Advertisement

A Tangible Serious Game Approach to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education

  • Riccardo Berta
  • Francesco Bellotti
  • Erik van der Spek
  • Thomas Winkler
Living reference work entry

Abstract

The chapter’s idea stems from the observation that technology is difficult to learn in an abstract way (books, lectures, etc.) and practical activities are needed not only to apply concepts but also to help learning itself. This is particularly challenging in a younger age where this concern is often neglected frequently, leading to poor instruction, if any. However, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) topics typically involve facts and concepts that could be effectively implemented and/or shown through smart objects according to the Internet-of-Things paradigm. Such objects, we called “iBlocks,” could be manipulated by young learners to study various types of phenomena/artifacts and compose new aggregations (reflecting – at a younger age – the experience of the “Makers” now successful in world-leading technological universities). The presented idea is to build an environment consisting of physical objects enhanced with sensing, computing, and communicating capabilities in order to support advanced and multimodal/multisensory interaction. An important aspect is that the environment supports the definition of game rules, so that users are stimulated and invited in educational paths involving guided exploration, competition, and collaboration.

Keywords

Serious games Tangible games Education 

Recommended Reading

  1. S. Arnab, R. Berta, J. Earp, S. de Freitas, M. Popescu, M. Romero, I. Stanescu, M. Usart, Framing the adoption of serious games in formal education. Electron. J. e-Learn. (Special ECGBL Issue) 10(2), 159–171 (2012)Google Scholar
  2. S. Bakker, E. Van Den Hoven, A.N. Antle, MoSo tangibles: evaluating embodied learning. in Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction (ACM, 2011), pp. 85–92Google Scholar
  3. E. Barakova, G. van Wanrooij, R. van Limpt, M. Menting, ). Using an emergent system concept in designing interactive games for autistic children. in Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children (ACM, 2007), pp. 73–76Google Scholar
  4. F. Bellotti, R. Berta, A. De Gloria, Designing effective serious games: opportunities and challenges for research. Int. J. Emerg. Technol. Learn. (IJET) 5, 22–35 (2010). Special issue: creative learning with serious gamesGoogle Scholar
  5. F. Bellotti, R. Berta, A. De Gloria, E. Lavagnino, A. Antonaci, F. Dagnino, M. Ott, A gamified short course for promoting entrepreneurship among ICT engineering students. in Proceedings of IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies (ICALT) 2013, Bejing (2013a)Google Scholar
  6. F. Bellotti, B. Kapralos, K. Lee, P. Moreno-Ger, R. Berta, Assessment in and of serious games: an overview. Hindawy Adv. Hum. Comput. Interact. 2013 (2013b). doi:10.1155/2013/136864Google Scholar
  7. L. Bloom, J. Perlmutter, L. Burrell, “Let him know we are his friends”: applying constructivism to inclusive Classrooms. Intervention 34(3), 132–136 (1999)Google Scholar
  8. J. Brophy, T. Good, Looking in Classrooms, 9th edn. (Pearson Education, New York, 2003)Google Scholar
  9. T. Bruce, Learning Through Play: For Babies, Toddlers and Young Children, 2nd edn. (Hodder Education, London, 2011)Google Scholar
  10. J. Chen, Flow in games (and everything else). Commun. ACM 50(4), 31–34 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. M. Chen, S. Johnson, Measuring flow in a computer game simulating a foreign language environment (2004). Available online at: http://www.markdangerchen.net/pubs/flow_in_game_simulating_fle.pdf
  12. Chi-Husiung Liang, Solving family communication problems between children and parents by using Mobile Serious Games. in Interactive Collaborative Learning (ICL), 2012 15th International Conference on,pp. 1,6, 26–28 Sept 2012Google Scholar
  13. A. Clark, An embodied cognitive science? Trends Cogn. Sci. 3(9), 345–351 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. D. Clark, Learning by playing: can computer games and simulations support teaching and learning for post-16 learners in formal, workplace and informal learning contexts? Computer games in education and training. Presentation at LSDA seminar London, Nov 2003Google Scholar
  15. T.M. Connolly, E.A. Boyle, M.H. Stansfield, T. Hainey, The potential of online games as a collaborative learning environment. J. Adv. Technol. Learn. (2007)Google Scholar
  16. P. Corbeil, Learning from the children: practical and theoretical reflections on playing and learning. Simul. Gam. 30(2), 163–180 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. M. Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (Harper & Row, New York, 1990)Google Scholar
  18. F. De Grove, P. Mechant, J. Van Looy, Uncharted waters?: exploring experts' opinions on the opportunities and limitations of serious games for foreign language learning. in Proceedings of the 3rd international Conference on Fun and Games, Leuven, Sept 2010Google Scholar
  19. C. Dede, Comparing frameworks for 21st century skills. in 21st century Skills: Rethinking How Students Learn, Solution Tree Press. vol. 20. (2010), pp. 51–76Google Scholar
  20. J. Dewey, How We Think (Heath, New York, 1933)Google Scholar
  21. G.W. Fitzmaurice, H. Ishii, W.A. Buxton, Bricks: laying the foundations for graspable user interfaces. in Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems (ACM Press/Addison-Wesley, 1995), pp. 442–449Google Scholar
  22. Gartner, Gartner Predicts Over 70 Percent of Global 2000 Organisations Will Have at Least One Gamified Application by 2014, press release, available online: http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=1844115
  23. F.L. Greitzer, O.A. Kuchar, K. Huston, Cognitive science implications for enhancing training effectiveness in a serious gaming context. ACM J. Educ. Res. Comput. 7(3) (2007)Google Scholar
  24. B. Hengeveld, R. Voort, C. Hummels, J. de Moor, H. van Balkom, K. Overbeeke, A. van der Helm, The development of LinguaBytes: an interactive tangible play and learning system to stimulate the language development of toddlers with multiple disabilities. Adv. Hum. Comput. Interact. 2008, 1 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. M.S. Horn, E.T. Solovey, R.J. Crouser, R.J. Jacob, Comparing the use of tangible and graphical programming languages for informal science education. in Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (ACM, 2009), pp. 975–984Google Scholar
  26. E. Hornecker, J. Buur, Getting a grip on tangible interaction: a framework on physical space and social interaction. in Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (ACM, 2006), pp. 437–446Google Scholar
  27. IDATE Serious Games Market Report 2012. http://www.idate.org/en/News/Serious-Games_643.html
  28. International Technology Education Association, Advancing Excellence in Technological Literacy: Student Assessment, Professional Development, and Program Standards (International Technology Education Association, Reston, 2003)Google Scholar
  29. C. Islas Sedano, M.B. Carvalho, N. Secco, C.S. Longstreet, Collaborative and cooperative games: facts and assumptions. in Collaboration Technologies and Systems (CTS), 2013 International Conference on, pp. 370, 376, 20–24 May 2013. doi:10.1109/CTS.2013.6567257Google Scholar
  30. H. Jenkins, Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century (MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2009)Google Scholar
  31. Y. Kafai, M. Resnick, Introduction, in Constructionism in Practice: Designing, Thinking, and Learning in a Digital World, ed. by Y. Kafai, M. Resnick (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, 1996), pp. 1–8Google Scholar
  32. P.A. Kirschner, J. Sweller, R.E. Clark, Why minimal guidance during instruction does not work: an analysis of the failure of constructivist, discovery, problem-based, experiential, and inquiry-based teaching. Educ. Psychol. 41(2), 75–86 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. E. Klopfer, S. Osterweil, K. Salen, Moving Learning Games Forward, Obstacles Opportunities & Openness, The Education Arcade, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, (2009), available online at: http://education.mit.edu/papers/MovingLearningGamesForward_EdArcade.pdf.
  34. D.A. Kolb, Experiential Learning (Prentice Hall, New York, 1984)Google Scholar
  35. D.S. Levin, T.K. Ben-Jacob, M.G. Ben-Jacob, The learning environment of the 21st century. AACE J. 1(13), 8–12 (2000)Google Scholar
  36. S. Lob, J. Cassens, M. Herczeg, J. Stoddart, NEMO: the network environment for multimedia objects. in Proceedings of the First International Conference on Intelligent Interactive Technologies and Multimedia (ACM, 2010), pp. 245–249Google Scholar
  37. M.J. Mayo, Video games: a route to large-scale STEM education? Science 323(5910), 79–82 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. T.S. McNerney, From turtles to tangible programming bricks: explorations in physical language design. Pers. Ubiquit. Comput. 8(5), 326–337 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. D. Merrill, E. Sun, J. Kalanithi, Sifteo cubes. in CHI'12 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (ACM, 2012), pp. 1015–1018Google Scholar
  40. M. Milrad, Using construction kits, modeling tools and system dynamics simulations to support collaborative discovery learning. Educ. Technol. Soc. 5(4), 76–87 (2002)Google Scholar
  41. A. Mitchell, C. Savall-Smith, The Use of Computer and Video Games for Learning. A Review of the Literature (The Learning and Skills Development Agency, London, 2004), p. 57Google Scholar
  42. D. O’ Broin D, Using a criteria-based user model for facilitating flow in serious games. in Third International Conference on Games and Virtual Worlds for Serious Applications, VS-Games 2011Google Scholar
  43. M. Oliveira, G. Cerinsek, H. Duin, M. Taisch, Serious gaming in manufacturing education. in Serious Games Development and Applications, SGDA 2013, LNCS 8101, ed. by M. Ma et al. (2013), pp. 130–144Google Scholar
  44. C Pillias, R Robert-Bouchard, G Levieux, Designing tangible video games: lessons learned from the sifteo cubes, Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 3163–3166, April 26-May 01, 2014, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.Google Scholar
  45. S. Papert, The Children’s Machine: Rethinking School in the Age of Computer (Basic Books, New York, 1993)Google Scholar
  46. D. Parsons, K. Petrova, Hokyoung Ryu, Mobile gaming – a serious business!. in Wireless, Mobile and Ubiquitous Technology in Education (WMUTE), 2012 I.E. Seventh International Conference on, pp. 17, 24, 27–30 Mar 2012Google Scholar
  47. Pew Research Center, The Future of Gamification http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2012/Future-of-Gamification.aspx
  48. M. Prensky, Digital game-based learning. ACM Comput. Entertain. 1(1) (2003)Google Scholar
  49. K. Raghavan, M.L. Sartoris, C. Schunn, K. Scott, Middle-school students' perceptions and interpretations of different model types. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, DallasGoogle Scholar
  50. M. Rauterberg, M. Fjeld, H. Krueger, M. Bichsel, U. Leonhardt, M. Meier, BUILD-IT: a planning tool for construction and design. in CHI 98 Conference Summary on Human Factors in Computing Systems (ACM, 1998), pp. 177–178Google Scholar
  51. M. Resnick, F. Martin, R. Berg, R. Borovoy, V. Colella, K. Kramer, B. Silverman, Digital manipulatives: New toys to think with. in Proceedings of CHI '98, conference on human factors in computing systems, Los Angeles, 1998, pp. 281–287Google Scholar
  52. J.P. Rowe, L.R. Shores, B.W. Mott, J.C. Lester, Individual differences in gameplay and learning: a narrative-centered learning perspective. in Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (FDG), Monterey, 2010Google Scholar
  53. T. Sapounidis, S. Demetriadis, Tangible versus graphical user interfaces for robot programming: exploring cross-age children’s preferences. Pers. Ubiquit. Comput. 17(8), 1775–1786 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. F. Scharf, T. Winkler, C. Hahn, C. Wolters, M. Herczeg, Tangicons 3.0: an educational non-competitive collaborative game. in Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children (ACM, 2012), pp. 144–151Google Scholar
  55. I. Soute, P. Markopoulos, R. Magielse, Head up games: combining the best of both worlds by merging traditional and digital play. Pers. Ubiquit. Comput. 14(5), 435–444 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. K. Squire, Open-ended video games: a model for developing learning for the interactive age, in The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning, ed. by K. Salen (The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2008), pp. 167–198Google Scholar
  57. P. Sweetser, P. Wyeth, GameFlow: a model for evaluating player enjoyment in games. ACM Comput. Entertain.3(3) (2005)Google Scholar
  58. J. Sweller, Cognitive load during problem solving: effects on learning. Cogn. Sci. 12(2) (1988)Google Scholar
  59. J. Tashiro, What really works in serious games for healthcare education, Conference on Future Play on @ GDC Canada, Vancouver, 2009Google Scholar
  60. B. Trilling, C. Fadel, 21st Century Skills: Learning for Life in Our Times: Learning for Life in Our Times. (John Wiley & Sons, 2009)Google Scholar
  61. B. Ullmer, H. Ishii, Emerging frameworks for tangible user interfaces. IBM Syst. J. 39(3.4), 915–931 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. E.D. Van Der Spek, Towards designing for competence and engagement in serious games, in Serious Games Development and Applications (Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg, 2012), pp. 98–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. R. Van Eck, Digital game-based learning: it’s not just the digital natives who are restless. EDUCAUSE Rev. 41(2) (2006)Google Scholar
  64. I. Vekiri, A. Chronaki, Gender issues in technology use: perceived social support, computer self-efficacy and value beliefs, and computer use beyond school. Comput. Educ. 51(3), 1392–1404 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. V. Wendel, M. Gutjahr, S. Göbel, R. Steinmetz, Designing collaborative multiplayer serious games. Educ. Inf. Technol. 18(2) (2013)Google Scholar
  66. T. Winkler, F. Scharf, C. Hahn, C. Wolters, M. Herczeg, Tangicons: a tangible educational game with cognitive, motor and social activities. i-com: J. Interact. Coop. Media 13, 47–56 (2014a)Google Scholar
  67. T. Winkler, F. Scharf, M. Herczeg, Ambient learning spaces. Informatik Spektrum 37, 445–448 (2014b). Special issue: interaction beyond the desktopCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. P. Wouters, C. Van Nimwegen, H. Van Oostendorp, E.D. Van Der Spek, A meta-analysis of the cognitive and motivational effects of serious games. J. Educ. Psychol. 105(2), 249 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. P. Wyeth, How young children learn to program with sensor, action, and logic blocks. J. Learn. Sci. 17(4), 517–550 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. M.F. Young, S. Slota, A.B. Cutter, G. Jalette, G. Mullin, B. Lai, M. Yukhymenko, Our princess is in another castle a review of trends in serious gaming for education. Rev. Educ. Res. 82(1), 61–89 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. E. Zimmerman, Gaming literacy: Game design as a model for literacy in the twenty-first century. Video Game Theory Reader 2, 23–31 (2009)Google Scholar
  72. M. Zyda, From visual simulation to virtual reality to games. IEEE Comput. (2005)Google Scholar
  73. M. Zyda, J. Hiles, A. Mayberry, C. Wardynski, M. Capps, B. Osborn, R. Shilling, M. Robaszewski, M. Davis, Entertainment R&D for defense. Comput. Graph. Appl. IEEE 23(1), 28 (2003). 36CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Riccardo Berta
    • 1
  • Francesco Bellotti
    • 1
  • Erik van der Spek
    • 2
  • Thomas Winkler
    • 3
  1. 1.University of GenoaGenoaItaly
  2. 2.Technische Universiteit EindhovenEindhovenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.University of LuebeckLübeckGermany

Personalised recommendations