Monthly Archives: February 2014
Press Release: GlassLab Publishes Research on Game-based Assessment
For Immediate Release
February 6, 2014
Digital Games Can Improve Measurement of Student Learning With Continuous Assessment, According to New Research From GlassLab
New white paper offers framework for integrating game design and educational assessment
Redwood City, Calif. – February 6, 2013 — Researchers have figured out a new way to give teachers a dynamic portrait of a student’s learning in action, using video games. In a white paper released today by Institute of Play project GlassLab (the Games, Learning and Assessment Lab), a team of assessment data scientists, learning designers and game developers describe a multidisciplinary approach to designing a new type of classroom game — a game-based assessment. Game-based assessments can provide a rich understanding of the different factors that affect educational achievement and predict how a student’s performance might change over time.
The white paper, “Psychometric Considerations in Game-Based Assessment,” answers the provocative questions that stand in the way of realizing the full potential of games to transform learning and assessment: How can scientists make sense of the endless stream of data generated by a digital game — the entire spectrum from wayward mouse clicks to strategic choices in gameplay? How can psychometric data help game designers build better challenges to improve learning outcomes? And how can experts in diverse fields come together to build and test new game-based assessments?
“Game-based assessments may hold the promise of a richer, multi-dimensional portrait of student learning, but they also present a new frontier in assessment design, ripe with challenges and opportunities for psychometricians and game designers to explore collaboratively,” says co-author Robert Mislevy, a psychometrics consultant for GlassLab, pioneer of evidence-centered assessment design, and Frederic M. Lord Chair in Measurement and Statistics at ETS. “This paper provides a framework for the continued exploration of this new frontier and proposes a design approach for developing and testing new game-based assessments.”
“Psychometric Considerations in Game-Based Assessment” is the first publication from GlassLab, and contains findings from the development of the Lab’s first game-based assessment product, SimCityEDU: Pollution Challenge!, which launched in November 2013. GlassLab’s research and development efforts are made possible by the generous support of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
A project of the nonprofit Institute of Play, GlassLab is an interdisciplinary partnership between leaders in commercial games and experts in learning and assessment to develop next-generation educational games. Co-authors of “Psychometric Considerations in Game-Based Assessment” include researchers from Institute of Play, Educational Testing Service, Electronic Arts, and Pearson’s Center for Digital Data, Analytics and Adaptive Learning.
The 160-page white paper is available for free download today from Institute of Play. To download the full white paper and Executive Summary as a PDF e-book, or to explore print-on-demand options, please visit http://bit.ly/glasslab-research.
The next white paper from GlassLab, scheduled for publication in Fall/Winter 2014, will detail GlassLab’s Evidence-Centered Game Design process for developing game-based assessments.
Tony Wan, of EdSurge, writes;
“On February 10, the Joan Ganz Cooney Center held a launch party at Zynga’s headquarters in San Francisco for gamesandlearning.org, a website devoted to bringing together the latest in industry news, game-based learning (GBL) research, commentaries from developers, market trends and funding opportunities.
The website is overseen by the Games and Learning Publishing Council, chaired by Milton Chen, a senior fellow at Edutopia, and whose members include thought leaders across the academia, K-12, venture capital, industry and gaming industries. The multi-disciplinary composition, says the site’s editorial director (and former journalist), Lee Banville, helps ensure that the site can be an “honest broker of information” about the industry.
“Game-based learning is no longer on the fringe in conversations about education,” Banville tells EdSurge. “And having all of these different sectors represented will make it difficult for the industry to get too ‘pie in the sky’ about the market realities and how games will actually work in the classroom.”
To read the full article by Tony Wan click here;
EdGamer 122: TeacherCraft with Seann Dikkers
This week on EdGamer 122, we meet up with Dr. Seann Dikkers is an assistant professor in the Educational Technology division of the Patton College of Education at Ohio University. Formerly Dr. Dikkers served fourteen years as a middle school teacher, high school principal, and education consultant. Now he researches, writes, and shares the usefulness of digital media for teaching and learning as the founder and director of Gaming Matter. His books, Real-Time Research,Mobile Media Learning, and the forthcoming TeacherCraft: Using Minecraft in the Classroom are helping teachers integrate innovative technology into classroom learning. This is another can’t miss episode of EdGamer. Tune-in and level-up!
Show Host: Zack Gilbert
Show Guest: Seann Dikkers
To find the archive of EdGammer click here;
Brian Crecente writes that;
“A culture war is raging in the United States right now and video games are losing.
That’s according to Gilman Louie, former video game developer, founder of a venture capital firm that works with U.S. intelligence agencies, and advisor to the CIA, NSA and Defense Intelligence Agency. Louie, who founded and ran Spectrum HoloByte before leaving the business of game development, was named one of fifty scientific visionaries by Scientific American in 2002.
‘The anti-gaming establishment owns the vocabulary and have done a very successful job of convincing many that interactive games are harmful (especially to children) and that screen time is to blame for most of the social ills,” Louie tells Polygon. “Whether it be the awful events that took place at Sandy Hook or bullying in schools, video games have been the easy target for those who wish to pass blame.'”
“Louie recommended that 0.1 percent of the $93 billion video game market be invested in various institutions and nonprofits to work to promote the positive aspects of gaming and how gaming can provide a competitive advantage for children.
The battle for the hearts and minds of the public continues.
“I was advocating the need for more research,” he said, “a closer affiliation with the education industry, a significant increase in scholarships for those pursuing career fields related to gaming…”
To read the full article by Brian Crecente on Polygon, click here;
Jason Haas, of MIT, writes that;
“Commercial massively multiplayer online games, or MMOs, like World of Warcraft offer a number of features common to great learning environments. These games are, to varying degrees, collaborative, inquiry-based, and self-directed, all of which make them a prime place to explore aspects of math and science learning. Having a “world” in which to situate problems also means that players can solve something that feels meaningful to them; and see the consequences of their individual and collective actions. The massively multiplayer nature of these games also creates an opportunity for students to address problems with colleagues. Problems too large for any one of them to solve by themselves can be solved collectively by gathering data together, comparing notes, and acting decisively, confident in their evidence-based decisions.
At their best (and, frankly, even at their worst), these games function as a kind of society.
So, if you can combine these existing practices with engaging math and science content, imagine the learning experience you could provide. Thanks to a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we’re doing just that.
Our game, The Radix Endeavor, is a massively multiplayer online learning game, designed by our lab, The Education Arcade at MIT, and developed by Filament Games in Madison, Wisc. The game places thousands of players in an Earth-like world with a technical and social situation similar to our 1400s.”
To read the full article click here;
From the EdGamer show notes –
EdGamer 121: Playful Learning, SimCity, Mathbreakers, and Pension Theft!
The title says it all! This week on EdGamer 121 we discuss the Playful Learning Summit in Whitewater, SimCity is trying to get into the classroom, Mathbreakers looks like a promising math game, and a little side of pension theft just for holiday spirit! Its another can’t miss episode of EdGamer. Tune-in and level-up!
Show Host: Zack Gilbert
Show Contributor/Producer: Gerry James
To browse the EdGamer archives click here;
“GraphoGame™ is a child-friendly computer game that helps children to learn to read in their local language with the help of technology and know how of the most well informed experts of reading acquisition in the world.
With the game children learn the basic letters and their sounds. Through a series of levels, gradually, the child is able to construct these letters into words. Importantly, the game incorporates a dynamic element in that it also adapts to the childs own level of ability and sets further levels in accordance with this ability.’
GraphoGame was developed in Finland in the University of Jyväskylä in collaboration with the Niilo Mäki Institute.” – From the GraphoGame website, to read more click here; http://info.graphogame.com/.
Researcher Paul Howard-Jones discussed GraphoGame in the context of Neuroscience;
“Such studies have helped raise awareness of the general importance of phonological decoding for reading acquisition and contributed to the prevalent adoption of “phonics” approaches to reading. They have also helped prompt the development of technology-based reading resources combining neuroscience and educational understanding. One example is Graphogame -a non-commercial system developed at the University of Jyväskylä (Finland) which introduces the association of graphemes and phonemes to young children according to the frequency and consistency of a grapheme in a given language. In Graphogame, online algorithms analyze a child’s performance and rewrite lesson plans ‘on the fly’ depending on the specific confusions shown by the learner. The difficulty of the content is adjusted so that the challenge matches the learner’s ability. Using fMRI and EEG together (allowing both good spatial and temporal resolution in measurements), it has been shown that practice with the game can initiate print-sensitive activation in regions that later become critical for mature reading – the so-called ‘visual word-form system’” (p. 17).
Rachael Rettner of LiveScience writes that;
“A short video game may help children identify the signs of a stroke, and call 911 if they witness someone having one, a new study suggests.
The study involved about 200 children ages 9 to 12 living a community with many people at high risk for stroke(the Bronx, N.Y.). The children were tested on their knowledge of stroke symptoms before and immediately after they played a 15-minute stroke education video game. The children were also encouraged to play the game at home, and tested again seven weeks later.
Children were 33 percent more likely to recognize stroke symptoms, and say they would call 911 in a hypothetical scenario immediately after they played the video game, compared with before.”
To read the full article click here;
Paul Howard-Jones, of Bristol University, addresses the topic of Learning Games and “…using uncertain reward within computer games to make learning engaging. There is a clear theoretical basis and laboratory-based evidence for a classroom-based approach and so me exploratory research in classrooms that may be helpful in informing pedagogy, but evidence of impact on improved engagement and enhanced academic achievement is limited to young adults” (p.5).
He goes on to write that;
“Mental rotation skills are strong predictors of achievement in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects and results from a single study show that improving mental rotation does lead to improvement in attainment. However, this has only been tested with undergraduate students. Another way of improving these skills might be through video games” (p.6).
Howard-Jones adds that;
“Popular games provide rapid schedules of uncertain reward that stimulate the brain’s reward system. The brain’s reward response can positively influence the rate at which we learn. Beyond just the magnitude of the reward, a range of contextual factors influence this reward response” (p.11).
To read the full report by Paul Howard-Jones,
Neuroscience and Education: A Review of Educational Interventions and Approaches Informed by Neuroscience Full Report and Executive Summary,
Chris Riedel of THE Journal writes;
“According to the latest data, video for homework is on the rise; mobile computing is “beyond the tipping point”; and most kids don’t use traditional computers to connect to the Internet at home. Those are just three of the major trends revealed in the 2013 Speak Up Survey from Project Tomorrow, which CEO Julie Evans revealed at the FETC 2014 conference last week.
The 2013 results represent more than 400,000 surveys from 9,000 schools and 2,700 districts across the country. Respondents included 325,279 students, 32,151 teachers and librarians, 39,986 parents, 4,530 district administrators and, new to this year’s survey, 1,346 community members.”
“8. Gaming is Growing, and the Gender Gap is Closed
Another interesting area for Evans was student gaming. This year’s results showed 60 percent of students using laptops as a gaming device. Cell phones and game consoles tied with 54 percent use, while tablets clocked in at 44 percent.
Of particular note is students’ interest in taking gaming technology and applying it to learning difficult concepts, as well as their interest in using games as a way to explore career opportunities. Evans also noted no gender difference in students’ interest in games, with younger girls actually showing more gaming activity than their male counterparts.”