Archive for November, 2008
Abstract This paper argues that developments in collaborative e-learning dialogue should be based on pedagogically sound principles of discourse, and therefore, by implication, there is a need to develop methodologies which transpose — typically informal — models of educational dialogue into cognitive tools that are suitable for students. A methodology of ‘investigation by design’ is described which has been used to design computer-based dialogue games supporting conceptual change and development in science — based on the findings of empirical studies. An evaluation of two dialogue games for collaborative interaction, a facilitating game and an elicit-inform game, has shown that they produce significant improvements in students conceptual understanding, and they are differentially successful — depending on the nature of the conceptual difficulties experienced by the learners. The implications this study has for the role of collaborative dialogue in learning and designing computer-based and computer–mediated collaborative interaction are discussed.
There is a growing interest among teachers in using games as a part of their lesson plans. A standardised, interoperable approach to the sharing of such game-based lesson plans would allow teachers and educational technologists to compare and contrast Digital Game Based Learning scenarios, allowing best practices and lessons learned to emerge. Although games can be used as ‘add-ons’ in educational contexts, greater benefits can be attained by integrating games more fully into the educational process, i.e. by repurposing existing games to target the specific learning objectives. In this article we analyse this problem. We developed two possible solutions based on the integration and the interaction of games and learning scenarios. The first solution is based on ‘pedagogical wrappers’, where games are linked to e-learning flows but without interaction and communication. The second solution sees a tighter integration which supports ongoing interaction and communication between game and e-learning flow. We applied both solutions to a generic game. This game was firstly programmed in Action Script and later re-used for learning purposes and represented in IMS Learning Design. We analysed the pros and cons of each solution and identify research topics for further research.