Arts and Technology Institute (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Pages: 5481-5490
ISBN: 978-84-608-2657-6
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2015
Location: Seville, Spain
The issue of instructional design turns out to be more prevalent as the use of digital and non-digital games in education becomes more popular. Digital games allow for the emergence of environments in which “students facilitate situated understandings in the context of activity and experience grounded in perception” (Gee, 2008, p.203). Most educators feel pressured to introduce digital games into their classrooms (Gunter et al., 2008) therefore teachers often supplement their instructional activity with a game that may not necessarily be effective in the given context of the instructional objectives (O’Neal et al., 2005). O’Neil et al., (2005) further suggested in order for a game to become effective in a learning environment, supplemental curricula should be employed within the framework of successful instructional practices. Gee (2008) echoed this idea and suggested that learning with games should be a guided experience otherwise learners would generate “spurious patterns and generalizations” (p.200). However, teachers’ lack of understanding of complex storylines and their effect on gameplay contribute to poor choices educators make when selecting a game as a teaching tool for their students (Squire et al., 2004; Squire et al., 2011).

In this article we will discuss the initial stages of development of the Isochronous Instructional Framework, which is rooted in ethnographic evidence collected over a period of 10 months from August 2014 to June 2015. The term isochronous is derived from the mathematical term of isochronous curve – a cycloid curve for which the time taken by any object to slide down the curve to its finishing point is independent of the starting point of each object, given that gravity is uniform and there is no friction. We define isochronous learning environment as any classroom in which students are of mixed ages working toward same learning objective independent of their initial knowledge and skill level. Uniform gravity as it applies to isochronous curve is defined as constant flow in the learning environments. Instruction should be designed to minimize the “friction” that can be caused by students’ learning differences, environmental, logistical and social difficulties. Isochronous Instructional Framework (IIF) is based on restructuring and consolidating the elements of Bloom’s Taxonomy, SOLO Taxonomy as well as incorporating components of Kearney and Pivec’s (2007) Recursive Learning Model.

IIF consists of four domains;
(a) Basics/Foundation;
(b) Application;
(c) Reflection;
(d) Creation.

Both learning and teaching objectives should be set for each domain, as well as, iterative assessment should be implemented. We argue that by setting domain-based objectives both instructional designers and teachers will be able to select games that are not only appropriate content wise, but also allow for desired learning outcomes.

In this article we will discuss several case studies that aided in initial development of IIF, implications for instructional designers and classroom teachers, and suggestions for future research. This article serves a purpose of building a strong foundation and guidelines for educators to use game based learning appropriately and effectively to promote strong learning outcomes in the classroom.
Game-Based Learning, Instructional Design, Learning Framework, Mixed-Age Classrooms, STEM Pedagogy.