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 will be exploring 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 include:
- 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.
Professor Nicola Whitton, Manchester Metropolitan University
Professor Nicola Whitton is Professor of Professional Learning at the Education and Social Research Institute at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her research focuses on play in adulthood, in particular, digital games and learning in the context of Higher Education, and the potential of play in teaching, research, and academic practice. She is chair of the Association for Learning Technology Special Interest Group on Playful Learning, and co-chair of the Playful Learning conference.
Professor Pamela Kato
Pamela M Kato, EdM, PhD joined Coventry University in the UK as Professor of Serious Games to provide strategic leadership to the Serious Games Institute to increase their research impact and create ground-breaking technologies. Professor Kato is an internationally recognised expert on serious games for health. She received her Masters degree in Counselling and Consulting Psychology from Harvard University and her PhD in Psychology from Stanford University where she also completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
As the founding President and CEO at HopeLab in Silicon Valley, she led the efforts to develop and conduct research on Re-Mission, a ground-breaking serious game shown to improve adherence to cancer treatment among young people with cancer in the most scientifically rigorously designed randomised trial on a video game to date. She was a guest professor at the University of Applied Sciences Salzburg in 2012 and adjunct faculty at University College Utrecht. She also held a position as Adjunct Clinical Instructor at Stanford Hospital in Pediatrics from 2001 to 2008 and was a Visiting Scholar at MIT in their Comparative Media Studies from 2002 to 2003.
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