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Über dieses Buch

This book constitutes the refereed proceedings of the Third International Conference on Games and Learning Alliance, GALA 2014, held in Bucharest, Romania, in July 2014. The 15 revised papers presented were carefully reviewed and selected from 26 submissions. The papers presented cover a variety of aspects and knowledge fields. They are grouped into four sessions: pedagogy, technology, design, and applications.



Beyond Serious Games: The Next Generation of Cultural Artifacts

Beyond quizzes, cold simulations, and educational content placed inside non-meaningful games, serious games are evolving and becoming a more mature class of artefacts.
Federico Fasce

Investigating the Deployment of Serious Games in Secondary Education: A Pilot Study Inspired by Design-Based Research

This paper describes a pilot deployment in lower secondary school of a serious game dedicated to the learning of history. The primary aim of the initiative was to investigate the integration of Serious Games-based learning environments in the school study of humanities subjects. The pilot was carried out as part of investigations that researchers in the Games and Learning Alliance (GALA) Network of Excellence are conducting into the adoption and deployment of Serious Games (SG) in formal learning contexts. In this regard, the paper outlines the sequence of deployed pilot activities, which was shaped with the intention of responding to the needs of all the participants involved – researchers, educators and learners. This approach is inspired by the principles of design-based research, as illustrated in the strategies adopted both for piloting activities and data gathering. The paper reports the outcome of these and considers some implications of the adopted approach both for SG deployment in formal education and for implementation of experimental SG pilots of this kind.
Jeffrey Earp, Chiara Eva Catalano, Michela Mortara

To Facilitate or Not? Understanding the Role of the Teacher in Using a Serious Game

The challenge of delivering personalized learning experiences in a large class, and through groups or teams, is an undertaking fraught with difficulties. Yet it is a necessary experience for engineering education since engineering in the real world are team-based events that build from individual knowledge. This paper reports on the learning of supply chain management (SCM), a fundamental component in engineering manufacturing operations and logistics planning. The study investigates the use of SHORTFALL a team-based game in conjunction with various degrees of facilitation, supported with taught material. Early results from two separate and independent studies indicate that the usefulness of using SHORTFALL in classes regarding the students’ experience and learning outcomes depends on the prior knowledge of the students as well as on the use of an expert facilitator.
Jannicke Baalsrud Hauge, Theodore Lim, James Ritchie, Matthias Kalverkamp, Francesco Bellotti, Claudia Ribeiro

Identifying Pedagogical Uses of Serious Games for Learning English as a Second Language

Nowadays, English is a global language taught as a second language in most of non-English speaking countries. Over recent decades, Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) has evolved into solutions that allow a higher learner engagement in authentic active-based learning activities. In this context, the educational digital games, also known as Serious Games (SG), allow learning English as a Second Language (ESL) in a playful and engaging environment. In this study, we develop a literature review on the current uses of SG in the context of CALL, in general, and ESL, specifically, in order to create a taxonomy of pedagogical uses of SG for ESL. The taxonomy could be of utility for teachers aiming to integrate SG in their ESL courses.
Azeneth Patiño, Margarida Romero

Intouch: Mobile Game-Based Learning for Non Routine Skills

The paper presents the InTouch project and discusses design principles and implementation of serious mobile games for the development of soft skills for SME professionals. 30 serious games for mobile devices were developed to be tested and evaluated during Learning labs participated by SMEs professionals operating in different business sectors from seven European countries. The games describe situational learning cases related to 10 non-routine skills, and use different types of interactions. Usability study findings together with qualitative results emerging from Learning labs are described, showing an overall positive evaluation deriving for the choice of the serious game approach and the use of mobile devices.
Alfredo Imbellone, Brunella Botte, Carlo Maria Medaglia

Multiplayer Serious Games and User Experience: A Comparison Between Paper-Based and Digital Gaming Experience

Networking and team working are becoming the foundations of human performance in educational, organizational and recreational settings. Here, new communities of practice are being established to promote an engagement economy that will be able to foster innovation and success by sustaining collective well-being and group flourishing. Considered as “positive technologies”, Serious Games (SGs) can support these processes. By fostering continuous learning experiences blended with entertaining affordances, SGs have in fact been able to shape new opportunities for human psychological training and assessment. However, despite the impressive growth of SGs applications, only a few of them have been tested and scientifically considered from an empirical point of view. Our study tries to address this gap, evaluating the potential of digital game technology compared to paper-based applications not only among individuals, but also among groups. The study, conducted with Mind the Game, a multiplayer SG, involved 75 students. Preliminary results showed only minor but fundamental differences between the two experimental conditions. On the one hand, groups who experienced the paper-based condition felt more competent than groups exposed to the digital experience, reporting higher levels of negative feelings too. On the other hand, groups exposed to the digital condition described themselves as more challenged and efficient in a collective way.
Luca Argenton, Marisa Muzio, Esther J. Shek, Fabrizia Mantovani

Designing a Serious Game as a Diagnostic Tool

Serious games offer the potential to not only entertain and educate, but can also operate as a diagnostic tool. While designing a game with the goal of a diagnostic tool, we faced many challenges. In this paper, we share our experiences in dealing with these challenges in the iterations of designing, implementing, and evaluating such a tool.
Pongpanote Gongsook, Janneke Peijnenborgh, Erik van der Spek, Jun Hu, Francesco Bellotti, Riccardo Berta, Alessandro de Gloria, Francesco Curatelli, Chiara Martinengo, Matthias Rauterberg, Jos Hendriksen

Gamification in a Smart City Context. An Analysis and a Proposal for Its Application in Co-design Processes

In the academic debate on smart city definition, the “human” part of the city is gaining a prominent position as a decisive factor in good city policies. So, Public Administrations (PAs) are looking for the citizen involvement in the decision-making processes, in order to create products and services really meeting the city needs. In this context, gamification principles are more and more employed as facilitator of the citizen engagement process. In this paper, we intend to show the main findings of our analysis on the literary review about application of gamification principles in the smart city context, providing some considerations about their possible application in public policies co-design.
Antonio Opromolla, Andrea Ingrosso, Valentina Volpi, Carlo Maria Medaglia, Mauro Palatucci, Mariarosaria Pazzola

A Conceptual Model Towards the Scaffolding of Learning Experience

The challenge of delivering personalized learning experiences is amplified by the size of classrooms and of online learning communities. In turn, serious games are increasingly recognized for their potential to improve education, but a typical requirement from instructors is to gain insight into how the students are playing. When we bring games into the rapidly growing online learning communities, the challenges multiply and hinder the potential effectiveness of serious games. There is a need to deliver a comprehensive, flexible and intelligent learning framework that facilitates better understanding of learners’ knowledge, effective assessment of their progress and continuous evaluation and optimization of the environments in which they learn. This paper aims to explore the potential in the use of games and learning analytics towards scaffolding and supporting teaching and learning experience. The conceptual model discussed aims to highlight key considerations that may advance the current state of learning analytics, adaptive learning and serious games, by leveraging serious games as an ideal medium for gathering data and performing adaptations. This opportunity has the potential to affect the design and deployment of education and training in the future.
Sylvester Arnab, Pablo Moreno Ger, Theodore Lim, Petros Lameras, Maurice Hendrix, Kristian Kiili, Jannicke Baalsrud Hauge, Manuel Ninaus, Sara de Freitas, Alessandro Mazzetti, Anders Dahlbom, Cristiana Degano, Ioana Stanescu, Maria Riveiro

The Journey: A Service-Based Adaptive Serious Game on Probability

Serious Games (SGs) have a lot of potential in education, possibly making learning more engaging and satisfying. Adaptive Games strive to keep the challenges presented by the game balanced with the player’s abilities, as to keep the player in the “flow” state. We have used a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) approach to develop a simple adaptive SG for teaching basic elements of probability to high school and entry-level university students, called The Journey. The game performs continuously the updating of a user model with the competences of the student and presents the new challenges according to the student’s current level. This paper presents details of the educational aspects of the game, as well as of its implementation. It also presents a preliminary validation study and discusses future work.
Maira B. Carvalho, Francesco Bellotti, Riccardo Berta, Francesco Curatelli, Alessandro De Gloria, Giorgia Gazzarata, Jun Hu, Michael Kickmeier-Rust, Chiara Martinengo

Improved Multimodal Emotion Recognition for Better Game-Based Learning

This paper introduces the integration of the face emotion recognition part and the voice emotion recognition part of our FILTWAM framework that uses webcams and microphones. This framework enables real-time multimodal emotion recognition of learners during game-based learning for triggering feedback towards improved learning. The main goal of this study is to validate the integration of webcam and microphone data for a real-time and adequate interpretation of facial and vocal expressions into emotional states where the software modules are calibrated with end users. This integration aims to improve timely and relevant feedback, which is expected to increase learners’ awareness of their own behavior. Twelve test persons received the same computer-based tasks in which they were requested to mimic specific facial and vocal expressions. Each test person mimicked 80 emotions, which led to a dataset of 960 emotions. All sessions were recorded on video. An overall accuracy of Kappa value based on the requested emotions, expert opinions, and the recognized emotions is 0.61, of the face emotion recognition software is 0.76, and of the voice emotion recognition software is 0.58. A multimodal fusion between the software modules can increase the accuracy to 78 %. In contrast with existing software our software modules allow real-time, continuously and unobtrusively monitoring of learners’ face expressions and voice intonations and convert these into emotional states. This inclusion of learner’s emotional states paves the way for more effective, efficient and enjoyable game-based learning.
Kiavash Bahreini, Rob Nadolski, Wim Westera

Serious Games Opportunities for the Primary Education Curriculum in Quebec

Curriculum integration is one of the main factors in the teachers’ decision-making process when deciding to use games in formal educational contexts. Based on this observation, we aim to provide primary education teachers with a selection of (serious) games in each of the main areas of the primary education curriculum in Quebec. The taxonomy of the games selected includes Serious Games (SG), designed for educational purposes from the start, but also repurposed games, which, despite not having being intentionally designed for educational purposes, could be diverted for meeting the curriculum objectives of primary education.
Margarida Romero, Sylvie Barma

Free Your Brain a Working Memory Training Game

Working memory training systems are designed to improve the user’s working memory. However, current systems are frequently considered tedious deeply affecting the user’s motivation and consequently the potential for training derived improvements. “Free Your Brain” is a brain training game combining insights from cognitive neuropsychological theories and flow theories. In this work we describe the game and its design process specifically establishing the link between the supporting theoretical background research and the developed solution.
Gonçalo Pereira, Manuel Ninaus, Rui Prada, Guilherme Wood, Christa Neuper, Ana Paiva

Game Design and Development for Learning Physics Using the Flow Framework

Instruction, in several knowledge domains, aims at achieving two goals: acquisition of a body of knowledge and of problem solving skills in the field. In physics, this requires students to connect physical phenomena, physics principles, and physics symbols. This can be learned on paper, but interactive tools may increase the learner’s ability to contextualize the problem. Computer simulations provide students with graphical models that join phenomena and principles in physics. However, a minimally guided approach may make learning difficult, since it overburdens the working memory. In particular, for developing problem solving skills, students need to be guided and exercise with a variety of physics problems. Intelligent tutoring systems (ITS) can be a useful tool to fill this gap. Thus, we have developed a physics game to support inquiry learning and retrieval practicing using simulation and knowledge based tutorship (QTut), and implemented as a puzzle game that uses driving questions to encourage students to explore the simulation. To address scalability and reusability, the game features different difficulty levels atop of a customizable format. This allows us to explore in-game adaptivity, exploiting task and user models that rely on the flow framework. User tests are being executed to evaluate the usefulness of the game.
Danu Pranantha, Erik van der Spek, Francesco Bellotti, Riccardo Berta, Alessandro DeGloria, Matthias Rauterberg

Mind Book – A Social Network Trainer for Children with Depression

In this paper we present the therapeutical social network MindBook. MindBook is a web page designed to strengthen the self-esteem of children with depression, and show them that a positive self-expression causes positive feedback from friends in the social network. Depression therapy follows the Modular Approach to Therapy for Children with Anxiety, Depression, Trauma or Conduct Problems (MATCH-ADTC), including videos, audio and images to be consumed by the children. MindBook also includes additional features like games and a week planner to help the children to include real life activities into their daily lives. We present the results of two studies including children from different age groups, for evaluating the effect of MindBook on children and the system usability.
Andreas Schrammel, Helmut Hlavacs, Manuel Sprung, Isabelle Müller, M. Mersits, C. Eicher, N. Schmitz

Using Avatars for Course Management and Immersion

Gamification is the use of game elements in non-game environment. One element among others is avatar. The use of avatar in the context of learning can make students to feel themselves more safe and relaxed. It can lead to the more active participation and to immersion. To find out what is the effect of using avatars in education, several courses were designed like games, and feedback information was collected It was found that implementation of avatars was useful for creating anonymous scoreboards, however it did not had any strong effect on immersion. For better results avatar should be combined with other game elements e.g. story.
Martin Sillaots

Serious Game Mechanics, Workshop on the Ludo-Pedagogical Mechanism

Research in Serious Games (SG), as a whole, faces two main challenges in understanding the transition between the instructional design and actual game design implementation and documenting an evidence-based mapping of game design patterns onto relevant pedagogical patterns. From a practical perspective, this transition lacks methodology and requires a leap of faith from a prospective customer in the ability of a SG developer to deliver a game that will achieve the desired learning outcomes. A series of workshops were thus conducted to present and apply a preliminary exposition though a purpose-processing methodology to probe various SG design aspects, in particular how serious game design patterns map with pedagogical practices. The objective was to encourage dialogue and debate on core assumptions and emerging challenges to help develop robust methods and strategies to better SG design and its interconnectedness with pedagogy.
T. Lim, S. Louchart, N. Suttie, J. Baalsrud Hauge, J. Earp, M. Ott, S. Arnab, D. Brown, I. A. Stanescu, F. Bellotti, M. Carvalho


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