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The Use Of Online Games Within The Classroom

1374 words - 6 pages

Of recent interest to me is the use of on-line games within the classroom. Specific to my interest is the teaching of first year composition on-line. The following paper is an analysis of two articles, one quantitative and one qualitative, on studies on gamification within a course. The qualitative article looks at a one week exercise where the students did a scavenger hunt like activity was designed to get the students better acclimated with course content and hopefully garner a real world or practical application of it. The quanitative article looks at a game designed to get students a better understanding of a specific economic theory. Despite neither of these studies having anything to do with writing, the design the authors took to each one provides insights for me as I begin my dissertation. The following is a more in-depth look at these possibilities through an analysis of each article.
Qualitative Article
The article, “How a Mobile Social Media Game Can Enhance the Educational Experience” by Parise and Crosina (2012), provides a case study on the use of gaming in a learning environment. The authors wanted to know if on-line learning elements integrated into a traditional face to face course would allow for enhanced learning outcomes. They created a game using a social media gaming platform called SCVNGR where they essentially created a week long scavenger hunt for the students to do. The activity combined both live physical interactions among students while also having them use on-line (including mobile) technology to acquire clues and communicate with one another. After the game was completed, the instructors met with the students and conducted a focus group asking theme the following seven questions:
Do you feel that your overall learning was enhanced by the use of the SCVNGR gaming platform. [stet] If so, in what ways?
What did you find most interesting about the game experience? Most fun?
What did you find most interesting about the game experience? Most fun?
Can you tell us about your group dynamics? Describe the coordination process to complete the challenges.
Did your team plan a strategy before starting the challenges, or did a strategy emerge as you were playing the game?
What role did competition play in your participation? How did the daily score report motivate you – if at all?
Did the idea of a final prize motivate you? If so, how?
What functionality/technology features of the gaming platform did you like or find interesting? Find frustrating?
What were the biggest challenges you encountered in the process of playing the game?
Do you think that this platform should be used in other courses? If so, what would be your recommendations?
Students who weren’t present for the focus group were interviewed later by the instructors and the instructors also provided feedback based on their observations.
The authors spent quite a bit of time patting themselves on the back in the results. Students found the game to be fun...

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