About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4141-4149
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-612-7578-6
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain

LEARNING FROM EPISTEMIC GAMES: A PILOT STUDY ON COMPUTER GAMES AT SCHOOL

C. Tomte, HC. Arnseth, M. Hontvedt

University of Oslo (NORWAY)
In the Nordic countries collaborative project work has been an important part of children’s education for many decades. The national curriculum also encourages teachers to engage students in project work where students usually examine some loosely defined problem often from multiple disciplinary angles. For instance, students can do projects on immigration and integration through studying and creating fictional biographies of immigrants coming to Norway (see Rasmussen, 2005). In science education, we also encounter some examples of students learning the sciences for example through the construction of cardboard bridges.

We know from previous research that engaging in cross-disciplinary projects is motivating for students. We also know that students learn better when they are actively engaged in constructing things. However, a problem with much of the project work going on in Norwegian schools is a lack of development of students’ deeper understanding. Students usually focus too much on the products of their work, they do not engage critically with one another’s ideas and the teachers scaffolding and framing of events do not provide adequate direction for the development of their understanding of complex phenomena. The frequency and length of projects where students actively construct things is also limited. This might be due to the fact that is time consuming and practically difficult to manage and organise activities where students have to construct things using material objects.

Against this background epistemic games present themselves as an interesting way of creating learning environments where students working in groups are engaging in solving complex and ill defined problems through engaging in actual activities such as for instance building a house or designing a city. It might be a way of establishing learning environments that students find motivating, that develops students’ competence that more easily transfers to work place settings and that facilitates the development of students’ deeper understanding of important disciplinary domains. Epistemic games do not necessarily have to be computer games. However, in this case we want to give teachers and students access to such a game.

There is a need to research how games are introduced into institutional settings including how they can be integrated with or used to change schools assessment practices and teachers orchestration and scaffolding of students learning. This is the main aim of this project. Up until now epistemic games have mainly been implemented outside of formal schooling. Against this background this project is very important and interesting.

@InProceedings{TOMTE2009LEA,
author = {Tomte, C. and Arnseth, HC. and Hontvedt, M.},
title = {LEARNING FROM EPISTEMIC GAMES: A PILOT STUDY ON COMPUTER GAMES AT SCHOOL},
series = {3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-612-7578-6},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {9-11 March, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {4141-4149}}
TY - CONF
AU - C. Tomte AU - HC. Arnseth AU - M. Hontvedt
TI - LEARNING FROM EPISTEMIC GAMES: A PILOT STUDY ON COMPUTER GAMES AT SCHOOL
SN - 978-84-612-7578-6/2340-1079
PY - 2009
Y1 - 9-11 March, 2009
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2009 Proceedings
SP - 4141
EP - 4149
ER -
C. Tomte, HC. Arnseth, M. Hontvedt (2009) LEARNING FROM EPISTEMIC GAMES: A PILOT STUDY ON COMPUTER GAMES AT SCHOOL, INTED2009 Proceedings, pp. 4141-4149.
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