Exploring the Importance of “Making” in an Educational Game Design
Educational games have been employed in many settings as a means to engage young students. Different genres and applications of games have been used to improve learning experience. The design or making of games in learning activities has been linked to teaching of new skills. Within this paper we explore and discuss the differences of involving young students into the game design and development process compared to just playing an educational game. In particular, we designed an educational math-game and an activity that involves children in playing or modifying the game, and we performed a between groups experiment with sixty students of the second grade of middle school (12 to 13 years old). Students formed three equivalent groups of twenty. The first group played the game, the second engaged with re-designing and modifying the game and the third (control) group solved the same exercises (with the educational game) on paper. The results showed that the making group exhibits certain attitudinal benefits. Hence, our findings suggest that learning through games should include more than just playing a well-designed game, it should also consider the involvement of students with various “making” affordances.
KeywordsInteraction design empirical evaluation serious games learning design principles
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.Bopp, M.: Storytelling as a motivational tool in digital learning games. Didactics of Microlearning. Concepts, Discourses and Examples, pp. 250–266 (2007)Google Scholar
- 3.Buechley, L., Eisenberg, M., Catchen, J., Crockett, A.: The LilyPad Arduino: Using Computational Textiles to Investigate Engagement, Aesthetics, and Diversity in Computer Science Education. In: Proc. CHI 2008, pp. 423–432. ACM Press (2008)Google Scholar
- 6.Kafai, Y.B.: Minds in play: Computer game design as a context for children’s learning. Routledge (1995)Google Scholar
- 8.Kelleher, C., Pausch, R., Kiesler, S.: Storytelling alice motivates middle school girls to learn computer programming. In: Proc. CHI 2007, pp. 1455–1464. ACM Press (2007)Google Scholar
- 9.Papert, S., Harel, I.: Situating constructionism. Constructionism, 1–11 (1991)Google Scholar
- 11.Robertson, J., Nicholson, K.: Adventure Author: a learning environment to support creative design. In: Proc. IDC 2007, pp. 37–44. ACM Press (2007)Google Scholar
- 12.Robinson, K.: Finding your element: How to discover your talents and passions and transform your life. Penguin Press, UK (2013)Google Scholar
- 13.Silver, J.: Awakening to maker methodology: the metamorphosis of a curious caterpillar. In: Proc. IDC 2009, pp. 242–245. ACM Press (2009)Google Scholar
- 14.Spalter, A.M., Simpson, R.M., Legrand, M., Taichi, S.: Considering a full range of teaching techniques for use in interactive educational software: a practical guide and brainstorming session. In: Proc. FIE, pp. 1–9. IEEE Press (2000)Google Scholar
- 15.Tan, L., Kim, B.: Learning by Doing in the Digital Media Age. In: New Media and Learning in the 21st Century, pp. 181–197. Springer, Singapore (2015)Google Scholar