A new study by our top-rated Computer Science department proposes an innovative model aimed at facilitating collaboration between educators and video game designers in order to create more effective game-based learning tools.
Researchers have developed a conceptual model that essentially ‘gamifies’ established education theories, translating key learning concepts into familiar video game terminology.
Specifically, the model focuses on gamifying Kolb's seminal Experiential Learning Theory that emphasises learning through experience.
By mapping components like resources and mechanics to each stage of experiential learning, researchers have created building blocks that game designers can readily understand and incorporate into educational games.
A persistent challenge in developing game-based learning tools is bridging the communication gap between experts in education and game design, fields with very different languages and ways of thinking.
This model acts as a translator between the two disciplines. It provides concrete guidance to facilitate mutual understanding.
This will make collaboration far easier and lead to more balanced games that boost student motivation and performance.
As a proof of concept, the researchers used their model to create a prototype game simulating experiential learning on a virtual field trip for secondary school students. Early expert feedback on the model has been positive.
The researchers believe that their translation framework has wide applications across education levels and subjects.
They are actively looking to partner with game studios to develop new learning games.
This will open up exciting possibilities for gamified educational experiences tailored to specific learning objectives.
Our Department of Computer Science is growing, with ambitious plans for the future and an inclusive, vibrant and international community at its heart. Ranked as a UK Top 10 Department (Complete University Guide 2023), our students develop knowledge and gain essential and transferable skills through high quality teaching, delivered by a passionate team of leading academics.
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