Edinburgh Event “Games and Virtual Worlds in Higher Education”

Under the auspices of the Higher Education Academy, the Special Interest Group on Games and Virtual Worlds in Higher Education is convening a workshop at the University of Edinburgh.

Date: Tuesday November 15th 2011
Time: 10am – 4pm
Venue: Room 2.03, Charteris Land, Moray House School of Education Campus.

There are still a few places remaining so please do invite your colleagues. However for catering purposes make sure and email Fiona Littleton with names.

The conversations of the day will focus on an exploration of what higher education can learn from the increasing use of game-informed practices and virtual worlds in the schools sector.  Themes will include a look to the schools sector to identify good practices, consideration of how we should thinking about the evaluation of these practices, and how we might address the scepticism of our colleagues about the face validity of games in higher education.

Agenda:
10.00am Arrival (tea/coffee/pastry provided)

10.15am Introduction – Hamish Macleod, University of Edinburgh

10.30am Session 1 – What the HE / FE sector can learn from the schools sector?
Gianna Cassidy, Glasgow Caledonian, Speaker
Judy Robertson, Edinburgh Napier, Facilitator

11.30am Session 2 – Bringing sceptical colleagues along
Jo-Anne Murray, University of Edinburgh, Speaker
Daniel Livingstone, University of West Scotland, Facilitator

12.30pm – 1.30pm Lunch

1.30pm Session 3 – Evaluation; what counts as success?
Thomas Hainey, University of West Scotland, Speaker
Hamish Macleod, University of Edinburgh, Facilitator

2.30pm Keynote – Sian Bayne, University of Edinburgh

3.30pm Coffee, networking and conclusion

4pm Depart

A report on the event will be available after on the website. Follow the event hashtag on twitter: #game_sig

Motivation, engagement and learning through digital games

Authors

Ioanna Iacovides, James Aczel, Eileen Scanlon, Josie Taylor and William Woods

Abstract

Digital games can be powerful learning environments because they encourage active learning and participation within “affinity groups” (Gee, 2004). However, the use of games in formal educational environments is not always successful (O’Neil et al, 2005). There is a need to update existing theories of motivation and engagement in order to take recent game-related developments into account. Understanding the links between why people play games, what keeps them engaged in this process, and what they learn as a result could have a significant impact on how people value and use games for learning. This paper examines key research that relates to motivation, engagement, and informal learning through digital games, in order to highlight the need for empirical studies which examine the activities that occur in and around everyday gaming practice.

Type: Journal article, peer reviewed
Year: 2011
OAI identifier: oai:open.ac.uk.OAI2:28754
Provided by Open Research Online (ORO)

Download from http://oro.open.ac.uk/28754/1/iacovides_paper_IJVPLE.pdf

Motivation and computer game based learning

This paper (from 4 years ago) is interesting as the research analyses detailed interviews and data concerning motivations from a significant number of students.

Authors

Nicola Whitton, Education and Social Research Institute, Manchester Metropolitan University

Abstract

It is commonly assumed in the research literature that computer games are a useful educational tool because students find them motivating. This paper questions this assumption and describes a study that was undertaken to examine the motivational potential of using computer game-based learning with students in Higher Education. A series of twelve in-depth interviews were carried out to explore individuals’ perceptions of, and motivations for, game-playing for leisure and study. These interviews were followed by a larger-scale survey, examining student motivations to play games and to learn with games; data from 200 students were collected and analysed.

The results of this study indicate that a large proportion of the students who took part in the study do not find games motivational at all, and that there is no evidence of a relationship between an individual’s motivation to play games recreationally and his or her motivation to use games for learning. These findings indicate that employing games for their motivational benefits alone is not justification for their use. However, certain computer games may provide other pedagogical benefits and there is evidence from the study that while individuals may not find games intrinsically motivational, they may be motivated to use them for learning if they are perceived as the most effective way to learn.

Download from http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/singapore07/procs/whitton.pdf

Games and Virtual Worlds in Higher Education – Edinburgh Event

University of Edinburgh Event: Tuesday November 15th 2011

Under the auspices of the Higher Education Academy, the Special Interest Group on Games and Virtual Worlds in Higher Education is convening a workshop at the University of Edinburgh.

The conversations of the day will focus on an exploration of what higher education can learn from the increasing use of game-informed practices and virtual worlds in the schools sector.  Themes will include a look to the schools sector to identify good practices, consideration of how we should thinking about the evaluation of these practices, and how we might address the scepticism of our colleagues about the face validity of games in higher education.

The meeting will be held on the Holyrood Campus of the University’s School of Education. There will be no cost for the day, and refreshments and a light lunch will be provided.

Places are limited, so we ask for early expressions of interest in participating. Please note: As this is a HEA funded event, priority will be given to participants from a Higher Education Institution. RSVP directly to Fiona Littleton.

Are games changing the world?

Professor Sara de Freitas, The Serious Games Institute
Are games changing the world?

As advertised on Facebook.

“Join Sara to discuss the idea of gamification and how games are becoming pervasive cultural forms in our society. This gamification is taking various forms and promises to provide new solutions to old problems and to engage people in their work, lives and play time as well as pointing to new approaches for education and even health care. Will the future be a game?”

Not necessarily games and learning evidence related, though Sara is a researcher in the domain so there may be content of relevance.

Tuesday 4th October, 19:00 – 21:00.

The Jekyll & Hyde
28 Steelhouse Lane
Birmingham, UK.

SIG report: evidence of games, simulations and virtual worlds changing practice

Back in April, we held a one-day event at the LKL, discussing evidence that games, simulations and virtual worlds have changed practice. Individual contributions have now been brought together in a report, along with a record of the plenary discussion from the day. You can access the report here, and can cite it as:

Oliver, M. (Ed) What evidence do we have that games, simulations and virtual worlds change practice? Proceedings of the GAME SIG meeting 15th April, 2011. London: London Knowledge Lab, Institute of Education. Available online at: http://www.game-sig.info/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Evidence-of-changing-practice.pdf.

Virtual World Conference

Sara de Freitas has just passed me information about this year’s Virtual World Conference. It’s described thus:

“The Virtual World Conference is an annual conference exploring the uses of virtual worlds for learning, collaborative work and business. This year’s event takes place on the 14th of September and is hosted entirely in Second Life, where leading international speakers from across the globe will showcase innovation and applications within Virtual Worlds in interactive presentations designed to stimulate networking and discussion. The 2010 conference had an audience drawn from 15 countries worldwide.

Registration costs just £45, buying access to 24 hours of activity following the physical sun.”

SIG meeting: 26th September

Digital games research seminar: critical perspectives and work in progress

Monday 26th September, from 2 – 5 pm
At the London Knowledge Lab, Institute of Education, University of London at 23-29 Emerald St, London WC1N 3QS

Supported by the Higher Education Academy Games, Virtual Worlds and Higher Education SIG
Free to attend.

To book a place RSVP to Diane (d.carr@ioe.ac.uk)

This is an informal seminar to discuss recent work.

Each 10 minute presentation will be followed by 20 minutes of discussion.

Presenters include:

Shakuntala Banaji (LSE), title: Rhetoric of the digital native

Caroline Pelletier (IOE), title: Hospital drama: Researching simulations in clinical settings.

Diane Carr (IOE), title: Zombies, androids, busted cyborgs.

Natasha Whiteman (University of Leicester), title: Undoing Ethics.

More information about the presenters:

Shakuntala Banaji, LSE
Recent work includes:
Banaji, S. (forthcoming) “Disempowering by Assumption: How the Rhetoric of Digital Natives Affects Young People and Influences Civic Organisations Working with Them” in M.Thomas (ed.) Deconstructing Digital Natives. New York: Routledge Banaji, S. (2011) “Framing young citizens: explicit invitation and implicit exclusion on youth civic websites” in Special Issue of Journal of Language and Intercultural Communication, volume 11, No. 2.

Diane Carr, IOE
Zombies, androids, busted cyborgs
In this presentation recent attempts to use disability theory to analyse representations of ability and disability in digital games will be shared. The outing of zombies, the unhappiness of cyborgs and the pathologizing of noobs will be considered. Briefly.
Other publications are online at http://playhouse.wordpress.com/publications/

Caroline Pelletier, IOE
Recent work includes:
Pelletier, C. and Whiteman, N. (in press) ‘Affiliation in the enactment of fan identity: a comparison of virtual and face-to-face settings’ In C. Ching and B. Foley (eds), Technology and Identity: Constructing the Self in a Digital World. Cambridge University Press.
Pelletier, C, Burn, A. and Buckingham, D. (2010) ‘Game design as textual poaching: media literacy, creativity and game-making in E-Learning and Digital Media 7 (1), 90-107.

Natasha Whiteman, University of Leicester
Recent work includes
N. Whiteman (in press) Undoing Ethics: Rethinking Practice in Online Research, now in press with Springer.
N Whiteman (2010) Control and Contingency: Maintaining Ethical Stances in Research, International Journal of Internet Research Ethics, Issue 3 (1), 6-22,
N Whiteman (2008) Learning at the Cutting Edge? Help-seeking and Status in Online Videogame Fan Sites, in Information Technology, Education and Society, Vol. 9, No. 1, 7-26.