Contrasts in student engagement, meaning-making, dislikes, and challenges in a discovery-based program of game design learning
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This implementation study explores middle school, high school and community college student experiences in Globaloria, an educational pilot program of game design offered in schools within the U.S. state of West Virginia, supported by a non-profit organization based in New York City called the World Wide Workshop Foundation. This study reports on student engagement, meaning making and critique of the program, in their own words. The study’s data source was a mid-program student feedback survey implemented in Pilot Year 2 (2008/2009) of the 5 year design-based research initiative, in which the researchers posed a set of open-ended questions in an online survey questionnaire answered by 199 students. Responses were analyzed using inductive textual analysis. While the initial purpose for data collection was to elicit actionable program improvements as part of a design-based research process, several themes emergent in the data tie into recent debates in the education literature around discovery-based learning. In this paper, we draw linkages from the categories of findings that emerged in student feedback to this literature, and identify new scholarly research questions that can be addressed in the ongoing pilot, the investigation of which might contribute new empirical insights related to recent critiques of discovery based learning, self-determination theory, and the productive failure phenomenon.
KeywordsGame design Globaloria Social media Wiki Project-based learning Constructionism Discovery-based learning Cognitive load Self-determination theory Productive failure Social learning system Community of practice West Virginia Digital divide Digital literacy Information literacy Blog Design-based research
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