Wednesday, June 02, 2010

#IEL2010 Level Up

This presentation is a case study of a prototype for a potential eLearning supplement to a course.
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Presenters: Donald House, Brian Malloy, Corey Buckley, Clemson University

The Problem
- Learning is fun
- James Paul Gee - Learning is biologically motivating
- People want to ask questions, but student don't want to come to class.
- Why?

Video Games
- Gamers will wait in line to purchase the latest game
- Spend $50-$100
- Games are HARD to play.

Why are games popular?
- Gamers learn new things
+ New techniques
-- The techniques can build on each other
-- Each level / experience
+ New worlds
- They learn at their own rate
- They do the learning
- They start at ground zero
- Actions have immediate consequence
- Immediate feedback / immediate rewards
- Can be played in groups

Players can
- Pick identity
- Go own way
- Be and do what want

How do I leverage video games to get people to learn?

Most approaches
- Use abstraction (example, Scratch)
- Icons, drag and drop
- Advantage - makes programming accessible
- Disadvantage - hide underlying model.
+ Can't see why things work / don't work
+ Hides details
+ Doesn't teach the "bag of tricks" a programmer needs.

Clemson approach - the details
- Young people want to know the details / behind the scenes.
- It scares us when they ask - we may not know

Lift the veil - combine a video game and an architecture simulator
- The simulator seems to be behind it. The game will be the interface
- Want to expose what happens under the hood when you hit run.

2 modes - classroom setting and independent study setting

The architecture simulator
- Safe sandbox
- Illustrated execution
- expose computational model

Simulator - 8 levels
Level 1
- 5 instructions: input, output, assignment, if, while
- 4 registers

Level 2 - add array
- Puzzles
(etc)

Here is the paper this talk is based on....

Want to see if the game adds anything to the simulator
- 1st course - architecture simulator
- 2nd course - using the video game interface.
- Want to make sure the game and simulator work together. So its not a punishment to use the game version vs. the simulator.

(giving up on this one....)

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