Validation of a Generic Educational Game Shell

Validation of a Generic Educational Game Shell

Louise Sauvé (Télé-université, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-731-2.ch025

Abstract

This chapter describes the process of validation of a generic educational game shell (GEGS) with the target users for whom it was created, based on the trial method known as Learner Verification and Revision (LVR). It describes the validation objectives and evaluation criteria (pedagogic and ergonomic) used to develop the measurement instruments. It also describes the methodology for a trial conducted with nine pre-service (student) teachers, finishing with the validation results and resulting revisions to the GEGS.
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The Validation Method

The Learner Verification and Revision (LVR) method (Komoski, 1979; 1984), which focuses on the user, is characterized by flexibility and is well adapted to the context in which the product will be used (Nguyen et al., 2008). It allowed us to identify and correct errors and problems and to effectively validate a prototype in the course of development with a sample of the target users for whom the GEGS was created. This method, based on user trials, has also been used in game development research (Kandaswany, Stolovitch, & Thiagarajan, 1976; Stolovitch, 1982; Thiagarajan, 1978), and for other online GEGSs (Sauvé et al., 2002; Sauve & Samson, 2004).

In this method, the three phases of the target population trial are:

  • The preparation phase, consisting of: (1) establishing the objectives and the evaluation criteria; (2) choosing the evaluation tools; (3) writing out, testing and if necessary, revising the evaluation tools; (4) contacting and informing the target population (teachers and trainers), and (5) giving them the materials required for the trial.

  • The verification phase, including: (1) examining and manipulating the various parts of the product, and (2) collecting the users’ comments using measurement instruments before, during and after the development of the product (an online educational game).

  • The decision phase, consisting of (1) compiling, processing and analyzing the results; (2) making any necessary revisions, and (3) revising, if necessary, the GEGS in light of the information gathered from the users.

We describe in the following sections how this method was applied in the creation of the Parcheesi GEGS.

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The Parcheesi Gegs User Trial

The Parcheesi GEGS user trial aimed to: (1) measure the relevance and the adaptability of the game to the teachers’ pedagogical requirements, and (2) measure the degree of user-friendliness, usefulness and ease of use of the online GEGS. Participants were nine pre-service teachers studying preschool and elementary education in October, 2007. This trial was intended to answer the following two questions:

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