B. Sampaio, C. Morgado, F. Barbosa

Universidade Nova de Lisboa (PORTUGAL)
The traditional learning interaction, where teachers lecture and students listen and make individual exercises, is no longer attractive for many students. The students’ attitudes and the existing active learning environments [1], requires a greater use of collaborative learning techniques. Collaborative methods promote retention and motivation, increasing the development of student skills like communication, cooperation and coordination, all relevant to the learning process [3].
The use of quizzes as a group learning activity is a simple but efficient method to promote collaboration, encouraging the students to work together in a more active and productive way. Quiz activities can provide a richer learning experience, where students learn by "doing" and by interacting with others, encouraging them to participate actively to work together, giving an immediate feedback about their learning process [2]. Statistical assessment of grades earned by students demonstrates that group quizzes correlate positively with exam scores and are not very different from individual scores [2].
The quiz, while an individual activity, can be easily developed and deployed in existing Learning Management Systems (LMS). But the development of group quizzes, with strict collaboration rules, is not an easy task, since there is no platform simple to use for its development.
In order to overcome this problem we developed Epik (Edutainment by Playing and Interacting with Knowledge) a platform that allows the easy development and distribution of collaborative educational games. Epik graphical interface provides the tools necessary for the quiz development, so the developers do not need any previous programming knowledge. Epik games can also import educational contents from an LMS, and may be distributed in LMS. Currently, Epik has available two game types: individual quiz (single player) and collaborative quiz (multiplayer).
Epik quizzes consist of a sequence (collection) of scenarios. Within each scenario there is a set of questions of type: multiple choices, true or false or short answer. Within these scenarios didactic contents can be placed such as: texts, slides, images or videos. In the multiplayer version, to move to the next scenario all players of a team must correctly answer a given number of scenario questions. Each question can have a set of "helps", team members, who have already answered correctly the question, can give these helps. This feature promotes the collaboration among team members. The game developer can easily configure the scores bonus and penalties values of each question, as well as the question helps. Currently, we have available three types of helps: didactic contents; hints; and incorrect answers removal (50/50).
In this paper, we describe the Epik platform and its quizzes. Some results concerning the evaluation of the group quizzes developed with the Epik platform are presented, suggesting that this is a useful and easy to use environment.

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P. Paderewski. Design of educational multiplayer videogames: A vision from collaborative learning. Journal of Advances in Engineering Software, 40(12), 2009.