Gaming/Virtual Environments

Data-Intensive Research in Education: New Opportunities for Making an Impact

STEM Categorization: 
Day: 
Thu

Join a facilitated discussion about the application of data science to education, drawing on a recent NSF-sponsored report. Participants share insights from DR K–12 projects.

Date/Time: 
9:30 am to 11:00 am
Session Materials: 

The Computing Research Association’s report from an NSF-sponsored workshop describes seven next steps for data-intensive research in education:

Session Types: 

Constructing and Role-Playing Student Avatars in a Simulation of Teaching Algebra for Diverse Learners

From the perspectives of Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs), this study examines the design and implementation of a simulated teaching environment in Second Life (SL) for prospective teachers to teach algebra for diverse learners. Drawing upon the Learning-for-Use framework, the analyses provide evidence on the development of student avatars in construction and role-playing activities. The study reveals challenges, procedures, and suggestions for future simulations. This study also calls for research efforts toward preparing mathematics teachers for cultural diversity.

Author/Presenter: 
Tingting Ma
Irving A. Brown
Gerald Kulm
Trina J. Davis
Chance W. Lewis
G. Donald Allen
Lead Organization(s): 
Year: 
2014
Short Description: 
This study examines the design and implementation of a simulated teaching environment in Second Life for prospective teachers.

The effectiveness of Reason Racer, a game designed to engage middle school students in scientific argumentation

Reason Racer is an online, rate-based, multiplayer game that applies specific game features in
order to engage middle school students in introductory knowledge of and thinking related to
scientific argumentation. Game features include rapid and competitive play, timed performance,
immediate feedback, and high rates of response across many game-play sessions and science
scenarios. The areas of argumentation addressed in the game include understanding a claim,
judging evidence about a claim based on type (fact, opinion) and quality, determining the

Author/Presenter: 
Marilyn Ault
Jana Craig-Hare
Bruce Frey
James D. Ellis
Janis Bulgren
Lead Organization(s): 
Year: 
2015

How games can engage students and improve learning

Ault, M., (2014). How games can engage students and improve learning. eSchool News: Daily Tech News & Innovation. Retrieved from www.eschoolnews.com/2014/06/06/games-engage-students-241/

Author/Presenter: 
Marilyn Ault
Lead Organization(s): 
Year: 
2014
Short Description: 
Understanding how games create a sense of flow and engagement can help teachers make better choices about their instructional use of games.

SmartGraphs: Algebra

The Concord Consortium has developed 19 Smartgraphs: Algebra coveractivities for teaching and learning algebra that are available online or as an app for iPad or Android tablet computers. These activities—which cover a variety of algebra topics, from linear equations to transformations of functions—help students develop skills creating and using algebraic functions and graphs to solve problems.

Author/Presenter: 
The Concord Consortium
Year: 
2014
Short Description: 
The Concord Consortium has developed 19 activities for teaching and learning algebra that are available online or as an app for iPad or Android tablet computers. These activities—which cover a variety of algebra topics, from linear equations to transformations of functions—help students develop skills creating and using algebraic functions and graphs to solve problems. Hints and scaffolds support learners who need help.

Using Immersive Virtual Worlds to Support Learning of Ecosystems Science and Complex Causality

Day: 
Wed

This session seeks feedback on hands-on experiences for learning causal dynamics through collaborative inquiry activities in an immersive virtual ecosystem, including exploring potential opportunities for expanding the curriculum.

Date/Time: 
9:45 am to 11:45 am
2014 Session Types: 
Feedback Session (Work in Post-development)

EcoMUVE (ecomuve.gse.harvard.edu) is a middle school science curriculum in which students explore an immersive virtual ecosystem and learn its causal dynamics through collaborative inquiry activities. In one experience, students explore a virtual pond and its biodiversity, traveling in time to see changes over the course of a virtual summer. They discover a fish kill and are tasked with figuring out why it happened. In another experience, students explore population dynamics and predator-prey relationships over 50 years in a virtual forest.

Navigating to NGSS Success: Identifying a Research Agenda

Day: 
Wed

Leaders of three DR K-12 projects identify successful instructional strategies for using technology-enhanced curriculum materials, games, and models to achieve the NGSS practices.

Date/Time: 
9:45 am to 11:45 am
2014 Session Types: 
Collaborative Panel Session

The media, the public, and, indeed, many teachers have significantly criticized the introduction of the Common Core, citing concerns such as that it overcomplicates simple topics, diminishes innovation, and ignores equity issues. Following the recent introduction of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), we need compelling examples and powerful research to prevent premature criticism and ensure successful implementation.

A Grand Opportunity: Synergy and Interoperability Across Educational Games and Simulations

Day: 
Wed

Join this lively, interactive discussion examining the opportunities for coordinating work in games and simulations. Discuss and plan embedding, data capture/analytics, customization, and more!

Date/Time: 
9:45 am to 11:45 am
2014 Session Types: 
Collaborative Panel Session
Session Materials: 

The advent of today’s widespread educational technology presents some new and exciting opportunities. Models and simulations can be easily embedded in other content. Research is exploring the use of simulations and games for novel assessment purposes. Technologies—especially HTML5 technologies—are making formerly unprecedented learning possible. This moment is unique, and as educational designers and researchers, we should be making the most of it and ensure that our work is aligned for maximum synergy.

The Design and Findings of a Random-Controlled Trial for a Successful Game-Based Mathematics Intervention

Day: 
Tues

Join a discussion about designing and testing the effects of game-based products that facilitate middle school student learning of math concepts.

Date/Time: 
1:45 pm to 3:45 pm
2014 Session Types: 
Feedback Session (Work in Post-development)
Session Materials: 

The goal of this session is to assist other project teams in the design and testing of game-based mathematics products. The session includes a discussion of recently completed randomized control trials of the Math Snacks games. Participants leave with concrete ideas on designing and testing e-learning products designed for classroom use with a focus on middle school concepts.

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