ECGBL Mini Tracks

The Mini Tracks for ECGBL

      • Dialogical Perspectives on Games and Learning
      • Escape Rooms/Games for Learning
      • Human and Economic Costs of Designing and Using Games and Simulations in Higher Education, at Scale

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Dialogical Perspectives on Games and Learning

Mini Track Chair: Thorkild Hanghøj, Aalborg University  

Mini-Track-on-Dialogical-Perspectives-on-Games-and-Learning.pdf (128 downloads)  

It is widely recognized that dialogical relations between teachers and students as well as between students play a key role in order to support and achieve educational aims. At the same time, research on Game-Based Learning often focus on specific game affordances while neglecting the dialogical interaction among the involved actors in specific learning environments – e.g. teachers, students and game resources. In spite of the crucial importance of dialogic aspects in GBL, there exist relatively limited research on how to describe and understand dialogue when using games for learning. Thus, the aim of this mini track is to generate academic discussion on different ways of studying and enhancing dialogical learning through games.  

Suggested topics include but are not limited to:

      • Theoretical frameworks for conceptualising dialogic perspectives on games and learning
      • Methodological approaches for studying or assessing dialogical learning in and around games
      • Different pedagogical approaches to facilitating game-related dialogue in educational contexts
      • How different game elements and game design features may support (or constrain) dialogical learning. Including both analogue and digital game formats.
      • How to design games or game environments, which enable different dialogical perspectives among participants.
      • Empirical studies investigating teachers' use of digital games as contextual resources for dialogical teaching.

Human and Economic Costs of Designing and Using Games and Simulations in Higher Education, at Scale

Mini Track Chair: Dr. Ian Stewart, the University of Manchester, School of Engineering  

Mini-Track-on-the-Human-and-Economic-Costs-of-Designing-and-Using-Games-and-Simulations-in-Higher-Education-at-Scale.pdf (95 downloads)  

In the current drive for ‘gamification’ in higher education and the deployment of more innovative ‘experiential’ teaching and learning and assessment methods, the real human costs and risks of these activities for academics and students alike are being ignored and are under-researched. This track intends to address three gaps in the research – the lecturer’s first-hand experience in game/simulation development and management; the student experience in terms of the costs of receiving (or being afflicted by) the innovations of academics; these in the context of very large class sizes of almost entirely international postgraduate students. This contemporary context raises challenges to experiential learning through games and simulations from the scale, cross-cultural and multidisciplinary nature of such groups of students.  Not all investments of a lecturer’s time, creativity and energy in pedagogic innovation such as experiential learning deliver the desired learning outcomes of their programmes, but is this recognised by the creators, or is there some kind of auto-justification when this occurs? The intention of this track is to critique the practice of using games and simulations in the higher education classroom, ultimately presenting useful information regarding the human and economic costs of implementing games and simulations in this specific context to support the decision-making and work of academics in this area and recommend future directions for research into this important aspect of simulation/gamification in higher education.  

Suggested topics include but are not limited to:

      • Categorisation of risks and costs in developing and using games and simulations in Higher Education context
      • Students’ costs and risks in large-class settings
      • First-person accounts and analysis of the activities in producing games or simulations
      • Critique of existing research on the efficacy of experiential learning techniques
      • Alignment of games or simulations to learning objectives
      • Methods of proving efficacy of experiential learning techniques, beyond the end-of-module surveys

Escape Rooms/Games for Learning

Mini Track Chair: Dr Panagiotis Fotaris, University of Brighton, UK.  

Mini-Track-on-Escape-rooms-and-games-for-learning.pdf (103 downloads)  

Escape rooms are adventure games in which players work together to solve puzzles using hints, clues, and a strategy to escape from a locked room. Despite being a relatively new concept, they are becoming increasingly popular as a team building activity due to the fact that they require players to quickly adopt successful team strategies in order to progress through the game successfully. The nature of the game means that their communication skills, trust, critical thinking and creativity will all be put to the test.  

From a pedagogical point of view, escape games are a methodology based on a social-constructivist approach, with the player (student) being called to face new, rather difficult problems, which can be solved thanks to interaction with peers and support of the gamemaster (teacher). With that in mind, in recent years there have been several attempts to exploit the escape game concept for educational purposes, as research findings have demonstrated that educational escape games elicit high motivation and engagement on the part of the participants. Moreover, it has been shown that many participants experienced flow, a state of mind, which has been considered as beneficial for successful learning.  

The main focus of this Research Topic is to provide an overview of how escape rooms/games are currently being used a game-based learning approach to break out from the traditional classroom routine and to foster creativity and engagement. Contributors are expected to demonstrate the educational potential and versatility of escape rooms/games for learning purposes.  

Suggested topics include but are not limited to:

      • Case studies describing best and worst practices
      • Comparisons and combinations of traditional approaches and GBL approaches using escape rooms/games
      • Game-Based Learning methodologies and frameworks for educational escape rooms/games
      • Curriculum integration of educational escape rooms/games
      • Players’ perception of educational escape rooms/games