04
Jun
13

The 1st Issue of the 3rd Volume of the International Journal of Game-Based Learning

This issue includes seven articles based on presentations featured at the 6th European conference on Game-Based Learning (ECGBL), which was held in Cork (Ireland) on 4th and 5th October 2012. This conference brings together teachers, lecturers, students and researchers, and provides insights from different perspectives such as educational psychology, sociology, human computer interaction artificial intelligence, game design, or instructional design.

ECGBL is a valuable platform for individuals to present their research findings, display their work in progress and discuss conceptual advances in many different areas and specialties within Game-Based Learning.  This year, ECGBL featured the work of researchers from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Czech Republic, Denmark,  Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Malaysia,  Norway, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden,  Switzerland, Taiwan, The Netherlands, UK and the USA.

With an initial submission of 159 abstracts, after the double blind peer review process, there were 68 research papers, 4 PhD research papers and 11 work-in- progress papers featured at the conference. Amongst these excellent articles, seven outstanding papers were selected for this special issue of the International Journal of Game-Based Learning. In these articles, the authors address interesting and emergent issues such as user-centred design, collaboration in games, social presence, user behaviors and its impact on learning, time on task, and the design and evaluation of game engines for educational activities. The authors explain how educational game design can be improved, using a user-centred approach (All, Van Looy and Nuñez Castellar), and how team-based activities (Denholm, Protopsatis, and deFreitas) and social interaction (Oksanen and Hämäläinen) can improve both engagement (Marques and de Souza) and learning. The authors also look at how the perceived notion of time can influence the benefits yielded by GBL approaches (Moreno and Usart), and how game authoring tools can either improve the game creation process (Mehm, Göbel, and Steinmetz) or enhance programming skills (Wilson, Hainey and Connolly).

In the first paper, authored by All, Van Looy and Nuñez Castellar, it is envisaged how co-designed methods can enhance the design of serious games. This inspiring paper demonstrates the importance of designing from users’ perspectives and providing players with game mechanics that they value. The authors argue that game design documents for serious games should include justifications for the theoretical basis of the design choices, so that learning outcomes can be guaranteed. They explain the concept of co-design, a methodology usually employed to identify opportunities for technology- and application-oriented developments, that involves both designers and users in the early stages of the design process to ensure that users’ needs and requirements are accounted for. All, Van Looy and Nuñez Castellar explain that, although co-design has been employed to some extent in game design, it has rarely been leveraged for educational games. They then describe their study, which took place in Flanders and aimed to design and develop a serious game for road safety. Their study was four-fold and featured (1) an analysis of the state-of-the-art of the gaming market in Flanders for games on traffic safety, (2) a focus group conducted with traffic safety experts to identify the cause, consequences and punishments for “problematic” behaviors, (3) interviews with traffic safety experts, and (4) the development of a game concept document, a stage that receives a greater focus in their paper. The study included 72 teenagers and a game developer who helped with the generation of ideas. The authors describe the different phases, including an ice-breaker (i.e., using a video to create a fun experience), a map task where participants developed their game concepts, and a scenario task where participants were asked to create a new game scenario. The analysis of the different tasks and outputs reveals interesting trends pertaining to the mechanics and themes featured in the game concepts created by the participants. For example, cameras, text messages, and call functions were used the most in the game concepts, and the most popular places for game play included river surroundings, parks, squares and historical buildings. The authors found that, although children’s lack of technical knowledge of mobile phone technology may create unrealistic expectations on their part, the co-design approach seemed to capture mechanics, themes, and places of interest to the participants. While the goal of the experiments was to help teenagers create a game on road safety, very few projects produced the expected outcome, which, to some extent, demonstrates the difficulty to find game scenarios that include a perfect balance between fun and learning activities, although the co-design approach managed to capture participants’ motivations and desired features.

In the second paper, authored by Denholm, Protopsatis, and deFreitas, the authors report on the use of Team-Based Mixed Reality Games (TBMRG), games often used in higher education to teach and further explain topics, such as project or engineering management, which may require a team-based approach. The project included MSc students from Warwick University. Denholm, Protopsatis, and deFreitas argue that games (i.e., digital and non-digital) have been used from early in the century for training and educational purposes, especially for business management. They describe how well-accepted experiential learning theorists, including Kolb and Jarvis, can help to understand and support Game-Based Learning activities. They explain that simulations can be seen as experiential learning environments, and that problem-based gaming can help players to learn and construct knowledge by creating and testing hypotheses through experiments, and to assess different strategies accordingly. However, they agree that the evaluation of GBL and SG projects can pose difficulties and may need to be improved in many aspects. Their study assesses how students perceived four games on project planning, financial analysis, management of change, and product design. This article focuses on the perceived effectiveness of TBMR games. The survey conducted by Denholm, Protopsatis, and deFreitas revealed that students believed that the games enhanced their knowledge, practical skills, and motivation. It also suggests that designers should account for the value provided to the players, as it proved to be one of the most expected features, along with the feedback provided throughout the game (i.e., debriefing, peer-review, and self-reflection).

In the third article authored by Oksanen and Hämäläinen and entitled “Perceived sociability and social presence in a collaborative serious game”, the authors explore how learning occurs in games through social and collaborative interaction. They explain how Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) and Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) can benefit learning activities, as collaborative activities help learners to assess their knowledge, share information with their peers, and promote active and social learning. The authors explain that collaborative games can be considered as a sub-category of CSCL environments. According to them, social interaction is one of the most important yet overlooked aspects of CSCL. As a result, Oksanen and Hämäläinen propose to study how pedagogical techniques and strategies can influence social presence, one of the three factors related to social interaction (the other two being sociability and social presence). According to Oksanen and Hämäläinen, CSCL environments need to address both participants’ learning and psychological needs, including social interaction, because social and emotional processes are essential to learning. However, they also highlight that such processes require specific conditions to occur. The study described in their article analyses a collaborative game entitled Game Bridge, in terms of perceived levels of sociability and social presence. This multiplayer game was designed to encourage and support the construction of inter-professional knowledge. The experiments conducted by Oksanen and Hämäläinen included 45 vocational training students, and 24 teachers, who played the video game for two to three hours and were then required to complete a questionnaire that evaluated sociability and social presence experienced in the game. The results showed that participants essentially experienced positive feelings, and significant correlations were found between empathy and sociability. It seemed that playing the game created strong behavioral involvement between group members, as well as strong resource dependence between them. The game seemed to develop the participants into a well-functioning team with good work relationships.

In the fourth paper entitled “Behavioral valuation of preference for game-based teaching procedures”, Marques and de Souza explore how games can motivate language learning compared to teaching methodologies only based on Experimental  Behavior Analysis (EBA). They remind us that measurement of motivation can be difficult, especially when employing self-reports for children, and that it can be improved with the use of a wider range of methodologies, as correspondence between self-report and actual behaviors is often low. They argue that motivation is a result of the interaction between behavior and the environment, but that very few motivational theories account for the environmental conditions or context-specificity of behaviors, and that this may, as a result, often provide an inaccurate measure of motivation. The authors also believe that intrinsic motivation can be measured using non-intrusive techniques through the observation of participants’ behaviors and choice to engage in specific tasks. The experiments described in this article included 15 pupils with reading difficulties from a Brazilian public school. The results show interesting results, notably that the video game had a significant motivational factor which led to improved reading. Their experiments also suggest that the extent to which pupils will take and use the educational game at home depends on how much choice they have in defining their learning activities. Marques and de Souza suggest that pupils may prefer to use video games when they don’t have much choice or options in terms of educational formats, possibly because games give them a sense of control and freedom that they would not have otherwise.

In the fifth paper, entitled “An authoring tool for educational adventure games: concept, game models and authoring processes”, Mehm, Göbel, and Steinmetz, present an authoring tool for the development of educational adventure games named StoryTec. They explain that, typically, educational adventure games, while being very popular and enjoyable, require considerable resources and expertise, a structure that accounts for the multidisciplinary aspects of such projects, and support for collaboration between all stakeholders. As a result, they present an authoring tool that facilitates the development of such games and collaboration between all stakeholders involved, and that adds the possibility to re-author existing games seamlessly with provision for adaptive features. Mehm, Göbel, and Steinmetz briefly describe the process of designing and developing an educational game; they review existing educational game authoring tools and describe their authoring tool, Storytec, its structure, and its underlying game design model. The evaluation of StoryTec featured a re-authored version of the game Geographicus which was created and tested in terms of usability. 26 participants took part in the usability tests, which showed that StoriTec had no significant impact on players’ mood, suggesting that correct ergonomics were applied for the design of Storytec. Further interviews and focus groups also revealed that it was suitable for story-boarding and prototyping. Another part of the study compared the effectiveness of StoryTec to another authoring tool; it included 47 subjects who were asked to re-author the game, either using StoryTec or another authoring tool. The results show that StoryTec was preferred amongst the authoring tools, and that it helped students to complete the tasks faster. Overall, this article emphasize the need for authoring tools to design and create educational games seamlessly; it illustrates the challenges faced by stakeholders involved in the creation of educational games, and how some of these issues may be addressed using relevant authoring tools and techniques.

In the sixth article, authored by Moreno and Usart and entitled “The Impact of students’ temporal perspectives on time-on-task and learning performance in Game-Based-Learning”, the authors focus on time on task and on how players’ time is managed and harnessed during Game-Based Learning activities.  They argue that while video games may yield higher time-on-tasks for users, because of their engaging features, they may not increase learning performance proportionally. Moreno and Usart use the concept of Time Perspectives (TP) to profile users and to understand how their perception of time (i.e., past, present, and future events) may affect their behavior and ability to value time spent learning. Their study analyses how students with different TPs may regulate time for their learning activities, and whether individual and collaborative game performances may be related. The experiments included 24 students from an introductory course in finance who played MetaVals, a web-based serious game on finance. While the study found no correlation between TP and game performance, or between individual and collaborative activities, it suggests that TP could be important in the design of GBL activities to increase students’ engagement; it also suggests that designers should consider and devise mechanisms that ensure quality time-on-task on the part of the learners.

In the seventh and last article, authored by Wilson, Hainey and Connolly and entitled “Evaluation of computer games developed by primary school children to gauge understanding of programming concepts”, the authors examine the benefits of game construction tools in primary schools. They start by describing studies which featured and analyzed game building tools. They argue that game construction is in line with constructivists theories, whereby learners are actors of their learning activities. In their study, Wilson, Hainey and Connolly focus on Scratch, a game/story-telling construction software, essentially targeted at children, that makes it possible to create games relatively easily using drag and drop features and a simple interface. Their study aimed to evaluate the programming skills acquired while developing a game with Scratch, and it included 60 participants whose work (i.e., games created with Scratch) and skills were evaluated using a new coding scheme developed by the authors. This study offers one of the rare models to evaluate programming skills developed as a result of game creation, and shows that children can gain significant programming skills when while using Scratch.

13
May
13

CFP: International Journal of Game-Based Learning

International Journal Of Game-Based Learning (Call for Papers)
 

Authors are invited to submit manuscripts to be considered for inclusion in the first issue of the fourth volume of the International Journal of Game-Based Learning (IJGBL) (http://igi-global.com/ijgbl/)  to be published in January 2014. Papers should be submitted on or before 8th July 2013 to ijgbl.editor@gmail.com.

Mission
The mission of the International Journal of Game-Based Learning (IJGBL) is to promote knowledge pertinent to the design of Game-Based Learning environments, and to provide relevant theoretical frameworks and the latest empirical research findings in the field of Game-Based Learning. The main goals of IJGBL are to identify, explain, and improve the interaction between learning outcomes and motivation in video games, and to promote best practices for the integration of video games in instructional settings. The journal is multidisciplinary and addresses cognitive, psychological and emotional aspects of Game-Based Learning. It discusses innovative and cost-effective Game-Based Learning solutions. It also provides students, researchers, instructors, and policymakers with valuable information in Game-Based Learning, and increases their understanding of the process of designing, developing and deploying successful educational games.IJGBL also identifies future directions in this new educational medium.

Coverage
Topics to be discussed in this journal include (but are not limited to) the following:

- Adaptive games design for Game-Based Learning
- Design of educational games for people with disabilities
- Educational video games and learning management systems
- Game design models and design patterns for Game-Based Learning
- Instructional design for Game-Based Learning
- Integration and deployment of video games in the classroom
- Intelligent tutoring systems and Game-Based Learning
- Learning by designing and developing video games
- Games for change

- Games for health
- Learning styles, behaviors and personalities in educational video games
- Mobile development and augmented reality for Game-Based Learning
- Motivation, audio and emotions in educational video games
- Role of instructors
- Virtual worlds and Game-Based Learning
- Gamification

Submission
Research papers submitted for this journal must be original submissions and should be between 5,500 to 8,000 words in length. Interested authors must consult the journal’s guidelines for manuscript submissions (http://www.igi-global.com/AuthorsEditors/AuthorEditorResources/JournalDevelopmentResources.aspx) prior to submission. All submissions will be forwarded to at least three members of the Editorial Review Board of the journal for double-blind, peer review. Final decision regarding acceptance/revision/rejection will be based on the reviews received from the reviewers. All submissions must be forwarded electronically to ijgbl.editor@gmail.com no later than 8th July 2013.

13
Jan
13

International Journal of Game-Based Learning (IJGBL) : Submissions are welcome for Volume 3 Issue 4

Researchers are welcome to submit manuscripts to be considered for inclusion in the second issue of the third volume of the International Journal of Game-Based Learning (IJGBL) to be published in October 2013. All submissions should follow the publication guidelines and be sent to pfelicia@wit.ie on or before 8th April 2013.

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 8th May 2013.

Based on feedback provided by reviewers, successful authors will be asked to complete additional changes and submit their amended manuscript by 31st May 2013.

Based on the revised documents, a final notification of acceptance will be issued by 28th June 2013.

Successful authors will then need to send their final documents (e.g., script, authors’ warranty, biographical sketches, and contact details) by 10th July  2013.

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.

For any inquiry related to the submission process, please contact Patrick Felicia pfelicia@wit.ie.

20
Aug
12

Call for Expressions of Interest to join the Review Panel for the International Journal of Game-Based Learning

In response to continual increases in the volume of manuscript submissions it receives, the International Journal of Game-Based Learning (IJGBL), is seeking expressions of interest from qualified individuals to join its editorial board.

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 individuals 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.

Individuals interested in serving as reviewers for IJGBL are asked to complete the form at the following URL:
http://bit.ly/PnVyWW

Previous experience performing reviews for academic publications is preferred but not essential.

Although remuneration is not offered to reviewers, all reviewers will be acknowledged by having their names listed on the IJGBL website.

07
Aug
12

Game jams can motivate, educate, and boost students’ career

Among the six papers featured in the fourth issue of the second volume of the International Journal of game-Based Learning,  the fourth paper, authored by Preston, Chastine, O’Donnell, Tseng and MacIntyre describes the organization of game jams, and their benefits at both educational and motivational levels.

This unique piece of research explores how game jams are perceived. Preston, Chastine, O’Donnell, Tseng and Macintyre describe the history of game jams, a relatively recent phenomenon, whereby participants can work in teams and create multiple games, using successive prototypes developed cyclically over 48 hours. These environments make it possible for competitors to “learn by doing” and refine their knowledge of development tools in a safe environment. Preston, Chastine, O’Donnell, Tseng and Macintyre explain that, because players are naturally creative and inclined to expand their game worlds, they are naturally attracted to game jams. This interest in game jams can also be explained by the inherent features found in game jams, such as stimulation, challenge, negativism (i.e., possibility to deviate from the organized elements of the jam), exploration, cognitive synergy or danger. According to Preston, Chastine, O’Donnell, Tseng and MacIntyre, these experiences broaden participants’ skills and network, providing useful opportunities for their future career. The authors explain that, in addition to game development skills, jams also offer many educational opportunities such as creative thinking, or computational thinking.

Preston, Chastine, O’Donnell, Tseng and MacIntyre then present the results of a survey on motivations to enter a game jam, and the perceived benefits on the part of the attendees. The results indicate that game jams are highly collaborative, that new jammers have a passion for making games; they are interested in advancing their skills, connecting with other peers in their field, and in gaining a better understanding of the game development process. The results also showed that non-jammers often don’t know about game jams, may lack time, are too far away from the game jams, or think they lack the necessary skills to enter this type of events.

Game jams look like they have a lot to offer to our new generation of students, and this surely is a fantastic environment to develop the skills and create the contacts they will need in their career.

Some interesting links on Game-Jams:

14
Jun
12

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

Researchers are welcome to submit manuscripts to be considered for inclusion in the second issue of the third volume of the International Journal of Game-Based Learning (IJGBL) to be published in April 2013. All submissions should follow the publication guidelines and be submitted online on or before 21st September 2012, using the following link:

http://www.igi-global.com/authorseditors/titlesubmission/newproject.aspx

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 12th October 2012.

Based on feedback provided by reviewers, successful authors will be asked to complete additional changes and submit their amended manuscript by 2nd November 2012.

Based on the revised documents, a final notification of acceptance will be issued by 23rd November 2012.

Successful authors will then need to send their final documents (e.g., script, authors’ warranty, biographical sketches, and contact details) by 7th December  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.

11
Jun
12

iGBL2012: Presentations

Morning Presentations

Stream A – Chair: Dr. Kate Madden – Room G18

  • 11.15: Representations of Self in Classroom Virtual Worlds: a Case-study of Pupils on the Autism Spectrum., Mr. Nigel Newbutt,University College Dublin
  • 11.45: Improving School Performance and cognitive abilities through Chess, Mr. Brendan Buckley, Chessossity.com
  • 12.15: MissionV – game-based learning through virtual worlds in 20 Irish primary schools.,  Mr. James Corbett & Ms. Margaret Keane,MissionV Education Limited
  • 12.45: Poetic Machines: The Essentiality of the Human and the Machine to Digital Creative Expression, Dr. Jeneen Naji, NUI Maynooth

Stream B – Chair: Mr. Brendan Kelleher – Room G19

  • 11.15: Game-based Mental Health Interventions, Dr. Gavin Doherty & Dr. David Coyle, Trinity College Dublin
  • 11.45: Assessing Eye-Tracking Technology for Learning-Style detection in Adaptive Game-Based Learning, Ms. Tracey J. Mehigan & Dr. Ian Pitt, University College Cork.
  • 12.15: Exploring Higher Education Students’ Attitudes Towards Serious Games In The Classroom, Dr. Pauline Rooney, Dublin Institute of Technology
  • 12.45: Our journey from ‘Fun Failure’ to Social Enterprise Start up, Mr. David O’Neill,  Uppiddee Inc.

Stream C – Chair : Mr. David Kane – Room G20

  • 11.15: Mobile Learning: Taking Game-Based Learning a Step Further, Ms. Claudia Ingbrude, Dublin Institute of Technology
  • 11.45: Gamified Innovation: Investigating and Defining Games for Creativity and Greater Good, Ms. Magdalena Slowinska, University of Westminster
  • 12.15: Spreading the Word: Using wikis and Blogs within Games-Based Learning Activities., Dr. Matthew Bates &  Mr. Jamie Tinney, Nottingham Trent University
  • 12.45: Alternate Reality Games (ARGs), Dr. Ronan Lynch, Dundalk Institute of Technology Afternoon Presentations

Afternoon Presentations
Stream A – Chair: Mr. John Heffernan – Room G18

  • 14.15: Kinect2Scratch, Mr. Stephen Howell, Institute of Technology Tallaght
  • 14.45: Word-Based Games., Mr. Stephen Howell, Institute of Technology Tallaght
  • 15.15: Using Simulations and Game-Based Learning for Information Skills Training, Mr. Kefei Ou & Dr. Patrick Felicia, Waterford Institute of Technology
  • 15.45: Do it Yourself: Simple Simulation Design with the Blender Game Engine, Mr. Trevor Tomesh &  Dr. Colin Price, University of Worcester

Stream B – Chair: Dr. Pauline Rooney – Room G19

  • 14.15: Creating Game-Based Learning Scenarios by Composing Instructional Design Patterns, Dennis Maciuszek & Martina Weicht, University of Rostock,  Alke Martens, University of Education Schwäbisch Gmünd
  • 14.45: Smart Games: Using Applied Neuroscience to Enhance Mental Functioning in Clinical and Healthy Populations, Dr. David Delany, Trinity College Dublin
  • 15.15: Maritime City – Analysis of Preliminary Results, Mr. Ryan Flynn, University of Greenwich

Stream C – Chair: Dr. Jeneen Naji – Room G20

  • 14.15: Integrating Serious Games in the Classroom: the Case of Users with Intellectual Disabilities and the Role of the Educator, Maria Saridaki and Constantinos Mourlas, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
  • 14.45: Gesture-Based Computing in the Maths Classroom, Alison McNamarra, NUI Galway
  • 15.15: Designing Educational Games using the RPG Genre: Student-Gamer Involvement and RPG Affordances, Ms. Sherry O’Sullivan & Dr. Colin Price, University of Worcester



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