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Meaningful Play 2016 at Michigan State University

Poster Information

TitleMaking Learning Game Data Actionable for Teachers
Presenter(s)Anne-Marie Hoxie and Alison Lee
SessionConference Reception, Game Exhibition, and Poster Session
TimeThursday, October 20, 7:00p-10:00p
LocationMSU Union Ballroom
FormatPoster Presentation
DescriptionData dashboards are touted as one of the most beneficial features of using educational technology platforms, yet there are no clear guidelines for what information is most effective for informing instruction, or how that information should be presented. We investigate how teachers navigate and use various parts of the data dashboard for the learning game, After the Storm.
In After the Storm, students play the role of Editor-in-Chief of a magazine, where they must read closely, think critically, and solve real-world problems in the aftermath of a terrible hurricane. The game aims to improve struggling middle-school students’ reading comprehension, vocabulary, and 21st century skills as they complete game tasks related to journalism and leadership. Teachers have access to a game dashboard, which displays their students’ performance on reading assessments and in-game progress as well as providing views of students’ writing assignments. The dashboard is comprised of three significant parts: the class level progress (degree of game completion), class level performance (scores on assessments), and students’ actual written work completed in the game. Researchers investigated how teachers used the data presented in the dashboard to provide informed recommendations for how the dashboard could be improved. Results from Google Analytics suggested that teachers review data on their class’ progress in the game and individual students’ writing assignments most often but infrequently review their class-level performance data, or students’ scores on the reading standards. Corroboration between data on dashboard use and qualitative feedback from teacher focus groups and surveys are distilled into 4 suggestions for dashboard improvements: showing clear next steps to teachers for which students to target for intervention; linking performance data to concrete skills that educators can directly teach; including a benchmark for student performance to better explain how a score in the game compares with other students or an expected achievement level; and displaying data about students’ non-cognitive skill development such as how well students perform on decision making and problem solving tasks. Results will be discussed as they apply to best practices in data dashboard design.

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