Beyond Educational Videogames to Educational Systems-That-Incorporate Videogames: A Case Study of a System for Learning about Energy

Flor, Nick
Arias, Rodrigo
Dasigi, Meghana
Hayden, Megan
Mesibov, Melinda
Sweeney, Keara
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A common goal for designers of educational videogames is to make learning fun. Unfortunately, the result is often a game that tries to combine the fun aspects of videogames with learning elements, but that is neither fun nor effective for learning. In this paper we present our discovery of an alternative approach—a system that combines both education and entertainment, but that separates them into different modules that are loosely-coupled. Entertainment motivates education through a reward mechanism, where performance in the education module yields tokens that can be redeemed for in-game assets in the entertainment module. We present a case study of our specific implementation of this system, and we discuss how it can be generalized to motivate the learning of any topic where performance can be measured. This research contributes to our understanding of designing cognitive artifacts, and to our understanding of designing educational systems as distributed services.
Distributed Cognition, Educational Videogames, Gamification, Service Science, Virtual Worlds
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