Our group spent much of the week discussing how to make our rubric a clear, effective assessment tool for teachers to use to assess serious games. Our rubric touches on several different components of serious games.
One component we touched on was identity. Gee discusses identify in his article, Good Video Games and Good Learning. Taking on a new identity allows the player or student to make a commitment to the virtual world; in other words the student will value his/her work more when he/she can identify with the world. Additionally, we included interactivity on our rubric. Interactivity, as defined in terms of digital games, means “a game property that allows users to influence the quality and course of events occurring in the game world,” (Klimmt and Vorderen, 2007). In our group we split up interactivity further by creating two separate components: one for interactivity and one titled “authentic environment”.
Other components we included were risk taking and well-ordered problems. Gee discusses both of these components in his article, Good Video Games and Good Learning. Gee states that good video games order problems so they lead or build into the next problem. These problems also encourage the player to take risks and try new things. Finally, after students take these risks the game provides feedback through failures. (This is another component we included in our rubric).
We also included a “clear purpose that relates to the learning objectives and standards”. Anne Derryberry states that, “Serious games are designed with the intention of improving some specific aspect of learning,” (Online Games for Learning, Anne Derryberry). When teachers utilize these games and students begin playing these “serious games”, they come with the expectation that these “standards/objectives” will be met. This component also includes “a clear purpose”. “In a nutshell, if a serious game has no impact on the player in a real life context, it misses its pivotal purpose. For this reason, the game’s purpose acts as the driving force that shapes the dynamic and the coherence of the game system as a whole,” (Mitgutsch, K and Alvarado, N). Finally, the nature of the game allows transference of new skills from the game environment to the real world.
By no means is our rubric the only tool that can be used to evaluate serious games, however I feel like our group has worked diligently to create a rubric that is backed by research and thoughtful consideration.
Contribution to the group:
In order to support the group I offered to type up the rubric; I did so because I am currently not working in the classroom so I have a bit more free time than other people in my group. Also, I really do not mind helping out. Our group worked together to edit/revise the rubric once the first version was typed in. We initially began with numbers and I added words as well and the group agreed. Scott worked on dividing interactivity into two components, which I think made our rubric clearer. Bonnie, Megan, and Donna added quite a bit to the rubric. I think I added the section on problem solving. You can see we really did discuss how we evalutated serious games by reviewing our homepage for the wiki. Our group worked really well together.
Derryberry, Anne. (2007). Serious Games: online games for learning. Retrieved Online January 23, 2014 from https://www.adobe.com/resources/elearning/pdfs/serious_games_wp.pdf
Mitgutsch, Konstantin and Alvarado, Narda. Purposeful by Design? A Serious Game Design Assessment Framework. Retrieved online January 23, 2014 from http://hubscher.org/roland/courses/hf765/readings/p121-mitgutsch.pdf
Klimmt, Christopher. Serious Games: Mechanisms and Effects. Serious Games and Social Change Why They (Should) Work, Ch. 16. Retrieved online January 23, 2014 from http://books.google.com/books?id=eGORAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA272&lpg=PA272&dq=crucial+components+of+serious+games&source=bl&ots=1tams3LkXB&sig=ryfqE1m0LhZuzffXACvymkYDqrQ&hl=en&sa=X&ei=rl_jUvWPPNHmoASvyYDgDw&ved=0CGgQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=crucial%20components%20of%20serious%20games&f=false
James Paul Gee