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Wednesday, May 14 • 2:45pm - 3:45pm
Educational Research via Playtesting

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Educational research is supported by a well-defined collection of methodologies, but are there methodologies elsewhere that can provide fresh perspectives? The use of video games in learning is becoming more accepted, but are there other things we can learn from games?

Though there are fundamental differences between games and instruction, such as the fact that one seeks primarily to entertain and the other to enlighten or educate, it turns out that the practices, processes and theories behind playtesting games can in fact inform aspects of pedagogy—particularly those that relate to engagement.

In game design, the primary focus is on the player experience, and there has been considerable research into ways to assess and measure the player experience through playtesting. Playtesting is concerned with such things as whether or not the game is fun, which parts are too easy or hard, and whether and when people become bored. All of these properties have relevance to teaching and learning, even though they may not appear to be directly connected with meeting learning objectives. Rather, playtesting is concerned with the motivation of the player/student to continue the particular course of learning, which speaks to the success of the methodology in capturing the student's imagination. Sometimes, simply taking a novel approach to evaluation can yield insights that were not uncovered by more common approaches. This presentation will provide a brief overview of formal playtesting procedures and highlight ways these approaches could be used in the classroom as well as how this could inform pedagogy.


Of Interest to: Online and distance education, Post-secondary education, K-12 educators, Instructional designers, Researchers, Educational technologists

avatar for Katrin Becker

Katrin Becker

Adjunct Professor, Computer Science and Information Systems, Mount Royal University
avatar for Jim Parker

Jim Parker

Professor, Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Calgary

Wednesday May 14, 2014 2:45pm - 3:45pm PDT
Campus Activity Centre, CAC 348 900 McGill Road, Kamloops, BC, Canada V2C 0C8

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