Inclusive Education Through Accessible Mobile Serious Games

Inclusive Education Through Accessible Mobile Serious Games

Angel Jaramillo-Alcázar (Universidad de Las Américas, Ecuador), Santiago Criollo-C (Universidad de Las Américas, Ecuador) and Sergio Luján-Mora (University of Alicante, Spain)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2325-4.ch003
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Accessibility has been defined as the ability of an object to be used despite the condition or disability of a person. However, it is a feature that often has not been taken into account in the design of products or services, and the mobile serious game market is no exception. Accessibility guidelines were defined through the consolidation of different initiatives and good practices of video game developers as well as groups interested in providing accessibility to video games. Once the guidelines were defined, a method for evaluating the accessibility of mobile serious games was developed and applied in a mobile serious game. The purpose of this document is to propose an evaluation tool for those who wish to develop accessible mobile serious games for people with impairments and improve inclusive education.
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Nowadays, technology is an active part of people's daily lives, including teaching-learning processes. Many educational institutions use technology as a tool to reinforce the teaching process, specially by the inclusion of smart devices. Cisco (2017) announced that 563 million mobile devices and connections to the Internet were added in 2015. According to The Radicati Group (2014) the number of worldwide mobile users is expected to increase over 6.2 billion at the end of 2018 and than roughly 84% of the world population will be using mobile technology. This is because people prefer to purchase a mobile device to access the Internet instead of a computer. In education, mobile devices offer a variety of ways to learn, communicate and collaborate (Gikas & Grant, 2013). For example, mobile learning (m-learning) allows users of mobile devices to be able to learn from any device at anytime, anywhere (Removed for blind review).

On the other hand, education is one of the essential factors for success in life, but if education is not inclusive then Stephen Hawking's words “Disability need not be an obstacle to success”, which begins with the prologue of World Report on Disability of the World Health Organization (WHO), cannot be fulfilled (2011). Around the world, people with disabilities have grown in number. More than one billion people live with some type of disability, what is about 15% of the world population (World Health Organization, 2011). These people usually live with social, educational and entertainment limitations because their impairments. All of them require equal conditions in their education.

Furthermore, Accessible University (2016) defines accessibility as the ability of an object to be used in spite of the condition or disability of a person. Accessibility in video games is a factor that is beginning to be considered by software developers and some video game players have benefited from it. The growth of people with disabilities has led to initiatives that promote accessibility as an important feature in the world around us. In addition, thanks to technology a variety of study techniques have been developed to ease learning. Some examples are different serious games whose objective includes teaching, practice and reinforce of what was learned in the classroom. Serious games is a category of video games designed with the purpose of supporting the educational process (Michael & Chen, 2006). One of the main advantages of serious games is that they enable learning through entertainment (Koster, 2013). It is estimated that the development of this kind of games will reach $5,400 million in 2020, at a compound annual growth rate of 16.38 % between 2015 and 2020 (Markets and Markets, n.d.). In many cases, serious games allow teachers to apply new teaching methods (Sauve, Senecal, Kaufman, Renaud, & Leclerc, 2011). This kind of video games are designed to understand the necessities of students in the acquisition of skills, knowledge (Ghannem, 2014) and the achieving of learning outcomes (Guillén-Nieto & Aleson-Carbonell, 2012).

Likewise, user experience (UX) and usability are terms that had to be coined in the design of technological products and services (Rusu, Rusu, Roncagliolo, & González, 2015). UX is defined in ISO 9241-210:2019 as a “person’s perceptions and responses resulting from the use and/or anticipated use of a product, system or service” (International Standard Organization, 2019). On the other hand, usability is defined in ISO 9241-11:2018 as “the extent to which a system, product or service can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use” (International Standard Organization, 2018). Both, UX and usability, seems to be a tendency and this work tries to reinforce their adoption in the design of video games.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Accessibility: Ability of an object to be used regardless of the capacity and condition of a person.

Impairment: Persons having a disability of a specified kind.

Mobile Accessibility: The grade in which a mobile app is accessible to diverse users.

Mobile Serious Game: Mobile video game with educational features.

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