Category Archives: News and Views

Using Design-Based Research to Further Learning Outcomes

Nathan Martin and Jay Lynch wrote an article for EdSurge that details the rationale and value of design-based research for education. Please refer to the full article on EdSurge by following the link below.

If education researchers hope to see more of their findings influence everyday learning and instruction—and they desperately do—then their best bet may be to encourage education technologists to hone their design research skills.

Researchers frequently lament how little of even the most robust and replicable educational research permeates actual teaching and studying. But the challenges and constraints of practical educational settings mean laboratory-based findings don’t readily translate into the kinds of practices, resources and tools that can meaningfully improve teaching and learning. If research is to yield real-world solutions, it will take teachers, students, researchers and technologists working together to dabble, invent and test new ideas. Edtech companies, many of which already partner with teachers and students early in the product design process, are uniquely suited to facilitating the type of research necessary to bridge the gap between academia and the classroom…

Source: Reality Is Messy, Labs Aren’t: How to Make Research Backed Education Work | EdSurge News

Positive Evaluation of Game-Based Learning

In a sponsored article at EdSurge News, Legends of Learning reports that an independent evaluation by Vanderbilt University of game-based learning products confirmed game-based learning resulted in improved learning outcomes relative to traditional pedagogy. Over 1000 students and 13 teachers participated in the experiment. 55 games from 15 developers were tested. Most importantly, the results of the learning interventions were adjudicated by blind graders. For the full article please follow the link below.

Source: New Research Proves Game-Based Learning Works—Here’s Why That Matters | EdSurge News

How we design games now and why

Katherine Neil shares her thoughts on game design as they appeared in the book Critical Hits: An Indie Gaming Anthology, edited by Zoe Jellicoe. 

In 1884, an English man called George Sturt inherited a two-hundred-year-old wheelwright’s shop from his father. A wheelwright was an artisan who made wheels for horse-drawn vehicles — carts and carriages. Sturt had been a schoolteacher, and was entirely new to this business of making wheels. As a man possessed of both a wheelwright’s shop and the enquiring mind of a scholar, Sturt set out to learn not only how wheels were made, but also why they were made that way. Finding people to show him the wheel designs and how they were constructed was not difficult. But he could not find anyone to explain why, for example, cart wheels were a strange, elaborate dish-shape — like saucers. Why were they not flat? At first glance the strange shape seemed to have some clear disadvantages. Not only did it make them more time-consuming to build, they had to be positioned on a cart in such a way as they jutted out from the side at a rather odd angle. And yet they did their job remarkably well.

Sturt developed his own theories to explain the strange design, which he recorded in his 1923 book The Wheelwright’s Shop, and in the decades since then designers and engineers offered their own theories. While Sturt was destined to never truly understand the secret logic encoded in this wheel design, he quite happily continued using it to make wheels over a number of years. In doing so he was following the tradition of generations of wheelwrights before him, whose knowledge and skill were accompanied by that other enduring tradition of the artisan: an almost complete lack of theoretical understanding.

By 1923 they had great wheels but it looks like they could’ve done with a few more bridges.

Turn-of-the-century game development

We no longer have wheelwrights and we are no longer making wheels in shapes we don’t understand. This is because design practice (the way designers design) in any discipline — from the creation of wheels, buildings and furniture through to film, music and literature — develops over time. It reaches milestones; it passes through phases. Until around a decade ago videogame design looked as if it was about to begin the evolutionary shift that other design disciplines had made before it. But this did not happen. A confluence of major changes to the world of videogames — technological, industrial and cultural — took place, setting game design on a very different course. To understand what happened, we need to turn the clock back to the late 1990s and early-to-mid 2000s, before these major changes had occurred.

For the rest of the article, please continue to the original post on Gamasutra…

Source: Gamasutra: Katharine Neil’s Blog – How we design games now and why