Thursday, September 11, 2008

ECER 2008 - Studybuddy: a new approach to cooperative and competitive online learning

Live blog from a session at ECER 2008.

Presented by Kristian Klett, Lisa Schulz and Daniel Weingarten from University of Cologne, Germany.

Background: Average age range of gamers is growing, both genders are playing games and the gaming market is growing. Age range means increased interaction between different ages. Although both genders are playing, they tend to chose different types of games.

The study is based on the idea that motivation is important. They asked what motivates students they found that social interaction and fun were key. Students online actvities centres around communication and interaction Few (none?) VLE platforms provide this type of motivation. Parallel was drawn with Google who created a game that asked people to describe what they saw in images. This information is what makes Google image search effective. People had fun playing a game and Google got good info to improve their search engine.

The Studybuddy system allows choices about game types, gaming partners and content. Students can also enter their own content. Aims to give instant micro feedback, overall feedback (e.g. score and rank after each game) as well as peer feedback (chat is included in the games and partners can give hints and tips).

We then started playing a game! I may report later how much fun it was. :-)

Update: The games were fun! However, we spent so long playing games, we had no time to ask questions. The games themselves are perhaps not that brilliant but the strength of the system (I think) comes from the user generated content (see the report from a session yesterday on how a school of nursing started using a multiple choice question tool in a VLE) the and the community of gamers that it supports.

It seems to be easy to create your own games and you can use audio, video, graphics... A couple of screenshots below might give you a flavour of how it looks.

For the record, I was ecer3 :-)

[I'd be interested in Derek Robertson's opinion on this - DM]

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