A GAMIFICATION APPROACH TO DIGITAL LEARNING TOOLS DESIGN: “RES LOGICA" A CASE STUDY
University of Milano-Bicocca (ITALY)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2014 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Page: 2032 (abstract only)
Conference name: 7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 17-19 November, 2014
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:Information and Communication Technology (ITC) are massively impacting the school environment and teaching methodologies in the last few years.
The school itself is a laboratory of change in which hard- and soft-values are transformed and processed to lead the teaching system closer to the challenges of the contemporary society.
On one hand the hard dimension means digital infrastructure, tools and devices that support collaborative, multimodal and innovative approaches to teaching methods, for instance the use of LIMs or tablet in alternative to traditional chalkboards and paper- or printed-based supports.
On the other hand school and teachers are facing with the new generation of digital natives (Millennial or Net generation, Generation Z or Post millennial and so on to Plurals) used to a symbiotic relationship with technology and immersed in an experiential continuum between on- and off-line life. Touch, streaming, multitasking, messaging, chatting, real-time feedback, free access, peer relations and social interactions world-wide are the basis of technology-mediated relationship with the world, with tools and between people.
The world of education has already taken significant steps into IT applied to teaching & learning methodologies, e. g. video lectures, edutainment, elearning environment and learing Object, online courses and recently MOOC in higher education, but it does not seem to find an effective way in the more traditional training tool that is educational publishing. The digital book seems to remain firmly anchored to the previous paper model, a machine to read.
However, electronic publishing (ePub 3, Enanched PDF, hybrid Apllication) the introduction of new multipurpose device (not just aimed at reading as the eBook Reader) and the strong and increasing convergence with the Internet is offering design, expressive languages and interaction modalities hitherto little explored.
Despite this apparent delay the world of education is catching the game-based thinking approach that is gamification a way to engage, motivate and building a constructive and collaborative way to teaching and learning through feedback, competition and rewarding.
The experimental project “Res Logica” –¬ proposed as a case study in this article ¬– fits into this line of research and innovation to solve challenges of teaching grammar in the context of the middle school (students aged 11 to 14 years). On the one hand it reflects the recent italian law requirement imposing a definitive transition to the digital booksince two years, on the other it experiences an interdisciplinary approach which involves several disciplines such as linguistics interface design and user experience – from a multimodal and interactive, and ICT – Information and Communication Technology to the project.
According to this assumptions the prototype developed as an enhanced web-based PDF applies to the context of language learning (syntax and grammar) a gamification approach based both on the dynamics of social interaction among peers typical of networks and web 2.0 and the edutainment dimension underlying in the world of gaming.
The proposed case study tries to test the potentiality of digital learning tool and the convergence of the more recent digital revolution to evaluate a model and/or a design method discussing limits and possible developments in parallel with the evolution of digital worlds.
Keywords: Digital learning tool, language learning, gamification design approach.