SCENARIOS AS PEDAGOGICAL DEVICES: DESIGNING ACTIVITIES FOR GAME-BASED LEARNING
1 Ellinogermaniki Agogi (GREECE)
2 University of Vienna (AUSTRIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2013 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Conference name: 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2013
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:This paper describes the collaboration between teachers and researchers in exploring how technology-enhanced learning and game-based learning can foster and develop creativity. This teacher-researcher collaboration is framed by a scenario approach to designing learning activities. Therefore, we will elaborate how to set up scenarios with micro- and macro activities to ensure a special form of mapping that can host computational tools, scenario structure, gaming environment specifics and creativity aspects.
In simple terms, a learning scenario is a comprehensive description of a sustained and complex learning experience within a specific educational context. Learning scenarios are particularly suitable for open-ended environments that can foster creativity, which require students to tackle complex problems, manage a wealth of content resources and come up with original solutions. Scenarios define a problem space and an activity space and describe a set of options available to students in terms of processes, tools and resources. Thus, they provide students with adequate structure, while allowing them to pursue many individual paths toward the goal. Within the overall scenario, the design of specific activities at different levels is pivotal to tying together technological tools and learning outcomes with respect to both curriculum content and broader competencies.
The scenario approach adopted in this collaboration is distinct in that it focuses the attention of the teacher-designer in particular on making the learning situation meaningful and engaging from the point of view of the students, using the ludic and narrative aspects of game experiences as pedagogical devices to convey to students why a problem, concept or fact interesting and to turn learning objectives into roles, challenges and assignments that students understand and embrace. We argue that this constitutes a shift in pedagogical perspective that is particularly important for the traditionally teacher-centric educational systems in Austria and Greece.
As teachers and researcher collaborated in the generation and elaboration of scenarios, several challanges arose that are reported in this paper. An important issue is the relation between designing a game scenario and designing a scenario for orchestrating the use of the game for learning; to what degree do these design processes overlap, and how should teachers be involved in them? Another challenge is related to scenarios as a structure for orchestrating learning that fosters creativity: what kind of structure, information and activities should and can be included in a scenario that should foster creativity and how much formalism can a scenario stand without jeopardizing the main creativity aspects?
These and other challenges that arose illustrate another important function of scenario design as concrete embodiments of pedagogical ideas, which provide a conduit for linking educational theory and research to educational practice through teacher-researcher collaboration.
Keywords: Learning scenario, teachers as designers, game-based learning, playful learning, creativity.