06 SES 09 JS, Video Games and Mobile Games
Joint Paper Session NW 06 and NW 16
First year undergraduate students arrive to the universities depending on their mobile devices. These students belong to a generation called the "thumb generation" (Rheingold, 2002), digital natives (Prensky, 2001, 2009), homo zappiens (Veen & Vrakking, 2006), amongst others. They like to play games, to be online, to participate actively in social networks, to do multitasking, to send SMS and MMS, to be connected all the time, and so on. They need challenging digital interactive activities to learn through their mobile devices, as they used to, particularly with online games (Douch et al., 2010; Gee, 2003; Hamari et al., 2016; Orr & McGuinness, 2014; Laurillard, 2009; Squire, 2011).
Different skills can be learned with video games based on the type of game and gameplay characteristics (Connolly et al., 2012; Gee, 2003; Hamari et al., 2016; Orr & McGuinness, 2014; Squire, 2011; Zimmerman, 2008).
Most lecturers realized that students are changing. Each time is more difficult to get them engaged in learning. Due to the increased popularity of games among students and the use of mobile devices, we developed a research project called "From games to mobile-learning interactive activities" (PTDC/CPE-CED/118337/2010). This project intends to characterize students’ game preferences and habits, to identify the learning principles, proposed by Gee (2003), in the most played games by students, to identify game mechanics, to create a mobile game and to evaluate its effect on learning as well as on students’ engagement.
In this paper, we will focus on the reactions to learning of undergraduate students through a mobile game. This game was used on a first year Higher Education course as an introduction to a module. For a better understanding of this research, we will describe data collected in 2013 about students’ game preferences and game habits, the game mechanics and game components identified in the most played games, and the game developed - "Konnecting. The evolution of communication". Finally, the introduction of the mobile game as course content material will be described, and the learning results obtained will be presented as well as students’ opinion about the game.
The research questions are:
a) Which are higher education students' mobile game preferences and habits?;
b) Would undergraduate students be engaged in learning an introductory module course through a mobile game?;
c) Did they learn through the mobile game "Konnecting"?
The main objectives are:
a) To identify higher education students' mobile game preferences and habits;
b) To create a mobile game to learn an introductory learning content;
c) To collect data about the effect of the game in undergraduate students' learning;
d) To analyse students learning engagement.
A survey (Babbie, 1997) was conducted in Portugal. An online questionnaire was developed and 1101 answers were collected, 626 (56.9%) were mobile game players, 263 male and 363 female. The results indicate that the games most played by Higher Education students are essentially casual and puzzle games, with existing differences between female and male students' preferences (Carvalho, Araújo & Zagalo, 2014). The top five played games are Candy Crush, Angry Birds, The Sims, Bubbles, and ranking in 5th place are Flow, Fruit Ninja and Solitaire. Most respondents prefer to play alone (71.6%).
Students were asked if they would like to use games to learn course contents and most of them answered positively (78.12%).
After the analysis of the favourite games and the identification of the learning principles and the game mechanics, the research team began the design of a game for mobile devices aimed at undergraduate students.
The game developed is called "Konnecting" and it focuses on the evolution of human communication since prehistoric times to the selfie stick.
Babbie, E. (1997). Survey Research Methods. Belmont, California: Wadsworth. Carvalho, A. A., Araujo, I. C., & Zagalo, N. (2014). A Framework for Gamified Activities Based on Mobile Games Played by Portuguese University Students. In P. Kommers, T. Issa, D.-F. Chang, & P. Isaías (Eds.), Proceedings Of The International Conferences On Educational Technologies (ICEduTech 2014) (pp. 89–96). New Taipei City: IADIS. Connolly, T.M., Boyle, E., MacArthur, E., Hainey, T., & Boyle, J. (2012). A systematic literature review of empirical evidence on computer games and serious games. Computers & Education, 59(2), pp.661–686. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2012.03.004 Douch, R., Attewell, J., & Dawson, D. (2010). Games Technologies for Learning. London: LNS. Gee, J. P. (2003). What Video Games have to teach us about learning and literacy. EUA: Palgrave Macmillan. Hamari, J., Shernoff, D. J., Rowe, E., Coller, B., Asbell-Clarke, J., & Edwards, T. (2016). Challenging games help students learn: An empirical study on engagement, flow and immersion in game-based learning. Computers in Human Behavior, 54, 170–179. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2015.07.045. Laurillard, D. (2009). Rethinking University Teaching. London: RoutledgeFalmer. MacMillan, J., & Schumaker, S. (1997). Research in Education: a conceptual introduction. New York: Longman. Orr, K., & McGuinness, C. (2014). What is the “Learning” in Games-Based Learning? In T. M. Connolly, T. Hainey, E. Boyle, G. Baxter, & P. Moreno-Ger (Eds.), Psychology, Pedagogy, and Assessment in Serious Games (pp. 221–242). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. doi:10.4018/978-1-4666-4773-2.ch011. Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. On the Horizon, v. 9, n. 5. Prensky, M. H. (2009). Sapiens Digital: From Digital Immigrants and Digital Natives to Digital Wisdom. Innovative, v. 5, n. 3, 2009. Rheingold, H. (2002). Smart Mobs: The next social revolution. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Publishing. Squire, K. D. (2011). Video Games and Learning - Teaching and Participatory Culture in the digital age. New York: Teachers College, Columbia University. Veen, W., & Vrakking, B. (2006). Homo Zapiens: growing up in a digital age. London: Network Continuum Education, 2006. Zimmerman, E. (2008). Gaming literacy: Game Design as a Model for Literacy in the Twenty-First Century. In B. Perron, & M. J. Wolf (eds), The Video Game Theory Reader 2 (pp. 23-31). New York: Routledge.
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