THE POTENTIAL OF EDUCATIONAL MAZE GAMES FOR TEACHING IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS
Institute of Information and Communication Technologies - Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BULGARIA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 12-14 November, 2018
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:At present, video games appear to be resources that are more and more promising regarding their use in primary education thanks to their high interactivity and visual attractiveness, in addition to the ability to incorporate knowledge, didactic tasks and virtual objects in an appealing and fascinating way. Educational video mazes represent a specific type of puzzle game, where the environment has (unlike simple mazes) a complex branching with options of choosing the traversal path and direction, and may have multiple entrances, exits and dead ends. The research provides some of the results from a study of the potential of educational maze games for teaching in primary schools. The aim is to clarify the teachers’ needs and preferences for such games specially designed for the primary education. The educational video mazes have to be described formally and next generated by an open software platform in an automatic and straightforward way. The paper presents a maze game dedicated to the Bulgarian medieval history and constructed within the scope of the project APOGEE (smArt adaPtive videO GamEs for Education). This prototype game demonstrates some of the didactic mini-games incorporated into educational mazes. Typically, they concern answering a question or solving a 2D puzzle to unlock the door to enter another room, rolling balls marked with text or image towards particular places or objects, detecting and collecting translucent artefacts, etc. Further, the paper outlines some results from a survey conducted with 206 Bulgarian teachers (58 of which at primary schools) about the potential use, requirements, and applicability of such mini-games embedded into the maze. Additionally, it provides a discussion of the various new types of didactic mini-games proposed by the teachers, together with their pedagogical value and possible implementation. In conclusion, the research summarizes the feedback collected from respondents during the case study and provides some recommendations concerning the emerging generation of smart adaptive maze video games for education.
Keywords: Educational video game, maze, game-based learning, primary school, APOGEE.