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Thursday, August 18 • 3:30pm - 4:30pm

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How Music Affects Learning in a 3D Gaming Environment: An Experiment

This study examined the effects of music, in a 3D gaming environment, on educational achievement as measured by a series of criterion-referenced tests (identification, terminology, and comprehension). A sample of 81 undergraduate students from a [institution] were recruited to take part in the experiment and then randomly assigned to one of three groups that each played a short educational game module about the human heart. Each group played an identical module save for the fact that one contained no music, one module played Mozart, and another allowed participants to self-select the music they would receive. They then each took a series of identical tests to ascertain performance. Results are discussed herein.

Critical Thinking With Aesthetic Elements of Minecraft
Gupta & Kim

This paper presents on how interactions with aesthetic elements of digital games (Minecraft) help foster critical thinking skills. We argue that interactions with aesthetic elements of games enable aesthetic experiences facilitating holistic understanding and critical thinking towards the problem. Using a unique theoretical framework for visualization of aesthetics of digital games, we have analyzed how learners in an arts immersive school in Canada have interpreted and interacted with the aesthetic elements of Minecraft. Our analysis delves into their construction of meaning and critical thinking skills at work. Specifically, we have considered the aesthetical elements of geography and representation of Minecraft. Minecraft is unique in the sense that the geography and representations are user generated. Hence we have focused on how learners have interacted and interpreted these aesthetic elements based on the content and how the process of creating these elements have triggered their critical thinking skills.

Exploring the Effects of Dynamic Avatar on Performance and Engagement in Educational Games
Kao & Harrell

Avatar research has almost exclusively explored avatar that are the same regardless of context. But a plethora of work has Showcasen that avatars personalized in one’s likeness increases identification. Contrarily, avatars more like objects increase detachment. We posit that in certain situations within a game it may be more advantageous to have increased identification, and in other situations increased detachment. We present the first study on dynamic avatar, or avatar that change types via game context. We investigate the successful-likeness, an avatar that is only a likeness when the player is in a win state, and at all other times an object. Our experiment (N=997) compares four avatars: 1) Shape, 2) Likeness, 3) Likeness-to-Shape, and 4) Shape-to-Likeness (successful-likeness). Players using a successful-likeness had significantly better performance (levels completed), and played significantly longer (minutes played). As performance and engagement are correlated to learning, successful-likeness avatars may be crucial in educational games.


Diali Gupta

Calgary, Alberta, Canada, University of Calgary
avatar for D. Fox Harrell

D. Fox Harrell

Cambridge, MA, United States, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
D. Fox Harrell, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Digital Media in the Comparative Media Studies Program and the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT. He founded and directs the MIT Imagination, Computation, and Expression Laboratory (ICE Lab). Harrell holds... Read More →
avatar for Dominic  Kao

Dominic Kao

PhD Candidate, MIT

Beaumie Kim

Associate Professor, University of Calgary
Beaumie Kim is an associate professor and chair of the Learning Sciences at the Werklund School of Education. She worked previously at the Learning Sciences Group in Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, as well as NASA-sponsored Classroom of the Future program in Wheeling... Read More →
avatar for Ryan  L. Sittler

Ryan L. Sittler

Assistant Professor, California University of Pennsylvania
I have a Ph.D. in Communications Media and Instructional Technology and enjoy exploring opportunities for instructional design and game design to cross paths. (Particularly if music or information literacy are involved). I've worked on a few educational game projects--even winning... Read More →

Thursday August 18, 2016 3:30pm - 4:30pm CDT
Agriculture Union South