Game Development Reference
Table 1. The AIDLET Model for selection and implementation of games in ODL
A vailability and cost
Is there an adequate game for the organization and for the learners?
What is the cost? If the available version is not suitable, can it be
modified? The game or simulation has to be developed from scratch?
At what cost? What is the unit cost per student?
I nteraction and communication capabilities
The game is state-of-the art in terms of concept, interface and design?
Is it Web 2.0 ready? The interaction and communication features are
adequate for learning?
D istance education workflow integration
Does it integrate with ODL practice and workflow? What kinds of
connections can be made to other ODL tools and media?
L learning design potential
What kinds of learning are supported? What instructional approaches
are possible within the constraints of the game/simulation? What other
technologies can be integrated in supporting teaching and learning?
E ngagement and ease of play
Are the game characteristics engaging and user-friendy? Is it acces-
sible to teachers and students less experienced in games? How long
does it take to master the basics of the game?
T Thematic value and adequacy
Can the game content be used without any side effects? Are the
themes appropriate? What social skills does the game develop? Are
these congruent with cultural, societal and organizational values?
firm or get in-house production. The costs are very
different and tend to increase from the first to the
latter. There is no stable and robust model to use
here as it all depends on the instructional design
to be used and the budget on hand. For instance,
learning history with Sid Meyer's Civilization
is quite inexpensive, because the title is widely
available at affordable prices, while developing
a game for a new course on telecommunications
surely has a prohibitive price.
these are initial requirements that make or break
the deal. A poorly made design will never be used
by students no matter the amount of research and
development that was spent in the project. Also the
essential Web 2.0 features of current applications
are important to enable connection with other
people and resources not only for support, as is
usually the case to tackle technical problems, but
to achieve a strong motivation and a multiplying
effect that facilitates learning. The current boom
in social networking is a solid indicator of this
Interaction and Communication
Games and simulations are by definition very
interactive yet not all of them support useful
educational interaction that leads to effective
learning. Furthermore, the quantity of interaction
that is possible with a system does not guarantee
the quality of the interaction in terms of attaining
learning goals. A sense of security and progress
is important and depends on broad agreement
both on the ends to be pursued and on the means
to achieve them. The design of the interaction
is vital to the success of the game/simulation as
Learning with the new digital tools really implies
much more than just using intensively a given set
of applications: it comprises all the human fac-
tors and qualified work involved in conceiving
appropriate learning materials, devising a sound
pedagogical strategy, providing each student with
efficient support, assessing individual progress,
grading students, and certifying their final results.
So many questions arise: how games and simu-