Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
novel approaches to online learning that go well
beyond the use of Learning Management Systems
(LMS). Relevant examples are Personal Learning
Environments (PLE) that enable individuals to ac-
cess, aggregate, configure and manipulate digital
artifacts in the context of ongoing learning experi-
ences. The power of these new virtual learning
environments lies in creating (hyper)spaces that
give users a sense of learning by doing, or, in the
case of games, learning by playing.
There is reason to believe that learner-driven
demand and anticipated boost in effectiveness will
facilitate an increasing uptake of serious games in
the short term, even if simulations have a longer
association of its use to support education and
training - namely in applications for business,
health, and military training. In any scenario,
institutions and educators will need extra support
when selecting, repurposing and using games
or simulations in their practice, often trying to
overcome factors such as time pressure, lack of
experience, shortage of resources, etc. In many
cases off-the-shelf games can be successfully
introduced into educational processes, always a
good decision as the creation of high quality edu-
cational games has a prohibitive cost. Therefore
the access to tools and frameworks that may help
in the process will benefit the stakeholders in any
ODL organization. For instance, US military have
considered the use of a framework for the use of
Massive Multiplayer Online Gaming in Military
Training and Education (Bonk & Dennen, 2005).
In another case, a framework for evaluating
games- and simulation-based education in general
has been proposed by De Freitas & Oliver (2006)
indicating the main pedagogical requirements. In
a similar approach, a study by Moreno-Ger et al.
(2008) proposes a set of educational game design
guidelines, namely: choosing an appropriate genre,
adding assessment and adaptation to the design
and integration with an online environment. But
we were not able to find yet a comprehensive
framework for the selection, repurposing, design
and implementation of games and simulations
in ODL courses, so this became our main goal.
In the next section we start by analyzing the
potential for the use of games and simulations
in distance education, and by discussing their
benefits and shortcomings in this context. Next
we introduce the AIDLET framework for the
selection, repurposing, design and implementa-
tion of games and simulations, concentrating on
the practical aspects of the processes involved.
Finally, we verify the AIDLET model against a
taxonomy representing the main categories and
genres of games, attempting to meet the require-
ments of distance education teachers, instructional
designers and decision-makers.
It has been established that Open and Distance
Learning (ODL) institutions hold great potential
for the instruction of a broad and diversified
range of learners. It has also been established
that well-designed interactive media tools such
as games, simulations, and virtual environments
may provide learners with relevant and engaging
paths to content mastery. The next step is to bring
the two together. But overcoming the technology
gap between learners and institutions is just one
aspect of the problem. Traditional ODL pedagogy
has to be reformulated, not just accommodating
the latest technology but also enabling rich social
interaction, enhancing group work and communi-
cation within educational settings. Many educa-
tional researchers today would define learning as
a multidimensional construct of learning skills and
cognitive learning results, for instance, procedural,
normative and strategic knowledge, and attitude
(Pivec & Dziabenko, 2004). Academic and life
success require not just the accumulation of facts
and conceptual understandings, but also attitudes,
dispositions, and values that are aligned with
those of science. Learning is, from this perspec-
tive, about building up knowledge, skills, beliefs
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