06 SES 06, Educational Games and Educational Media
In the past few decades, studies conducted in a wide spectrum of scientific fields of research (Underwood, 1982; Langdon, 2006; Berthoz, 2012; Yee, 2006) have focussed on a specific typology of cognitive skill: the visual/perceptual perspective taking skill (PT). The PT is the human capacity to elaborate and code space from different perspectives. More simply, it is the capacity to put oneself into somebody else’s shoes and perceive space from their point of view. Research results led to the hypothesis that this skill constitutes a fundamental milestone for the acquisition of transversal school-related competencies such as reading, writing and numeracy (Sibilio, 2014; Trisciuzzi, 2014; Flavell, 1988; Piaget, 1972, 1967). The national educational system seems to recognise the central role of the development of such skill in students’ learning. Proof of this are the various items included in the national evaluation tests designed by INVALSI (National Institute for the Evaluation of the Educational System - Italy) for primary, lower secondary and upper secondary schools which require students to undertake specific tasks that evaluate the students’ level of development with regards to PT. Notwithstanding the scientific acknowledgement of the role of PT in learning processes and the fact that such skill is tested in national examinations, to date, there is a lack of studies and teaching methods specifically designed to foster an adequate development of PT. The study presented in this paper forms part of a wider research project aimed at using a didactic approach to capitalise and systematically organise the results obtained in studies carried out in other fields of research in order to provide the evidence base for the development of methods and tools able to favour the acquisition of PT among primary school students. More particularly, the objective of this paper is to present the design, development and alpha testing of an edugame which is under development at the Department of Humanities, Philosophy and Education of the University of Salerno. This digital tool, named Schoolcam, is an edugame specifically designed to train the PT skill in primary school pupils.
The edugame created consists of three different tasks. The first two tasks measure the PT ability at two different difficulty levels. The third task measures Mental Rotation ability (understood as an ability which is partially independent from PT). The three tasks are described in further detail below:
- Task 1: In this activity the user is presented with a 3D classroom. The screen is divided into two frames. The frame above shows the 3D classroom through a semi-allocentric perspective (bird’s eye view at an angle of 45°). The frame below shows the perspective of one of the students present in the frame above. The user is asked to identify to which student the view shown in the frame below belongs. Every time the user gives the correct answer, one point is awarded. No points are scored if the answer is wrong or no answer is submitted within 15 seconds.
- Task 2: In this activity the 3D classroom is presented through an allocentric perspective (bird’s eye view at a 90° angle).
- Task 3: In this activity a compex 3D object is shown. The screen is then divided into two frames. The frame above shows the 3D object from a specific perspective. Instead, in the frame below 4 objects are shown from different angles. Out of these 4, two show the same object presented in the frame above from a different perspective. The user must identify the two corresponding objects.
A video of the gameplay of Schoolcam is available at the following link: https://youtu.be/nkzjrVZKuek
• Sample selection • administration of the PTSOT ( Hegarty, 2004 ) and MRT-A tests (Peters, 1995) (pre-test); • administration of the edugame (the edugame will be administred to each single student of the sample 12 times for 1 hour) (Franceschini, 2014); • administration of the PTSOT and MRT-A tests (post-test); • data analysis.
The research phase described is mainly aimed at establishing if and to what extent this tool is effectively able to promote the development of PT skills. If the results obtained are promising, the next phase of the study will be dedicated to exploring the relationship between the development of PT skills and transversal competencies among primary school students.
•Underwood, B., & Moore, B. (1982). Perspective-taking and altruism. Psychological bulletin, 91(1), 143. •Langdon, R., Coltheart, M., & Ward, P. (2006). Empathetic perspective-taking is impaired in schizophrenia: evidence from a study of emotion attribution and theory of mind. Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, 11(2), 133-155. •Berthoz, A. (2011). La semplessità. Torino: Codice. •Yee, N., & Bailenson, J. N. (2006). Walk a mile in digital shoes: The impact of embodied perspective-taking on the reduction of negative stereotyping in immersive virtual environments. Proceedings of PRESENCE, 24, 26. •Sibilio, M. (2014). La didattica semplessa. Napoli: Liguori. •Trisciuzzi, L., & Zappaterra, T. (2014). La dislessia. Una didattica speciale per le difficoltà di lettura e scrittura. Firenze: Guerini scientifica. •Piaget, J. (1972). La formazione del simbolo nel bambino. La Nuova Italia, Firenze. •Flavell, J. (1988). The development of children's knowledge about the mind: from cognitive connexions to mental representations. In (Olson & Astington, Eds.) Developing theories of mind pp. 244-271. Cambridge University Press. •Piaget, J. & Inhelder, B. (1967) In The child's conception of space. The coordination of perspectives, Cahp. 8. pp.209-246. New York: Norton & Co •Hegarty, M., & Waller, D. (2004). A dissociation between mental rotation and perspective-taking spatial abilities. Intelligence, 32(2), 175-191. •Peters, M., Laeng, B., Latham, K., Jackson, M., Zaiyouna, R., & Richardson, C. (1995). A redrawn Vandenberg and Kuse mental rotations test-different versions and factors that affect performance. Brain and cognition, 28(1), 39-58. •Franceschini, S., Gori, S., Ruffino, M., Viola, S., Molteni, M., & Facoetti, A. (2013). Action video games make dyslexic children read better. Current Biology, 23(6), 462-466.
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