16 SES 03 A, Games in Education
Parallel Paper Session
The changing needs of working life create new challenges for both learning and teaching in vocational education settings. Work tasks have become increasingly complicated and work is typically based on inter-professional expertise and the shared knowledge construction (Billett 2008). Typically in vocational school settings, however, students of different fields do not work together to solve problems. As vocational jobs are likely to call for collaboration in the future, it is necessary to find new ways of supporting collaboration in vocational learning. One way to respond to these needs is to create new technology-enhanced learning (TEL) spaces (e.g. 3D games) that offer an added incentive to practice inter-professional collaboration. In this study, a 3D online learning game for groups of five participants at a time with scripted tasks (see Kobbe et al. 2007) was developed. The game is based on the notion that future work-life is based on inter-professional expertise and the shared construction of knowledge, and there is a need to improve communication to reach a shared understanding, processes, and work principles in interagency-work. Thus, the aim of the game is to enhance the inter-professional knowledge construction in the area of human sustainability. Specifically, participants work as volunteer staff at a charity concert; they must prepare for the event and ensure that customers are satisfied.
When aiming at high-level learning, it is essential to pay attention to how the game environments are designed and what the teacher’s role is in virtual game spaces. Recent results on collaborative learning have shown that shared high-level knowledge construction is a challenging and multi-faceted process influenced by several contextual factors (Arvaja, 2012). Moreover, it has been observed that reaching high levels in collaborative activity is less frequent than is presumed (Baker, 2010). Many have also asked whether it is even realistic to expect students to arrive at high-level problem solving without the teacher’s support. In order to establish the development and application of high-level transferable skills, it is essential to see the whole gaming experience as a mixture of in-game and out-of-game activities (Whitton, 2010), including briefing, real-time orchestration and debriefing. Related to these notions, our assumption is that the teacher has a special role in empowering this integration in 3D game contexts. However, currently, there is little knowledge about the teacher’s role in game environments.
In this study, the main aim is to investigate teachers’ real-time orchestration activities in a scripted 3D game setting in vocational education. The aim is to illustrate teachers’ instructional practices in empowering students to elaborate on their situated explanations. Firstly, based on our previous empirical evidence (see, Hämäläinen & Oksanen, 2012) our hypothesis is that groups with real-time teacher orchestration (Condition 1) will come up with more productive knowledge construction than groups studying without real-time teacher orchestration (Condition 2) in the scripted 3D-game setting. The assumption is that real-time teacher instructional activities are favourable to collaborative learning. Secondly, in case the hypothesis is true, our aim is to seek further understanding of teachers’ instructional activities in empowering collaboration.
Arvaja, M. (2012, In Press). Personal and shared experiences as resources for meaning making in a philosophy of science course. International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning. DOI: 10.1007/s11412-011-9137-5 Baker, M. (2010, September). Approaches to understanding students´ dialogues: articulating multiple modes of interaction. Keynote speaker lecture presented to an EARLI SIG 17 Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches to Learning and Instruction. Jena, Germany. Billett, S. (2008). The workplace as learning environment: Introduction. International Journal of Educational Research, 47 (4), 209-212. Hämäläinen, R. & Oksanen, K. (2012, In Press). Challenge Of Supporting Vocational Learning: Empowering Collaboration In A Scripted 3D Game – How Does Teachers’ Real-Time Orchestration Make A Difference? Computers & Education. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2012.01.002 Kobbe L., Weinberger A., Dillenbourg P., Harrer A., Hämäläinen R., Häkkinen P., et al. (2007). Specifying computer-supported collaboration scripts. International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning 2(2/3), 211-224. Whitton, N. (2010). Learning with digital games. A practical guide to engaging students in higher education. Routledge: New York.
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