2 Polytechnic of Porto, School of Engineering (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2013 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Pages: 2522-2532
ISBN: 978-84-616-3847-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2013
Location: Seville, Spain
Serious Games are games where the entertainment aspect is not the most relevant motivation or objective.For instance, they can be learning tools and a way to put learners in the role of decisions makers,receiving immediate feedback from their actions and decisions,exploring and experimenting with low danger for each mistake that happens.Beyond the motivation as key for the success,Serious Games have challenging goals;they are fun to play and/or engaging;they incorporate some concepts of scoring;and they impart skills,knowledge and attitudes that can be applied in the real world.The growing interest on this type of game results from several factors such as:the theoretical grounding in different learning theories,the development of high-quality gaming experiences,the increased offer of collaboration and competition options and the opportunity for integrated assessment.

These motivating and engaging environments, which serve as base for problem solving and simulation of different situations and contexts, can be applied to aid players developing professional skills. But,how do we certify acquired knowledge and skills? This is the starting point of this work where we intend to define a new correlation matrix between the game mechanics of serious games and an array of competences certification,identifying the most suitable game mechanics for each specific competence. With the best suited game mechanics identified the next step is to apply them in the game design in order to obtain the desired learning outcomes through the game. Through the association of game mechanics with the necessary pedagogical elements,the game will ensure the certification.

This paper will propose a new approach about using a serious game for competencies certification using in-game validation. This generic matrix represents the results of the analysis about what the student should learn, understand and be able to do after they complete the learning process for specific task or job position (competencies) and the most known game mechanics. Lominger’s set of sixty seven competences became a universal common denominator as most of these competencies lead to task success which allowed its author,in collaboration with Microsoft,to create a similar approach,but this one focused solely on education and learning:The Educational Competency Wheel. This new approach is based on a set of success factors which can be mapped into required attributes,behaviors,areas of knowledge, skills and abilities for successful performance.
With this paper we intend to explain the strategy used to build the generic correlation matrix to be applied in different contexts and situations. The applicability of this generic matrix will be done in four steps. Firstly it is necessary to identify which specific situations can take advantage from a game learning approach. The second step is the definition of the learning target group competencies profiles. In this step,the Education Competences serves as a reference to identify which one or combination of competencies must be used to obtain the correct outcomes of each situation. The third step is obtaining the correlation matrix from the generic matrix, identifying the required game mechanics and the quantification of minimum uses of each mechanic. The fourth and final step is the game development that includes an assessment competency model to evaluate the learning progression and training competencies, guaranteeing the successful performing of each situation.
Serious Games, Tranining Competences, Certification, Game Mechanics, Game-based Learning.