LEARNING AND KNOWLEDGE ANALYTICS IN OPEN EDUCATION – TRACKING STUDENT ACTIVITIES IN SERIOUS GAMES

This chapter/article from Learning and Knowledge Analytics in Open Education tallks about efforts of researchers to apply methods of learning analytics to the concept of serious games. Serious games are an educational strategy in which teachers use gamyfying methods to train students in real world problem solving. Serious games are used to train, educate and change views. Learning analytics is a mix of statistical analytics and business inteligence strategies applyed to specific facets of students interaction with the game. Trough these tools researchers try to map students learning paths and figure out which learning strategies are most effective.

In this particular study there was 61 students who were playing an augmented reality serious game. The game was called Alien rescue. It concerned itself with finding appropriate homes for several alien species and gave students different tools to achieve this objective. Researchers were tracking factors such as use of tools, time spend with a tool and number of words in a final solution. Data aquired from these measurments were used for statistic assessment and to visualize learning paths.
Overall, the best results were achieved by students who used more tools for cognitive support in earlyer stages of the game. The worst results were to be found in a group of students who rather used more „fun“ tools before they had a chance to create ppropper information background.

In my opinion there could be great potential in using this technique more frequently. It can also help assess students strenghts and weaknessess and adjust teaching strategies accordingly. It can be used when trying to evaluate large-scale effectivity of different models for problem solving.

For me there was one problem with this article. I could have used more precise description of the game students were playing somewhere at the beginning of this chapter. Lack of this led to the issue of not beying able to propperly imagine what defines the „artificial reality“ factor of the game, what level of technology was involved, how the tools students used worked ect.

I can very well imagine that this process of analyzing player behaviour could be taken even further. For example VR headsets could be used combined with technology that track users eyes. This could give us some feedback on what elements player focuses on, how fast he absorbs written text, that portions of the screen he tends to skip and so on. Also emotional tracking could be in order to try to isolate elements of game that have some sort of unusuall effect on user.

All in all, I think it could be beneficial to use this method in larger scale studies and then try to implement study findings to educational technology design, learning and teaching strategies and student assessment programs.

Study mind map (https://coggle.it/diagram/W7nhljGeJzAGAmRt/t/tracking-students-activities-in-serious-games/4db5c30b9ae24c2bfa1bb5f4b6800af37bf6ba043468ebb4d13d77d561ecc9bf) :

 

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