This conference was held on 3 November 2017. The conference featured keynote speeches from Professor Nicola Whitton and Professor Pamela Kato. The conference also hosted various workshops, paper presentations and hackathons.
Game Enhanced Learning (GeL) is perceived by educationalists as a form of learning that can supplement and enhance current classroom-based education at all levels. Research has shown that interactive virtual learning can permanently transform the educational landscape and deliver better academic results.
However, despite this recognition, there is a lack of sufficient empirical evidence to support GeL as a pedagogical approach. Simulations on the other hand have been widely used to support training needs across various fields such as military, medical, surgical and business. Recent trends of using simulations appear to have had an impact on how games are being integrated within the educational context. Hence, it is important utilise an analytical approach that considers how different elements of Game/Gamification along with simulations act upon one another within educational settings.
The newly formed PedRIO, Games and Simulation enhanced Learning (GSeL) interdisciplinary research theme group explored some of the key research challenges (but not limited to) outlined below:
- The clear articulation of the relationship between academic achievement and GSeL
- The role of GSeL in educational assessment in the form of interactions, successes and failures that can tracked
- Social, cultural and economic differences that might affect GSeL
- Identity and its role for learners and tutors in GSeL environments.
Conference themes around use of Games and Simulation in T&L included:
- Game design models and design patterns supporting teaching and learning
- Integration and deployment in the classroom (role of instructor, assessment or learning analtyics etc.)
- Gamification and social game mechanics
- Mobile, virtual and mixed reality applications
- Evaluation challenges for GSeL.