Gaming/Virtual Environments

Meaningful Support for Teachers: Specific Ways to Encourage Game-Based Learning in the Classroom

Day: 
Tues

Panelists from three projects share lessons learned in guiding game use in classroom learning, highlighting specific examples of effective resources.

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

The three panelists in this session are in the last one or two years of their game-based learning projects, and all have done extensive work in supporting use of their games in classroom learning. As their work has progressed, each has discovered valuable ways to support teachers as well as encountered surprises in what teachers wanted (and didn’t want), and now recognize things they wished they had learned in the beginning of their projects. Session participants leave with recommendations they can use in their current projects, including:

A Drake's Tale: Genetics Software Gets a Lift from Gaming

Author/Presenter: 
Frieda Reichsman
Trudi Lord
Lead Organization(s): 
Year: 
2012
Short Description: 
Many of us learned about dominant and recessive genes in a humdrum high school biology class. Some of us may still recognize the terms and symbols twenty or thirty years later—are your eyes bb or Bb? But, as it turns out, a very small number of traits in humans and other animals, plants, amoeba … you name it … involve the dominance mechanism of a single gene with just two alleles. (An allele is a variation of a gene, like the B or b in the above example.) The more biologists discover about the mechanisms of inheritance, the fewer traits we can point to that involve only one gene or can be illustrated using a simple Punnett square. In fact, biologists are compiling information about our genes at an astounding rate. As the process of sequencing DNA improves, the science of biology is dramatically changing.

Knowledge for Algebra Teaching for Equity (KATE) Project: An Examination of Virtual Classroom Simulation Approaches

More specifically the objectives of this presentation are to:

  1. Describe the design and start-up of a 5-year NSF funded project that focuses on the design, development, and testing of technology-enriched teacher preparation strategies to address equity in algebra learning for all students.
  2. Describe experiences and perceptions of preservice teachers (PST) and graduate students serving as middle grade student (MGS) avatars, following engagement and simulations in a virtual classroom setting in Second Life.
Author/Presenter: 
Trina Davis
Irving Brown
Gerald Kulm
Chih-Feng Chien
Glenn Phillips
Lead Organization(s): 
Year: 
2012
Short Description: 
In this paper, we present an overview of the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded Knowledge for Algebra Teaching for Equity (KATE) Project and experiences from preservice teachers who are preparing for teaching middle grades mathematics. We highlight findings from a preliminary analysis of the effectiveness of virtual simulations of problem-based teaching of algebra concepts in enhancing preservice teachers' knowledge and skill in teaching diverse students.

Pre-Service Teachers' Knowledge for Teaching Algebra for Equity in the Middle Grades: A Preliminary Report

Author/Presenter: 
Irving Brown
Trina Davis
Gerald Kulm
Lead Organization(s): 
Year: 
2011
Short Description: 
This article presents our plans and initial work to explore how mathematics teacher education programs can prepare teachers for diverse middle grades classrooms. It describes the start-up of a five-year National Science Foundation project to design, develop, and test technology-enriched teacher preparation strategies to address equity in algebra learning. The participants in this pilot group demonstrated a need to develop their mathematical problem-solving skills, but they also exhibited strong beliefs about their own potential to be successful in the mathematics classroom. Preliminary results appear to indicate that Second Life (software) simulations can provide rich settings for teacher development on specific mathematics teaching skills and challenge them to apply their ideas about diversity. (Contains 5 tables and 4 figures.)

Trying Very Hard to Make Games that Don't Stink: User Testing at the NMSU Learning Games Lab

Author/Presenter: 
Chamberlin, Barbara
Year: 
2010
Short Description: 
Barbara Chamberlin, with the NMSU Learning Games Lab, shares their user testing processes and strategies. The educational development studio involves content experts and game developers in their game design process, also employing a rigorous user testing process throughout development. The Games Lab developers host learners in their target audience for 2-week sessions during the summer, and on holidays throughout the schoolyear. They train their "game lab consultants" in giving feedback, and have access for frequent testing. Barbara shared the underlying principles that guides their user testing, with recommendations on how they could be amended by others for testing, even in shorter sessions.

Situated Assessments Using Virtual Environments : The SAVE Science Project

Author/Presenter: 
Uma Natarajan
Diane Jass Ketelhut
Catherine Schifter
Brian Nelson
Angela Shelton
Year: 
2010
Short Description: 
This is the final poster that was presented at the PI conference in Washington, DC. it was part of the DRK 12 Sims & Games session proposal of 12 posters.

Research on Student Understanding of Data Organization

Author/Presenter: 
Cliff Konold
Vishakha Parvate
William Finzer
Year: 
2010
Short Description: 
As part of the Data Games project, we are researching how students record and organize multivariate data. This research is informing the design of new software interfaces for Fathom and TinkerPlots that will allow students to explore and understand data that live in other than "flat" data structures — the structures that most software tools currently limit themselves to. We have designed the Traffic Problem to explore the following questions: 1. What methods do novices and experts use to sytematically record data with multiple attributes? 2. In recording data, do students employ a recognizable notion of “case?"

Educational Game Design Model

Author/Presenter: 
Chamberlin, Barbara
Short Description: 
Barbara Chamberlin, with the NMSU Learning Games Lab, shares the Educational Game Design model developed at NMSU. The educational development studio involves content experts and game developers in their game design process, also employing a rigorous user testing process throughout development. In this presentation, she explains the pre-development work they do in working from broad educational objectives, forming team, immersing team members in both the content and game design, and guiding questions for refining educational objectives and driving game development.

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