Online Multiplayer Games: A Powerful Tool for Learning Communication and Teamwork

Online Multiplayer Games: A Powerful Tool for Learning Communication and Teamwork

Louise Sauvé (Télé-université, Canada), Louis Villardier (Télé-université, Canada) and Wilfried Probst (University of Quebec in Montreal, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-731-2.ch012

Abstract

This chapter describes an online video teleconferencing tool the authors have created that allows learners to collaborate, negotiate, discuss, share ideas and emotions, and establish relationships while engaged in educational games and simulations. The ENJEUX-S (L’Environnement multimédia évolué de JEUX éducatifs et de Simulations en ligne) multimedia environment relies on Web Services for the management and operation of online games and simulations and on real-time communication services (audio- and video-conferencing, chat) to support a collaborative working environment for players. The authors first describe the components of ENJEUX-S, their technological choices, and the environment’s architecture. Then, they present the results of ENJEUX-S testing to correct problems and measure ease of use and functionality for target users. Finally, they outline the pedagogical contributions of such an environment in the context of online games and simulations, notably to development of interpersonal competencies including cooperation, communication, and teamwork.
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An Advanced Environment For Educational Games And Simulations

ENJEUX-S is part of the continuing efforts of the Canadian SAGE research network (www.apprentissage-jes.ca). Its development has permitted the network to increase its real-time communication and interaction in online meetings and in the use of games and simulations. ENJEUX-S has integrated real-time communication components (audio, video, chat, white board, application sharing, and online access management) and multiple workstations into games developed with five generic educational game shells for the Carrefour de jeu éducatifs/ Educational Game Central online community (Sauvé, 2005) and two new shells, one for Parcheesi™ (Sauvé, 2006), and one for problem-based learning simulations (COMPSoft). (These shells are described in more detail in Section IV and Chapter 17 of this volume, respectively.) Introducing telepresence into the universe of educational games on the Internet, ENJEUX-S allows us to exploit enriched educational situations incorporating feedback, direct dialogue, immediate assistance, shared strategies, help, etc. (Sauvé et al., 2005). With ENJEUX–S the real world merges with the virtual world.

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