How to Design Mobile Game-Based Learning (#GBL, #mlearning) – Part I
Using game-based learning(GBL) or playful design for mobile learning is a great idea since people like to play games on their mobile devices. Game-Based Learning isn’t simply adding badges and leader boards to existing training. Carlton Reeve had created a series on how learning theories overlap with games.
TechNavio’s analysts forecast the Global Game-based Learning market to grow at a CAGR of 15.6 percent over the period 2012-2016. One of the key factors contributing to this market growth is the growth in mobile-based educational games. The Global Game-based Learning market has also been witnessing the growth in gamification market.
Games should be about the experience of learning, rather than the experience of being taught. If we can put content into context, then learning might happen naturally. Instructional designers always strives to leverage “the power of pull”. And the attraction of games in a wide variety of forms are probably the best examples.
“Games are the most elevated form of investigation.” —— Albert Einstein
“I’m calling for investments in educational technology that will help create digital tutors that are as effective as personal tutors, educational software as compelling as the best video game.” —— President Barack Obama said while touring a tech-focused Boston school (year 2011).
Game elements are listed as below, among them story and character are the most important elements in gamification.
A story or plot (the premise of the game, and the scenarios within it)
Game play used to attain mastery of the enabling and terminal learning objectives
Characters that are realistic enough for the learner to relate to, and learn from
Competition, either between the learner and the game simulator or between a cohort of learners
Recognition and rewards based on achievement levels attained during the game
Increasing levels of complexity to extend skill development and imbed the acquired skills
Challenges that build skill mastery and relevancy to the learner’s performance
Continual individualized feedback to reinforce correct behavior and remediate incorrect behavior
These elements, many of which are reviewed by learning gamification expert Karl Kapp in his latest book : The Gamification of Learning and Instruction: Game-based Methods and Strategies for Training and Education.
A taxonomy of intrinsic motivation
In 1987, Thomas Malone and Mark Lepper published”Making learning fun: A taxonomy of intrinsic motivation.” They tried to craft a systematic framework for intrinsic motivation in order to understand how we might avoid the dampening effect that tends to happen in schools.
Habgood (2005), quoted below, proposed that well-designed learning games:
Deliver learning materials through the parts of the game that are the most fun to play, riding on the back of the flow experience produced by the game and not interrupting or diminishing its impact;
Embody the learning material within the structure of the gaming world and the player’s interactions with it, providing an external representation of the learning content through the game’s core mechanics.
As a curriculum designer, your job is to make your learners feel smart or clever, positive feedback in learning content will help encourage learners to continue forward through the “game.” Examples include adding details on why answers are correct or incorrect (rather than a simple “Wrong, try again”), or providing links to additional resources and materials where learners can easily move on to the next steps in the process, or go back to review information that hasn’t quite sunk in.
How is GBL different on mobile?
In the latest survey report on mobile learning published by ADL (MoTIF project) ,the list of mobile device capabilities (or affordances) include:
- Camera (capturing video and images, augmented reality, quick response – QR – code reading)
- Document viewer (eBook, PDF)
- Geolocation (GPS, geofencing, map)
- Internal sensors (accelerometer, barometer, compass, gyroscope, proximity)
- Media viewer / playback (image, video, audio, podcast)
- Microphone (voice recording, podcast)
- Notification (alert, sound, vibrate)
- Search (discovery, quick-reference, search engine)
- Short-range communication (Bluetooth, near-field communication – NFC, and radio frequency identification – RFID)
- Text message (short message service – SMS, multimedia message service – MMS)
- Touchscreen interaction
- Voice / phone communications
How will these features make game-based learning different on mobile devices? To be continued.