Gamification of University-level courses is becoming a common practice, as many professors decide to try offering their students a more engaging learning environment. Nevertheless, we still do not have a clear idea on how individual students engage differently with a gamified course. But now a detailed, long-term study from the University of Lisbon has presented some insightful observations on this topic.
During the course of their study, the researchers observed three editions of a gamified University of Lisbon course on Multimedia Content Production. The course employed a blended learning method that combined theoretical lectures, lab classes, and an online Moodle component where students engaged in discussions and completed online assignments.
Throughout the years, the researchers have learned from the experience and improved the course’s gameful design. A general observation from the student’s feedback is that they all felt the gamified course was indeed more engaging than the previous non-gamified editions. However, there were some noticeable differences on how individual students engaged with the course, which the researchers sought to investigate.
The third day at CHI PLAY 2016 ended the conference with important discussions focused on play, design, and the games industry. If you have not seen them yet, check the first and second day summaries out before continuing!
The day opened with an open discussion of future suggestions for the conference series and followed with the first Industry Panel, which counted with the expertise of Toni Phillips (Triseum), Sheri Graner Ray (Zombie Cat Studios), and Yelena Balin (b.well). The panelists addressed some of the challenges of the game industry, such as keeping up with the technology, innovating, engaging different audiences, and building diversity into games.
The second day at CHI PLAY had a lot of fun and important research! In case you’ve missed it, read about the first day before continuing.
Annika Waern presented the keynote of the day on Play, Participation and Empowerment, and left everyone reflecting about the opportunities that arise when designers let the players co-create the game rules and boundaries. It was followed by David Cohen‘s talk on Transformation Through Transparency, in which he emphasized the importance of collaboration between educators and game designers for building educational games, as well as the importance of embedding learning in a transparent way to allow players to enjoy playing and increase learning effectiveness.
CHI PLAY is ACM’s international conference on human-computer interaction in play and games. This year, it is being held in Austin, Texas, from the 17th to 18th of October. I’ll be covering some of the spotlights of the conference daily here at the ACM XRDS blog!
After the official welcome, the first day opened with a keynote talk by Jamie Madigan from The Psychology of Video Games. It was a great talk filled with 30 research ideas for game and HCI scholars to investigate in the near future.
Technology has undoubtedly improved at vertiginous speeds in the last decades. However, there is no evidence that all this technology is helping increase the people’s general wellbeing. Calvo and Peters have attributed this to the fact that most technology professionals keep a machine-focused view of their work, avoiding to look at anything related to the user’s wellbeing. Nevertheless, recently there has been a growing body of efforts related to using technology to improve human wellbeing. Calvo and Peters refer to this new research field as Positive Computing.