16 SES 03 A, Games in Education
Parallel Paper Session
This study is about Mecagenius*: a serious game for teaching mechanical engineering at university; its objective is to present how students play the game and what they learn. The computer traces collected allow the identification of different indices on the students path in the game against the background of the expected knowledge. Through a qualitative analysis of twelve students’ game reports we show the different strategies used in this educational environment.
The aim of Serious Games is to teach and learn while having fun through computer applications (Zyda, 2005). Within a didactical theoretical framework, we consider the serious games as an educational medium (Brousseau, 1997). We agree with Sanchez (2011), that Serious Games can be modeled as an “adidactical situation”. According to Brousseau an adidactical situation is « a situation which provide her [the student] with the most independent and the most fruitful interaction possible » to the knowledge at stake (Brousseau 1997, page 30). It is a theoretical construct that « tells under which constraints a situation is likely to allow the intended learning, if the learning is guaranteed if the learner plays the proposed game » (Balacheff, 2012).
When using a serious game in class, the student is placed in an environment for knowledge acquisition in tacit agreement with the teacher. In this research, we study reports between students and knowledge crystallized in the Mecagenius Serious Game which is dedicated to mechanical engineering learning. The objective of the study is to model "what happens" when a teacher used this serious game as a instructional tool in higher education. The research questions are: (i) what is the impact of this learning environment on learners? (ii) What learning strategies they used? (iii) What is the learners’ knowledge in terms of the intended knowledge?
For the purpose of this presentation, we describe what players did in one of the twelve learning games of Mecagenius. This learning game, named "The King of the Pref", targets the knowledge and the skills related to the use of a numerical command machine tool. The intended knowledge and know how in this specific game concern: display the tool using the manual input of the human man interface, feel the datum with a gauge to set up the numerical command machine tool; settle down a numerical command machine tool; calculate the vector between the measurement reference and the datum.
*Web site: http://mecagenius.univ-jfc.fr/ Balacheff, N. http://www-didactique.imag.fr/Brousseau/BrousseauFAQUK.html accessed le 30 janvier 2012. Brousseau, G. (1990). Le contrat didactique : le milieu. Recherches en Didactique des Mathématiques, 9(3), 309-336. Brousseau, G. (1997). Theory of didactical situations in mathematics. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Leutenegger, F. (2003). Etude des interactions didactiques en classe de mathématiques : un prototype méthodologique. Numéro spécial Bulletin de psychologie, tome 56 (4), 466, 559 -571. Sanchez, E. (2011). Usage d’un jeu sérieux dans l’enseignement secondaire. Modélisation comportementale et épistémique de l’apprenant. RSTI – RIA – 25/2011. Zyda, M. (2005). "From Visual Simulation to Virtual Reality to Games", IEEE Computer Society.
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