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Friday, August 19 • 11:30am - 12:30pm

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Inciting out-of-game transfer: Adapting contrast-based instruction for educational games
Chase, Harpstead, Aleven

We adapted a successful instructional principle – contrasting cases – to create an educational game to teach young children physical principles of stability. Our goal was to design a game that would effect transfer - extending the reach of the educational game beyond the game itself. In Study 1, we compared a “standard” version of the game to a “contrast” version that contained contrasting case levels designed to help learners notice the principles underlying game content. In Study 2, we augmented the contrast version of the game with induction levels that focused learners on abstracting general principles from sets of contrasting cases. In both studies, we found that contrast versions of the game facilitated transfer, while standard versions did not. Students found contrast versions of the game highly enjoyable, just as enjoyable as the standard game. Findings have implications for the design of educational games that are instructive yet fun.

How'd That Happen?! Failure in Game Spaces to Prepare Students for Future Learning
Lee, Liu, Jullamon & Black

Educational games can be used effectively in the classroom, because exploration and responses to failure in game spaces can afford productive metacognition that better prepares students for future learning (PFL). In our study, we explored how the role of failure-induced metacognitive appraisal and strategy selection while playing a physics game better prepares students for learning from formal content after gameplay. Our results indicate that experiencing failure to prepare students for future learning can elicit more complex and robust mental representations of a complicated science system. However, experiencing failure unto itself isn’t sufficient for improving general conceptual understanding - a good metacognitive response is required. Further investigation identified response to failure with info-seeking, then fixing one’s answer was found significantly related to learning because it entails an appraisal of knowledge gaps, resolving such gaps through info-seeking, and apply newly acquired information to address prior misconceptions.

When is a Game Not a Game? Considering Player Perceptions of An Educational Game
Barnes & Harteveld
Educational games are designed with playful affordances, yet have the serious purpose of supporting players’ learning. Given this, how players perceive these activities may influence how they interact with them, and therefore, whether they actually learn from them. Case studies are presented here from an educational game teaching Newtonian physics to better understand the relationships between player perceptions and the nature of their game experiences, in terms of reality, meaning, and play. The findings we present indicate that players’ perceptions of educational game affordances as academic or playful contribute to divergent experiences with the same design.

avatar for Richard Halverson

Richard Halverson

Madison, WI, United States, University of Wisconsin Madison
I'm a Professor at UW-Madison, and I study how technologies can and do transform teaching and learning in and out of schools. I work with the Wisconsin Collaborative Education Research Network (the Network); the Collaborative Assessment of Leadership for Learning project, and the... Read More →


Vincent Aleven

Pittsburgh, PA, USA, Carnegie Mellon University
avatar for Jackie  Barnes

Jackie Barnes

Postdoctoral Researcher, Northeastern University
I've spent my years in grad school designing educational games, and my dissertation years looking into the diversity of user experience in a specific educational games. I want to keep designing, and to better understand how players see games differently, and whether they see educational... Read More →

John Black

New York, NY, United States, Teachers College Columbia University

Catherine C. Chase

New York, NY, United States, Teachers College Columbia University
avatar for Erik Harpstead

Erik Harpstead

Pittsburgh, PA, USA, Carnegie Mellon University
avatar for Casper Harteveld

Casper Harteveld

Boston, Massachusetts, USA, Northeastern University
Dr. Casper Harteveld is an Assistant Professor of Game Design at Northeastern University, and author of Triadic Game Design (Springer, 2011), a book about serious game design. He earned his PhD degree from Delft University of Technology in Systems Engineering, Policy Analysis & Management... Read More →

Mathurada Jullamon

New York, NY, United States, Teachers College Columbia University

Alison Lee

New York, NY, United States, Classroom, Inc.

Connie Liu

New York, NY, United States, Teachers College Columbia University

Friday August 19, 2016 11:30am - 12:30pm CDT
Landmark Union South