Meaningful Play 2016 at Michigan State University

Session Information

TitleKeeping the Game a Game: Merging Evaluative Measures with Pedagogical Aims in a Foreign Language Video Game
Presenter(s)Mary Rodenakrasan and Phill Cameron
TimeSaturday, October 22, 10:15a-11:15a
LocationLake Michigan
DescriptionIn this panel we will discuss the methodological approach implemented to overcome one of the greatest hurdles in creating a 3D video game for foreign language acquisition; successfully marrying the potential instructional use of a 3D digital game-based learning tool with mechanisms that can be of evaluative use to the instructor. In addition, the amalgam must occur without depriving the game of all the features that make videogame play such an immersive and enjoyable experience. Panelists will explore the question of integrating foreign language acquisition into a video game. One answer to this question consists of the creation of a 3D role playing game from the ground up. This blank slate allows instructors and developers to tackle many design questions based around language acquisition video games. For instance, how does one translate immersive game characteristics such as interaction, low stakes risk-taking, rewards for failure, well ordered problems, and situated meanings into qualitative, measurable outcomes that instructors can then use to map areas of student strength as well as weakness? Another question a blank slate allows us to explore is, what statistical tools are needed to measure the success of the game’s learning goals? Finally, panelists will look at the challenges inherent in implementing pedagogical methods such as backward modeling and situated cognitive learning theory into game play; both of which demand the formation of a compelling narrative that is consistent throughout the student-player experience to create a teaching tool that merges pedagogical and evaluative content with extramural gameplay for foreign language instruction on the post-secondary level.

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