Enhancement of Adaptation and Monitoring in Game-Based Learning Environments

Enhancement of Adaptation and Monitoring in Game-Based Learning Environments

Thibault Carron (Université de Savoie, France) and Jean-Charles Marty (Université de Savoie, France)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1987-6.ch009
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Abstract

This new way of learning changes habits, offers new opportunities to use collaborative tools, allowing the students to co-construct knowledge efficiently. In this chapter, the authors describe an example of game-based environment that they have developed. They then give examples of uses of collaborative tools in this environment and give details on how to enhance them. The authors focus on two aspects: the monitoring of the collaborative activity, where the teacher applies his/her own strategies in order to monitor the collaborative activity; and the adaptation of the game according to the learners’ profiles.
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Introduction

Recent years have seen a rise in learning with Computer-Based Learning Environments. These environments provide functionalities that are recognized as being valuable, but students tend to consider them as unexciting. Observing the emergence and success of online multiplayer games with our students—the so-called “digital natives” (Rosenbloom, 2007; Purdy, 2008; Scott, 2007)—we decided to develop one as a support for our course. This led us to apply the metaphor of exploring a virtual world, called Learning Adventure, where each student collects knowledge related to a learning activity. It is our view that the way to acquire knowledge during a learning session is similar to the exploration of a virtual world, pursuing knowledge quests. This approach reveals advantages, such as a recreation-type process, a large usability of the tool, or its adaptation to the student’s speed.

This new way of learning changes habits, offers new opportunities to use collaborative tools, allowing the students to co-construct knowledge efficiently (Lou, 2000). However, it is often difficult for users to know how to use these tools effectively, especially because the interactions take place in a social context (Hadwin, 2010). In this chapter, we describe an example of Game-Based environment that we have developed. We then give examples of uses of collaborative tools in this environment and give details on how to enhance them. We focus on two aspects: the monitoring of the collaborative activity, where the teacher applies his/her own strategies in order to monitor the collaborative activity; and the adaptation of the game according to the learners' profiles. We explain the way for obtaining factual indicators of collaboration that are useful for the monitoring process and how to fill and update the fields of the User Model for adaptation purpose. We illustrate these two issues through two experiments carried out in the Learning Adventure environment.

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