Gamification Report | Episode 21: Serious Educational Games, Serious Games, and more!


David Chandross: Hello, folks. Welcome to Episode 21 of our podcast, brought
to you by the Centre for Teaching and Learning here at Humber College. Today, we’re going to talk a little bit about
some of the assumptions underlying serious educational games and we just want to make
some distinctions in the way we speak about this and try to clarify some fundamental concepts
today that might not have come out since our podcasts have mostly been about covering journal
literature. We haven’t presented anything which globally
addresses the field and in modern context and puts it into some kind of context for
looking at polytechnic education and higher education. We have this term called serious educational
games, which we can say is a SEG and then we also have what are called serious games,
which are called SGs and again, these are games not about education and then educational
simulations, which are, as the term implies, pure simulations. Now the work that I’m talking about that we’ve
conducted today has occurred across institutions. Humber College is supporting these podcasts
and we’re doing most of our work here at Humber and our different faculties. We also have partnerships with Ryerson University
in the area of research and I’ve worked collaboratively with and without Humber on Ryerson’s projects
in the area of serious games. Baycrest Health Sciences, as well, which we
can see here, which is a leading research unit and education unit in the area of long-term
care and geriatrics and we’ve done some work with AlterSpark, Dr. Brian Cugelman, who is
at the faculty of information sciences at University of Toronto, who’s an expert in
behavioral neurosciences. Some of the work we’re going to talk about
today emerges from some of these partnerships we’ve pursued. There are three areas in which we’ve argued
that serious educational games are most effective, looking at the literature to date and that
is skill acquisition, motivation and achievement and these are the things we want to focus
on a little bit more and when we talk about gamification in this context, most of our
podcasts have brought us in the direction of this idea of an emotional, cognitive model
and that is where your psychological wellbeing of the learner, the student who sits at the
center of this has to do with their own self-acceptance, autonomy, environmental mastery, positive
relationships and purpose. Everything we’re doing and trying to build
up the game world is trying to foster these emotional, cognitive elements of being. We would call this a holistic form of education
and there are different examples of serious education games that we would point you to. At Baycrest Health Sciences, our early work
involved the development of a game called SOS and we’ve gone onto to win a major award
from Longship Publishing in this area and this ran as an analog version for a number
of years in which students had to solve various cases in using a game mechanic learn how to
take care of it. These are some of the first cohort of game
beta testers in the game and then we eventually produced with the help of other partners this
digital version of the game in which you get to see in the game when it will have you opening
cases and each of these cases has specific detail and then as you do it, you can work
your way through the game, making decisions about which kinds of tests to order, and which
kind of critical paths to develop and so we call this mobile sticky gamification and this
is the idea that you, on your mobile device, you’re producing a game element and you can
see the interface is very simple. You can take an easy case or a more difficult
case and these are little stars, which give you the number of tests that you can order. You might want to order any one of a dozen
different tests, but, which are the ones that you would like to order because your economy
is limiting which tests you can choose and then this shows your earnings right here,
the amount of earnings that you got because when you get a hard case, you can earn $20,000. Easy cases might earn you $5,000 and what
these are, are power up stacks in the center and what a power up meant is that of these
points that are available to choose different tests that you’d want to order, if you’re
very confident and you don’t need to know a lot of information about the patient to
solve, you can put them in this little deck here and when you do this, it’ll power up
and multiply your earnings. There’s a bit of strategy and as you can see,
mobile sticky gamification gives us a leaderboard in which we can either have the individual
or the organization earning virtual coin in what we call a cryptocurrency from completion
rates in the game. We went on to win this summer the Ted Freedman
Award, which is a rather prestigious award in educational innovation and these are our
partners from Baycrest that helped build us. This is Raquel Meyer, the director for the
Center of Teaching Learning and this is Jennifer Reguindin, who is the main educator in this
field. When we talk about building educational games
and simulations in areas as diverse as health sciences or polytechnic education, we want
to take into account these days these multiple intelligences of Gartner, what we would call
a gamified simulation and multiple intelligence model. These are different forms of intelligence,
according to Gartner’s original hypothesis. Some of us have strengths and naturalists,
some of us have spatial intelligence, some of us has more musical intelligence, linguistic,
etc, bodily kinesthetic. When we produce gamified simulations, we try
to address different intelligences in the design so that all the games aren’t just about
understanding organic processes. All the games aren’t about using language
effectively. Some games might appeal to others. If we’re teaching in a music program, we would
build games that address musical intelligence. If we were building a program in fitness,
which we have a very great program at Humber here in athletics and fitness, personal coaching,
kinesiology type things, then when we’d develop game models, which address bodily kinesthetic
learners. Instead of learning styles inventories, we
talk about multiple intelligence and build the game system to treat people in those intelligence
and Game Star mechanic here, providing credit to them, produced this five core design elements
in any kind of game. All these educational games have rules, core
mechanics, components, space and goals and we can think about this as a form of game
design process and we can draw interprofessional teams. Here was a game we built at Baycrest just
this summer in which they have to draw a simulation card and they have to select their care options
and then they have to sign off and eventually, the cards are all simulations of different
problems that you might encounter in long-term care and you have to them select health profession
cards. This was a game designed to have interprofessional
teams learn to work with a patient. You would have to make a decision about the
actions that you want to do when you see a patient with a difficulty and then which health
professional cards are you going to pick. You can build very card based games to build
simple things and a most recent game that we’re just finished in beta testing and will
be going to full implementation in the next year is called The Grid and this is a game
in which you are managing a virtual hospital and this was done with several partners in
the industry and effectively, you have four wards of a hospital and in articulate storyline,
we produced a number of cases. As you explore the hospital wards, there are
different types of cases located and the student can explore any ward that they want and do
the cases in any order just like you’re living in a regular hospital environment and again,
we’ve gone through beta with our interns this summer and are just analyzing the data. They really enjoyed this idea of going through
an internship on their iPad and having that enhance what they were doing in the real experience
and this is the idea of a central purchase upgrade hub, which we’re using in these games
as well where you can start a case in area in which you can pause a case, if you’re
not interested in working on it right now, but as you do cases, you get money in the
game and that allows you to purchase upgrades and consults. You can actually bring in expertise and so
this has been fully approved by the ministry of education here in Ontario as an online
certificate program in gerontology. Social media celebrity was a game run by Ryerson
University by our colleagues, Rob Bajko and Professor Jaigris Hodson. Jaigris Hodson is now at Royal Roads College. Remember, she was at Ryerson during these
studies and this is when they had to teach social media platforms and they had to learn
about 25 different social media platforms that they had to learn into a term and what
they would effectively do is work in teams and they would pick a platform they wanted
to use and they would show how to use the platform, such as using Facebook or using
Instagram. When they did, they would then sign off and
gain experience points and that unlocked other platforms so that they learned social media
platforms by showing proficiency in each of the platforms and once they had it, they could
then bring it in to any kind of simulation that we threw at them afterward and then this
game started with a 12 sided, fuzzy die roll, such as a viral bad tweak. there was a random element produced in these
games. They had to contend with each week in using
social media Multimedia Empire, which is a game still being used by Professor Deb Fels
at the Ted Rogers School of Management and she’s the director of the inclusive design
unit at Ryerson University at Ted Rogers and essentially, what you’re doing here is you’ve
got a multimedia company you’re running that’s been gutted by somebody by corporate IP theft
and you’ve going to rebuild this multimedia company by taking on quests, gaining virtual
bitcoin and buying items, which unlock higher level quests and the interesting thing is
that even in her course you can use the bitcoin to do things like buy extensions on papers
and buy abilities to have your essay turned in a week later, etc., so you can actually
use the bitcoin for your interactivity within the game and your goal in the game is to restore
company into profitability and Professors Fels reports to me that her course enrollment
has doubled since she developed it into a full game. The entire course is a game and you get paid
in experience points, not grade. Those are converted to grades at the end of
the course in line with university policy. We produced a game recently using these models
called El Stinko for the Canadian Armed Forces Peer Support Services. This was done as consulting with Dr. Brian
Cugelman who’s at AlterSpark as behavioral neuroscientists. He’s also in faculty at the University of
Toronto in the area of user design and experiences and what we were essentially trying to do
is teach people here how to identify good and bad landing pages on the web because every
component of a web page triggers an emotional response. What we essentially gave each group of Armed
Forces participants here was El Stinko cards and they looked at different images and they
had to decide how bad the image looked. For example, if I gave you some El Stinko
cards, five cards right now and I presented this image to the left first and then you
had to tell me how bad this is as a website design and you can see that it’s kind of a
cluttered page. There’s a lot of activities, hard to know
if it’s good or bad. If you’re someone who understands digital
design, you can understand the neuroscience behind this and you have to put those cards
on this particular design. You’d have to decide how many to wager to
say this is bad because you’ve got only five cards. Is this a bad design? Well, you haven’t seen this one yet. We’ve only got this. You’ve got to kind of make guess based on
your knowledge of digital neuropsychology whether this is good or not because you don’t
know what’s coming next. Now the next picture we could show would be
this web landing page and you would decide how many cards to place. You’re making wagers and guesses looking across
these at which one is the worst website and it makes for a very fun and entertaining way
to talk about it and we won’t comment on which of these is better or worse. This is just the idea of, again, building
a game system to have people learn to apply knowledge of web design and advertising based
on neuroscience principles. We’ve also developed other games that we’ve
run at Baycrest Health Sciences. One was called Hygeia and this was the idea
of using these case studies that are introduced each week and those case studies have to be
solved and when they do, you gain experience points and eventually, you get more difficult
cases. This produces this idea of play, engagement,
motivators and mechanics in which we get this directed engagement flow that we’re moving
toward. A lot of this work has been in the area of
card based training and this is work that we did with the Canadian Forces and Elections
Canada, Amazon and Intel and you can see these very simple playing cards that have been designed
by using a professional producer to teach these digital behavioral change workshops. When we think about gamification and development
in education training, we don’t have to think about using computers. Card games work really effectively. That’s about all we’re going to cover today. We’re going to pick up the thread again in
next week’s podcast to talk more about serious educational games and examples of how they’re
implemented and lessons learned. David Chandross from the Centre for Teaching
and Learning at Humber College signing off. Thank you for watching.

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