Integrating Serious Games in the Educational Experience of Students with Intellectual Disabilities: Towards a Playful and Integrative Model

Integrating Serious Games in the Educational Experience of Students with Intellectual Disabilities: Towards a Playful and Integrative Model

Maria Saridaki (Faculty of Communication and Mass Media Studies, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece) and Constantinos Mourlas (Faculty of Communication and Mass Media Studies, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/ijgbl.2013070102
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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to present a series of observations made by researchers and educators on the integration of serious games in the educational experience of users with intellectual disabilities (ID). Data were gathered from four different studies and different games were used, in order to identify a successful model of games based learning application. Moreover, results that highlight the motivational importance of playful integration towards the promotion of self determination in students with ID, will be presented. According to the authors’ findings, special education can be benefited from the successful integration of digital games in the educational scenario, creating a safe and personalized educational environment for the students, as well as a valuable motivational tool for the educator - especially when the educator takes a threefold role, able to support a hybrid model of digital and non digital play. Trying to assist the educational efforts of special education teachers, the authors will present the results of a series of case studies and applications, the role of the educator, as well as practical considerations that resulted in the sketch of a model of playful game-based learning integration.
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Reports From Findings

In a period of four years we have had the opportunity to observe (in four different studies) the application of serious games in classrooms and daily centers for students with mild and moderate intellectual disabilities.

  • Epinoisi Project: The first study was conducted during the EPINOISI R&D project1 on 2007 that has been implemented by the Laboratory of New Technologies in Communication, Education and the Mass Media of the Faculty of Communication and Mass Media Studies of the University of Athens. The objective was to realize a specialized training program for primary, secondary and special education teachers supporting students with mild intellectual disability (MID) on the subject of serious games and new technologies and at the same time develop digital games-based learning (DGBL) material for MID students to be deployed and tested within the special classroom, as part of practical seminars and hands-on activities.

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