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Digital Knowledge Maps in Education

pp 299-327

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Digital Knowledge Maps: The Foundation for Learning Analytics Through Instructional Games

  • Debbie Denise ReeseAffiliated withCenter for Educational Technologies, Wheeling Jesuit University Email author 

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Abstract

The CyGaMEs (Cyberlearning through Game-based, Metaphor Enhanced Learning Objects) approach to instructional game design and embedded assessment provides a formalism to translate domain knowledge into procedural gameplay. As such, CyGaMEs learning environments are transactional digital knowledge maps that make abstract concepts concrete and actionable: translating what experts know into procedures learners do (discover and apply). CyGaMEs produces games designed to provide viable prior knowledge as preparation for future learning. After knowledge specification through a task analysis, the method applies cognitive science analogical reasoning theory to translate targeted learning goals into game goals and translate targeted knowledge as the game world (e.g., rules and core mechanics). The CyGaMEs approach designs gameplay parameters as the Timed Report measure of player performance to quantify and trace trajectories of learning and achievement. The approach is one way to address design for alignment and shortcomings and limitations documented in the literature that plague current learning game design, embedded assessment, and research. Chapter discussion introduces the national initiative for cyberlearning and embedded assessment and insights from evidence-centered design and cognitive tutor development practices, especially regarding task analysis and cognitive task analysis. Then CyGaMEs’ Selene: A Lunar Construction GaME design artifacts, screen captures, gameplay data, and analyses illustrate this approach to design and embedded assessment. A case is made that instructional game design with embedded assessment is an enterprise requiring complex expertise among teams of professionals—topped by talent and creativity.

Keywords

Task analysis Timed Report Learning analytics Instructional games CyGaMEs