Games-Based Learning, Destination Feedback and Adaptation: A Case Study of an Educational Planning Simulation

Games-Based Learning, Destination Feedback and Adaptation: A Case Study of an Educational Planning Simulation

Daniel Burgos (ATOS Origin Research & Innovation, Spain) and Christof van Nimwegen (CUO - IBBT / K.U.Leuven, Belgium)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-360-9.ch008
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Serious games are suitable for learning. They are a good environment for improving the learning experience. As a key part of this setting, feedback becomes a useful support for decision making and can reinforce the learning process in order to achieve certain objectives. Destination feedback allows users to draw on strategies and improve skills. However, too much feedback can make the learner too dependant on external advice when taking the next action, resulting in a weaker strategy and a lower performance. In this chapter the authors introduce a conceptual approach to feedback in E-Learning with serious games; how useful or harmful it can be in a learning process. They describe a case study carried out with a simulation of an educational planning task. The authors studied the performance of 43 learners who had, or did not have, visual destination feedback in a problem solving task. They conclude that in this context, too much assistance can be counterproductive.
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Introduction: An Approach To Adaptation, E-Learning And Games-Based Learning

Serious games have become an important topic in the recent and not so recent history of education. Gaming itself is becoming a key issue in education and has been widely researched in the last 50 years (Caillois, 1958; Huizinga, 1971). In the mid 90´s the Internet started to provide new perspectives for serious games. A range of new possibilities arose, such as collaborative worldwide extended multi-player sessions, instant messaging, instant updating of settings and multi-language support. The array of features is still growing, and is not only attractive for regular users, but also for learners and teachers (Bruckman, 1993; Prensky, 2001).

Generic games that can be used for learning can cover any kind of non-educational games; for instance, the well-known Sims, SimCity, Flight Simulator, Pac-Man, FIFA, SuperMario Bros, Civilization, Rayman and Diablo II. (Dickey, 2005; Squire & Barab, 2004; Jenkins & Squire, 2003). All of them belong to different categories (genres) of games. Following the taxonomy produced by Crawford (1984), which focused on objectives and nature of the game, we find several well-defined categories, such as skill-and-action, combat, maze, sports, paddle, race, strategy or any other kind which is in the list. Goldsmith (1999) also describes another taxonomy: Trick Taking Card, Collectible Card, Exploration, Trading, Auction, Solitaire, Word, etc. Prensky (2001) defines a similar taxonomy based on objectives and nature but follows a different categorization focused on pairs of opposite features (e.g. intrinsic versus extrinsic, reflective versus active, single-player versus multi-player). With a more theoretical perspective drawn before the digital era, we can resort to the first taxonomy on games ever made by Roger Caillois (1958), although it fits only partially with the aim of this text, as it concerns the pre-personal computers and consoles era, and therefore, also pre-digital games-based learning.

With such a variety of available games and genres it is very easy to find several direct applications and consequences among them, as can also be found in learning. For instance, games allow players to experience, to try, to improve skills, to learn content and to practice strategy (Turkle, 1995; Piaget, 1962; Vigotsky, 1978; Arts, 2005a); they elicit emotional reactions in players, such as wonder, the feeling of power, or even aggression (Squire, 2002); they can also support rather accurate episodes of history (SEGA, 2005), real systems (Microsoft, 2006b), complex popular events (Interactive, 2004) or board games (Microsoft, 2006a), just to mention a few. In addition, with computer networks or network Serious Games on the Internet, they allow players to strengthen their social skills while using virtual communities alongside the games and the facilities of collective and shared games (Bruckman, 1993; Prensky, 2001; Arts, 2005b; Auralog, 2005).

Complete Chapter List

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Table of Contents
Kurt Squire
Thomas Connolly, Mark Stansfield, Liz Boyle
Chapter 1
Stephen Tang, Martin Hanneghan, Abdennour El Rhalibi
Games-based learning takes advantage of gaming technologies to create a fun, motivating, and interactive virtual learning environment that promotes... Sample PDF
Introduction to Games-Based Learning
Chapter 2
Nicola Whitton
This chapter examines the rationale for the use of computer games in learning, teaching, and assessment in Higher Education. It considers their... Sample PDF
Learning and Teaching with Computer Games in Higher Education
Chapter 3
Daniel Livingstone, Jeremy Kemp, Edmund Edgar, Chris Surridge, Peter Bloomfield
Alongside the growth of interest in Games-Based Learning, there has been a notable explosion of interest in the use of 3D graphical multi-user... Sample PDF
Multi-User Virtual Environments for Learning Meet Learning Management
Chapter 4
Jean-Charles Marty, Thibault Carron, Jean-Mathias Heraud
In this chapter, the authors propose a Game-Based LMS called the pedagogical dungeon equipped with cooperation abilities for particular activities.... Sample PDF
Observation as a Requisite for Game-Based Learning Environments
Chapter 5
Marco A. Gómez-Martín, Pedro P. Gómez-Martín, Pedro A. González-Calero
A key challenge to move forward the state of the art in games-based learning systems is to facilitate instructional content creation by the domain... Sample PDF
Content Integration in Games-Based Learning Systems
Chapter 6
Matt Seeney, Helen Routledge
One of the most important differentiators between Commercial Games and Serious Games is content; delivered in a way that is successfully integrated... Sample PDF
Drawing Circles in the Sand: Integrating Content into Serious Games
Chapter 7
Mark McMahon
This chapter proposes a document-oriented instructional design model to inform the development of serious games. The model has key features in that... Sample PDF
The DODDEL Model: A Flexible Document-Oriented Model for the Design of Serious Games
Chapter 8
Daniel Burgos, Christof van Nimwegen
Serious games are suitable for learning. They are a good environment for improving the learning experience. As a key part of this setting, feedback... Sample PDF
Games-Based Learning, Destination Feedback and Adaptation: A Case Study of an Educational Planning Simulation
Chapter 9
Patrick Felicia, Ian Pitt
For a long time, users’ emotions and behaviours have been considered to obstruct rather than to help the cognitive process. Educational systems have... Sample PDF
Profiling Users in Educational Games
Chapter 10
Marco Greco
The use of Role-Playing is becoming prominent in Serious Games due to its positive effects on learning. In this chapter the author will provide a... Sample PDF
The Use of Role–Playing in Learning
Chapter 11
Sanna-Mari Tikka, Marja Kankaanranta, Tuula Nousiainen, Mari Hankala
In the context of computer games, learning is an inherent feature of computer game playing. Computer games can be seen as multimodal texts that... Sample PDF
Telling Stories with Digital Board Games: Narrative Game Worlds in Literacies Learning
Chapter 12
Colin Price
The power of computer game technology is currently being harnessed to produce “serious games”. These “games” are targeted at the education and... Sample PDF
The Path between Pedagogy and Technology: Establishing a Theoretical Basis for the Development of Educational Game Environments
Chapter 13
Sara de Freitas, Steve Jarvis
This chapter reviews some of the key research supporting the use of serious games for training in work contexts. The review indicates why serious... Sample PDF
Towards a Development Approach to Serious Games
Chapter 14
Pieter Wouters, Erik D. van der Spek, Herre van Oostendorp
Despite scant empirical substantiation, serious games are in widespread use. The authors review 28 studies with empirical data from a learning... Sample PDF
Current Practices in Serious Game Research: A Review from a Learning Outcomes Perspective
Chapter 15
Thomas Connolly, Mark Stansfield, Thomas Hainey
The field of games-based learning (GBL) has a dearth of empirical evidence supporting the validity of the approach (Connolly, Stansfield, & Hainey... Sample PDF
Towards the Development of a Games-Based Learning Evaluation Framework
Chapter 16
Helen Routledge
Based on real-world experiences using a variety of digital games, this chapter presents a guide for teachers on how to use games-based learning in... Sample PDF
Games-Based Learning in the Classroom and How it can Work!
Chapter 17
Elizabeth A. Boyle, Thomas Connolly
Developing educational computer games that will appeal to both males and females adds an additional level of complexity to an already complicated... Sample PDF
Games for Learning: Does Gender Make a Difference?
Chapter 18
Maria Saridaki, Dimitris Gouscos, Michael G. Meimaris
Students with Intellectual Disability (ID) are often described as “slow learners” and cannot easily integrate to the normal curriculum. Still, the... Sample PDF
Digital Games-Based Learning for Students with Intellectual Disability
About the Contributors