Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
make learning pleasant and comfortable, which,
in the case of adult learners, are features more
important than personal contact with lecturers and
other students. Interactive exercises implemented
as games and quizzes can give them a continuous
and immediate feedback about their progress in
the learning process. Having feedback on the
achievements is essential in keeping motivation
sustainable and learning successful.
Massively multiplayer online gaming en-
vironments have flexible parameters which
make the gaming environments change. There
is a learning ecosystem formed by spontaneous
self-organization of the participants inside such
game environments. This process is the result of
collaboration-based characteristics of the game,
where players, as co-producers, can influence
the rules, affect the outcome, and create a rich
universe of social interactions (Galarneau, 2005).
Apart from the educational purpose, computer
games have both entertainment and social roles
as well. They can have particularly important role
in the process of inclusion of young persons with
disabilities in their development. Socialization
and inclusion of the visually impaired, especially
young people faced with this handicap, represents
a challenge for the modern society and science.
Education plays the key role in the integration
of persons with disabilities, because it is crucial
for breaking the prejudices related to their abil-
ity. People with disabilities are not able to adopt
certain elements of the curriculum units using
only traditional methods. For that reason teachers
in specialized schools use special techniques that
enable pupils with disabilities to acquire the nec-
essary skills, but the techniques used are far from
what can be applied today. The results achieved
are lower than those potentially attainable.
Computer games are a part of everyday life
for children and the young, and therefore the
communities of the visually impaired are striv-
ing towards the development of computer games
suited for all children, including the disabled ones,
in order to make their inclusion into the society
more successful (Archambault et al., 2009). Sadly,
the production of such games world-wide has been
financed mostly by non-government organizations
with very limited funds.
Evaluation and Validation
of Educational Games
Evaluating a product such as an educational game
or in general a learning material is a task that is
neither easy nor simple. This is because there are
many factors which influence the learning process
and the learning outcome. It is difficult to separate
the impact of a new learning technology from other
existing impacts. Evaluation methods are still not
standardized. Some experience in the evaluation
of an interactive distance learning system and the
validation of educational games for the visually
impaired will be presented in the next section, as
well as the results of a recent research conducted in
order to compare learning methods which include
using games and the traditional learning methods
which do not incorporate games.
Conducting research on the effectiveness of
each created educational game would be unac-
ceptably time-consuming and expensive. There is
a need for research which could suggest measur-
able parameters for the evaluation of educational
games. There is also a need for further research
which could result in getting validation methods
for educational games.
“Although trends of game-based and simula-
tion-based learning are set to increase, there have
been few attempts to introduce frameworks that
can help support tutors to evaluate games that
can be most effective in their particular learning
context including their specific subject areas” (De
Freitas & Martin, 2006). The reason for this is
perhaps that there is not a clear boundary between
games for education and games for entertainment.
Many people erroneously think that all evalua-
tion is done after a project is completed. Actually,
formative evaluation improves a project during
the development and implementation phases.
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