Collaborative Learning and Game Mastering in Multiplayer Games

Collaborative Learning and Game Mastering in Multiplayer Games

Johannes Konert (Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany), Viktor Wendel (Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany), Kristina Richter (Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany) and Stefan Göbel (Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-3673-6.ch006
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The purpose of the chapter is to provide a state of the art survey addressing research and development aspects for the control of multiplayer Serious Games for collaborative learning scenarios. Hereby, several facets of multiplayer scenarios are addressed: synchronous and asynchronous gameplay and the role of an instructor as Game Master, supervisor, and provider of individual feedback as well as individual feedback among learners in the process of continuous adaptation of the on-going gameplay. Existing approaches and best-practice examples focus on digital educational games for pupils and collaborative learning environments for students. The theoretical foundations of instructional support as well as the implications and technical approaches are discussed. They include some aspects of authoring Serious Games (as already covered in chapter “Authoring Serious Games”).
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Collaborative Learning

Whereas the proposed NGLOB concept serves for single player SG, other mechanisms are required for the control of multiplayer environments: Multiplayer games offer a whole new range of applications for Serious Games. With Multiplayer games, inter-personal skills like communication, teamwork, or other soft skills may be trained. Multiplayer Serious Games are also especially well fit to be used for game-based collaborative learning scenarios.

The concept of collaborative learning is being discussed among educators for decades. Collaborative learning is used in schools today in various forms, like joint problem solving in teams, debates, or other team activities. According to Pierre Dillenbourg (1999, one definition for collaborative learning is “a situation in which two or more people learn or attempt to learn something together.” Roschelle and Teasley (1995) define collaboration as “a coordinated, synchronous activity that is the result of a continued attempt to construct and maintain a shared conception of a problem.” Compared to Dillenbourg’s definition of cooperation, “In cooperation, partners split the work, solve sub-tasks individually and then assemble the partial results into the final output,” this is much more than just cooperation. Dillenbourg defines collaboration as follows: “In collaboration, partners do the work ‘together.’” The idea of collaborative learning is to make learners interact in particular ways such that certain learning mechanisms are triggered. Therefore, several mechanisms to enhance the probability of these interactions to occur are currently being researched. These are according to Pierre Dillenbourg (1999):

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