.

Based on feedback provided by reviewers, successful authors will be asked to complete additional changes and submit their amended manuscript by 27th February 2012.

Based on the revised documents, a final notification of acceptance will be issued by 19th March 2012.

Successful authors will then need to send their final documents (e.g., script, authors’ warranty, biographical sketches, and contact details) by 30th March 2012.


The International Journal of Game-Based Learning (IJGBL) is devoted to the theoretical and empirical understanding of game-based learning. To achieve this aim, the journal publishes theoretical manuscripts, empirical studies, and literature reviews. The journal publishes this multidisciplinary research from fields that explore the cognitive and psychological aspects that underpin successful educational video games. The target audience of the journal is composed of professionals and researchers working in the fields of educational games development, e-learning, technology-enhanced education, multimedia, educational psychology, and information technology. IJGBL promotes an in-depth understanding of the multiple factors and challenges inherent to the design and integration of Game-Based Learning environments.

Handbook of Research on Improving Learning and Motivation through Educational Games: Multidisciplinary Approaches

The Handbook of Research on Improving Learning and Motivation through Educational Games: Multidisciplinary Approaches is now available.

This handbook includes chapters from more than 100 experts in instructional design, game design, psychology and educational psychology, who depict their experience of designing and deploying GBL solutions, and reflect on their achievements and shortcomings. These experiences are then employed to inform the reader by providing relevant advice and guidelines accordingly.



GBL has evolved considerably during the last decades, in terms of theoretical models and applications, and is gaining increasing recognition among a wide range of sectors including formal education and corporate training. This significant change has been supported by new and more accessible gaming technologies, and the advent of educational theories that promote a constructive approach to learning, and acknowledge motivation and personal differences as determining factors for successful learning.

However, despite a growing body of knowledge on educational video games, there is still a need for more rigorous experiments in order to define frameworks that guarantee systematic learning and motivation. Without solid theoretical foundations, and universal guidelines on how to design and use video games in educational settings, it will be difficult to obtain all the benefits that these games can offer.

Several successful GBL solutions have been produced to date, and researchers have made substantial findings which have furthered the understanding of the intricate factors that affect learning and motivation in video games. Nonetheless, many challenges lie ahead:

  • More developers need to be informed of best practices pertaining to the design of successful educational games.
  • More educators need to be aware of the educational potential of video games. They need to understand how this medium can be used successfully to consistently motivate and instruct learners.
  • Stakeholders involved in funding and identifying relevant educational solutions (e.g., company owners, policy-makers, or managers) should be informed accordingly, so that they understand the economical and managerial implications of GBL. This should enable them to make informed decisions, thereby supporting instructors and learners with relevant structures and resources.
  • Educational video games should be envisaged through a multidisciplinary approach, and be designed accordingly by multidisciplinary teams including experts in game design, instructional design, and psychology.
  • Researchers should avoid the mistakes of the past and create educational applications that truly tap into the motivational and emotional potential of video games; educational games should also account for curricular learning objectives. These two conditions are crucial for the adoption of GBL by both instructors and students.
  • More practical recommendations on how to use GBL systems are needed. Whereas many publications on GBL report on experiments and theoretical models, very few manage to provide simple and practical guidelines that designers and instructors can easily follow and apply.
  • GBL systems should follow a user-centered approach to learning, and acknowledge personal differences at both cognitive and affective levels. It is only by providing personalized emotional and cognitive experiences to users (e.g., characters, scenarios, or learning interventions) that reproducible and sustainable results will be achieved.

To address some of these challenges and expand the existing body of knowledge on GBL, I decided to launch a publication project involving experts from different fields, all with an interest in designing highly engaging and educational game-based educational systems. The primary objective of this project was to compile current research in GBL, to provide a comprehensive yet practical explanation of GBL, and to analyze the multiple factors, including design, development, integration, and evaluation, that contribute to both learning and motivation in video games.

This project has been an interesting journey and a truly collaborative experience involving the work and contribution of many enthusiastic and dedicated individuals. More than a year after submitting my proposal for this book to IGI-Global, and having collected, reviewed, and compiled the invaluable information submitted by authors and reviewers, it is with great enthusiasm that I am writing the preface of this publication. I believe this book will be instrumental in expanding our understanding of the multiple factors that influence the effective design and use of GBL. I also hope that it will assist teachers, students, policy-makers, and developers, and inspire them to tap into the many possibilities offered by GBL.

This handbook includes chapters from more than 100 experts in instructional design, game design, psychology and educational psychology, who depict their experience of designing and deploying GBL solutions, and reflect on their achievements and shortcomings. These experiences are then employed to inform the reader by providing relevant advice and guidelines accordingly.

All chapters have been evaluated using a thorough review process. In order to recruit authors, a call for chapters was issued, requiring potential contributors to submit a proposal that described the coverage, uniqueness and relevance of their chapter. All proposals were then evaluated based on their relevance, and every effort was made to include a representative range of topics. Selected authors were asked to submit their chapters, which were then assessed through a double-blind review process by three reviewers. Following the double-blind reviews, accepted authors were provided with recommendations from the reviewers and the editor, and asked to submit an amended script. This amended version was then evaluated, and a final notification of acceptance was issued. As a result of this review process, this handbook includes 52 high quality chapters that provide a comprehensive explanation of the issues, solutions, and challenges related to GBL.

Book Structure

The chapters in this book have been divided in five key areas:

  • Introduction to Game-Based Learning. This section provides introductory material on Game-Based Learning. Readers with little or no prior knowledge of the field will find valuable information to help their understanding of how video games can be appreciated and explained in the light of educational and motivational theories. It also includes two literature reviews on the use of computer games in education that will help the reader to appreciate the evolution of GBL and the challenges that lie ahead. This section also comprises an analysis of the barriers to using video games in the classroom, an overview of the necessary conditions for the successful integration and deployment of video games in instructional settings, and an explanation of the role that teachers can play to support the effective use of video games.
  • Cognitive Approach to Game-Based Learning: Design Patterns and Instructional Design. This section describes GBL solutions that concentrate on the cognitive aspects of learning, with particular emphasis on instructional design, educational theories, and design patterns. The authors address the difficult and complex tasks of identifying, measuring and combining the factors that contribute to both learning and motivation in video games.
  • Psychological Approach to Game-Based Learning: Emotions, Motivation and Engagement. This section focuses on a psychological approach to GBL, and explains how emotions and motivation can be harnessed to improve learning in video games.
  • User-Centered Approach to Game-Based Learning: Accounting for Users’ Differences, Specificities and Disabilities. This section accounts for users’ differences, specificities and disabilities in the design of GBL systems. The authors describe theoretical frameworks and guidelines that address issues and challenges such as improving motivation, providing tailored interventions with Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITSs), accounting for gender differences, applying games to neuro-rehabilitation, or engaging children with attention deficit or intellectual disabilities.
  • Curricular Approach to Game-Based Learning: Integrating Video Games in Instructional Settings. This section describes how video games can be deployed and utilized in different instructional settings. The chapters include experiments on the use of video games to teach law, engineering, physics, leadership and health. The authors explain how these video games can improve current teaching practices. They describe the rationale and theoretical models behind the creation and deployment of their systems, and provide helpful insights and recommendations based on their experiences.

You can obtain more information on this book, by visiting the IGI website.

Call for Chapters: Cases on Digital Game-Based Learning: Methods, Models and Strategies,

Chapter proposals are invited for an edited book on Cases on Digital Game-Based Learning: Methods, Models and Strategies, to be published by IGI Global (http://www.igi-global.com) in 2012. The book’s scope will encompass the use of digital games in classroom teaching at all levels of schools.

Each case constitutes one chapter, covering the items below.

Overall description

  • Practicalities of running the game
  • Details of using games for teaching, learning and assessment
  • Technology components
  • Challenges
  • Summary
  • Lessons learned/tips for practitioners
  • Further readings
  • References

Each chapter could be either a short case or a long case. A short case could be within 3,000-5,000 words. A long case could be within 9,000 – 12,000 words. The key dates are as follows:

Proposal submission deadline: September 15, 2011

Full chapter submission: January 15, 2012

Revised chapter submission: April 30, 2012

Should you accept this invitation, the editors would kindly like to ask that on or before September 15, 2011, you submit via e-mail a 1-3 page case proposal for review that clearly explains the mission and concern of your proposed case, and a brief outline of the chapter using the headings suggested above. Queries and expressions of interest can be directed to the editors, Nicola Whitton (n.whitton@mmu.ac.uk) and Young Baek (youngkyunbaek@boisestate.edu).



Editors’ details:


Young Baek, Ph.D.

Department of Educational Technology

Boise State University

Boise, ID 83725



Nicola Whitton, Ph.D.

Education and Social Research Institute

Manchester Metropolitan University,

Manchester, UK

International Journal of Game-Based Learning (IJGBL) : Submissions are welcome for Volume 2 Issue 2

Researchers are welcome to submit manuscripts to be considered for inclusion in the second issue of the second volume of the International Journal of Game-Based Learning (IJGBL) to be published in April 2012.

All submissions should follow the publication guidelines and be sent to pfelicia@wit.ie, no later than 30th September 2011.

All articles received on or before this date will be sent for double-blind review, and authors should be notified of the status of their submission by 21st October 2011.

Based on feedback provided by reviewers, successful authors will be asked to complete additional changes and submit their amended manuscript by 4th November 2011.

Based on the revised documents, a final notification of acceptance will be issued by 25th November 2011.

Successful authors will then need to send their final documents (e.g., script, authors’ warranty, biographical sketches, and contact details) by 9th December 2011.



The International Journal of Game-Based Learning (IJGBL) is devoted to the theoretical and empirical understanding of game-based learning. To achieve this aim, the journal publishes theoretical manuscripts, empirical studies, and literature reviews. The journal publishes this multidisciplinary research from fields that explore the cognitive and psychological aspects that underpin successful educational video games. The target audience of the journal is composed of professionals and researchers working in the fields of educational games development, e-learning, technology-enhanced education, multimedia, educational psychology, and information technology. IJGBL promotes an in-depth understanding of the multiple factors and challenges inherent to the design and integration of Game-Based Learning environments.

GBL Summer School in Autrans

This week, I had the pleasure to attend the GBL summer school 2011, an event organized in Autrans, a peaceful and welcoming village located in the French Alpes, a few kilometres from Grenoble.

The event was held for a week and provided phd students with a fantastic opportunity to network, learn more about GBL, and present their work and views on GBL.

Participants included lecturers, researchers and phd students from European countries (e.g., France, Spain, Greece, Italy, Australia, or England).

Most days included keynote presentations in the morning, followed by workshops in the afternoon. The themes of the presentations and workshops included adaptive games, new technologies, the user experience, evaluation, and virtual reality.

I found these themes highly relevant as they addressed many of the issues faced by researchers and also showed future trends. Students also demonstrated very interesting work and ideas in their posters, with topic such as collaborative learning, authoring tools for teachers, increasing creativity through gbl, adaptive multiple user systems, scenario-based learning, risk management training, multi-modal approach to language learning, user profiling, mixed reality games, interactive tabletops, factors impacting on motivation or 3D virtual environments.

I particularity enjoyed discussions with researchers and students on their work. It was great to see the enthusiasm and drive of all students attending this event. Overall, this summer significantly highlighted the need for user-centered environments that empower user to teach and learn, and provide experiences that are both educational and entertaining.

Informal feedback from attendees tends to indicate that this summer school was a success, that it has managed to provide students with feedback on their work, an overview of the issues and challenges faced by GBL researchers, and useful ideas for their future work.

I believe such events are extremely important for students, who may feel the need to discuss their research with other students and researchers, but may lack opportunities to do so. Some students may not feel confident enough to talk to other researchers at conferences, and summer schools may just give them this opportunity.

More importantly, this event may be organized every year and all participants will continue networking virtually on Linkedin.

Thanks to the organizers for their incredible work and efforts.

Thanks to the students, for their ideas, enthusiasm, and the fantastic work they have produced so far.

Overall a fantastic event that I would highly recommend!

Patrick

GBL for STEM Summer Camp in WIT (results)

Following the workshop on Video Games, students were asked to fill-out a feedback form to indicate whether they enjoyed the workshop, identify how it motivated them to embrace a scientific career (e.g., IT), and evaluate how it could be improved.
The respondents consisted of 8 boys and 6 girls. Most respondents were aged between 13. and 14.
[Click on the image for a larger version]
Most of the attendees found the workshop was fun (93%), and would like to carry-on creating games in the future (57%).
[Click on the image for a larger version]
After this workshop, most attendees felt more confident about programing (65%) and using computers (71%); 35% found that the workshop had motivated them to create video games, 21% did not share this opinion, and 42% neither agreed or disagreed.
[Click on the image for a larger version]
When asked about the aspect of the workshop that they preferred, attendees essentially found creating a game (29%), learning something new(21%) and playing the game they have created (21%) the most enjoyable parts of the workshop.
[Click on the image for a larger version]
The majority of the students felt that they would like to know more about computing or programing after this workshop (78%).
[Click on the image for a larger version]
Some comments about the workshop include:
It was the best workshop we did all week
it was great fun and i cant wait to brag to my friends how i made my own computer game. I was really great fun and i would love to do it again!!
I really enjoyed the workshop and it was great fun making and playing your own game I would have liked it to be longer so we could have done more. And learned about how to do other types of games.