Blog Archives

The Bound Copy of my Dissertation has Arrived!

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It is great to have a physical copy of what was for so long an electronic file on my laptop.  Higher-Order Thinking Skills in Digital Games by Anthony W. Palmer.

My Presentation and Hooding at Azusa Pacific University

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My presentation on Higher Order Thinking Skills in Digital Games got off to a rough start with the sound system, but fortunately they were able to fix the problem.  The rest of the presentation went well.  I was so happy to have my extended family their to learn more about what I’ve been working on!   Once again the audience had excellent questions about games and learning.

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My Hooding Ceremony at Azusa Pacific University – Department of Educational Leadership

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My family!

 

My Presentation at The California Educational Research Association

cera-badge            I presented my research on Higher Order Thinking Skills in 3 iPad Games, at the California Educational Research Association in Sacramento California.  My room was full of people who asked many thoughtful questions about games and learning.

Higher Order Thinking Skills in Minecraft

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I have uploaded my first video to YouTube (please be kind interwebs).

I Identified all three Higher Order Thinking Skills in Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy – analyzing, evaluating, and creating.  In the future, I plan to upload a walk-through  of Bad Piggies and Dragon Box.  These were the games I asked my participants to play for my dissertation on Higher Order Thinking Skills in iPad Games.

Thanks to all! 72 Participants in my dissertation on learning games.

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Yesterday I interviewed participant number 72 for my dissertation on learning games and Higher Order Thinking Skills.

I appreciate all the helpful students at Orangevale Montessori who participated in the research, all the parents who consented to have their children join the study, all the teachers who invited me into their classrooms, and the secretaries and administrators who shared their office space with me.

Thanks to all!

Now, I have much writing to do.

Yay! Today I started interviewing participants for my dissertation!

Higher Order Thinking Skills
in iPad Learning Games

Anthony W. Palmer Ed.D. (Candidate), Researcher
 Institutional Review Board Identification: #94-14

Diagram of the levels within Bloom's Taxonomy Triangle

 

 

It has been a very long journey toward my dissertation.

 

I have completed all the courses for my doctorate.

I have completed my literature review on learning games and higher order thinking skills.

My research committee has approved my dissertation proposal.

The internal review board at my university has approved my application to  conduct the research.

The principal and the teachers have granted me permission to conduct my research at the school.

Over 30 parents have returned their consent forms.

So today…

three students assented to participate in my research on Higher order thinking Skills in iPad learning games!!!

Yay ! ! !

They all did a great job, playing the games and answering my questions.

There would have been more students participating today, but I quickly used up all of the memory on the iPad recording the first three students.

Many students asked if it was too late to turn in their consent forms.  I told them that they still have time.  It seems that many more will join the project before the end of the school year!

It is so good to have passed the necessary bureaucratic hoops and finally be conducting research with students!

So now, more observations, interviews, analysis, synthesis, writing and rewriting.

Yay!

Video Games Build Critical Thinking Skills

Jordan Shapiro, gave a great talk on “Critical Thinking And Video Games: Scalable Pedagogy For The Future.”

Jordan Shapiro, author of FREEPLAY: A Video Game Guide to Maximum Euphoric Blisssays that; “Video games teach critical thinking, problem solving skills, and perseverance while building metacognitive skills.  Game-based learning can provide systematic, data driven teaching in a way that forces creative problem solving rather than rote memorization.  And video games can do that in a way that is replicable, scalable, and increasingly affordable enough that we can distribute it globally and equitably.”

To read more click here;

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jordanshapiro/2014/03/19/heres-why-we-need-video-games-in-every-classroom/

Deconstructing Donkey Kong

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Jordan Shapiro challenges parents, teachers, and academics to train their children and/or students to think critically about video games as you would a text.  This is a good admonition which may help parents and educators to teach higher order thinking skills to a generation in desperate need of these skills. 

Shapeiro writes;

“Most importantly, when I talk to my kids about a video game, I’m teaching them that after they get lost in the experience of game play, they should also stop, back-up, and think about the game as if it were a text. Hopefully, in the long term, my kids will learn to think critically about the underlying messages in commercial games and how we might use video games for their ability to provoke conversation.

This is not just about kids. In my opinion, there is far too little critical examination of video games happening even among adults, especially in academia.

Video games represent a shift in the way we construct narrative. Video games might be the new mythology. I personally believe that with video games, we are writing what will eventually become scripture in the hyper-connected centuries to come.

I’m troubled when I consider how few of the brilliant academic thinkers in the humanities are forcing us to ask difficult questions about the kinds of stories we want to tell through video games specifically. These video games are shaping the next generation. These video games are teaching them how to think about the world, how to make meaning. And we’re letting it happen by accident. That’s crazy.”

To read the full article click here;

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jordanshapiro/2014/02/28/how-to-think-critically-about-video-games/

 

Making Meaningfull Learning Games

John Flinchbaugh/Flickr

writes that:

“Proving the effectiveness of a game is no simple proposition. Games are all different. When students play a game that focuses on a particular skill, often called “drill-and-kill” games, they often see improved test scores. But those games don’t necessarily get at the higher order thinking skills that games have the potential to help develop. But more complex games often don’t offer clearly correlated outcomes that a teacher can use to prove effectiveness.

The debate has led some game developers and their funders to focus on how the game itself can be used to assess learning — how the game can become a test. But White says that also changes the nature of the game. When a child sits down to play a game, he assumes it’s “failure agnostic” and that allows him to experiment and meander his way through the game freely. When assessment is involved, it changes his relationship to the game. White isn’t against using games for assessment, but he doesn’t think anyone has really figured out how to accurately use the data that games provide to assess in a meaningful way.

Glasslab’s SimCityEDU, funded by the Gates and MacArthur Foundations, is the highest profile example of gaming for assessment. White says if they can crack the code he’ll license it from them, but it’s a lot easier to pull analytics and metrics for a single game than it is to generalize those principles into something that could be applied to all educational games. And, when assessment is involved, the price of developing a game skyrockets.” To read the full article on Mindshift, click here;

http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2014/01/how-can-developers-make-meaningful-learning-games-for-classrooms/

It is good to read a discussion of Higher Order Thinking Skills in games and gaming for assessment.  These are two important issues that need more attention and development.   Unfortunately these games have too often targeted the lower order thinking skills of Blooms’ taxonomy.  In 2007, John Rice conducted a study which assessed higher order thinking skills in video games with the aim of developing a tool for parents and educators to rate the level of higher order thinking skills in video games.  He found that the educational efficacy of these games varies greatly with respect to higher order thinking skill. (Rice, 2007, p. 88).
Rice began his study by examining;  “lower level learning in so-called edutainment products and concludes with an example of an advanced social studies simulation that fosters higher order thinking. [Rice] identifies characteristics of highly cognitive virtual interactive environments and offers a detailed index and scoring rubric as a tool for teachers and preservice teachers to use when evaluating the tendencies a video game demonstrates toward encouraging higher order thinking in its participants  (Rice, 2007, p. 87).”
When educators are looking for a game that does more than drill facts in to the brains of students, Rice’s rubric can serve as a helpful tool in selecting a game that lifts students to the top of Blooms’ taxonomy (1956).

References:

Bloom, B. S. (1956). Taxonomy of educational objectives, handbook 1: Cognitive domain. New York: Longmans Green.

Rice, J. W. (2007). Assessing Higher Order Thinking in Video Games. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 15(1), 87-100.

SimCityEDU Develops Higher Order Thinking Skills.

of Fast Company writes that;

SimCityEDU: A Video Game That Tests Kids While Killing The Bubble Test

A $10.3 million collaboration between Electronic Arts, Pearson, and a nonprofit yields a simulation game that tests thinking and emotion, not just knowledge. . .

“We have all these high-stakes assessments focusing the majority of their testing on rote learning and not application of skill,” says Seth Corrigan, the Director of Education & Evaluation for Glasslab. “We’re never going to transform education and prepare kids for success if we don’t transform assessment to look at higher-order skills. Everything pointed to games as the way to do that.”. . .

SimCityEDU: Pollution Challenge!, the game I’m playing, debuted last week. For those who played SimCity in the 1990s or 2000s, this PC-based game feels familiar; it’s built on the same bits but radically simplified into chunks that take no more than 10 minutes to play, with specific tasks for the player to complete. But what makes SimCityEDU different from other video games, even other video games that have been modded for educational use, is that while middle school players are figuring out how to play this game, the game will be figuring them out right back. As they are zoning neighborhoods or planning school bus routes, the software is gathering detailed evidence about their thinking processes and skills, and whether they’re engaged or bored.

The creators, a multidisciplinary team known as Glasslab, have a wild ambition. They want to use game-based assessments like these to wean our education system off fill-in-the-bubble tests, which are optimized for gauging memorized content knowledge, and instead start measuring what really matters in the 21st century: how well people can think.

“We have all these high-stakes assessments focusing the majority of their testing on rote learning and not application of skill,” says Seth Corrigan, the Director of Education & Evaluation for Glasslab. “We’re never going to transform education and prepare kids for success if we don’t transform assessment to look at higher-order skills. Everything pointed to games as the way to do that.”

Avoiding Chocolate-Covered Broccoli

With its realistic simulations of energy use, pollution, and zoning, SimCityEDU conforms to Next Generation Science Standards recently created by the National Research Council, and includes reading tasks that match the Common Core. Both are voluntary, state-led attempts to create nationwide benchmarks for learning in K-12 schools. But SimCityEDU is not just about teaching content. It’s designed to gather evidence about students’ “systems thinking.”

To See a great video clip about SimCityEDU click here;

To read the full article by click here; http://www.fastcompany.com/3021180/innovation-agents/simcityedu-a-video-game-that-tests-kids-while-killing-the-bubble-test