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Thursday, June 13 • 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Implementation is a Bitch Too

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This Hall of Failure session, ”Implementation is a Bitch Too”, will include the following:

Are We Washing Poop?: Unintended Consequences in Educational Game Design
What game developers and researchers know about what makes games enjoyable to children does not always transfer to educational contexts. This paper highlights potential pitfalls in creating a game that attempts to integrate learning with fun using a case study of Down With Food, a game that teaches upper elementary school students about the digestive system. We employed game mechanics and game design usability heuristics in our development of this iPad app. User testing revealed areas in which applying general game principles to an educational context created concerns, particularly with respect to the effects of schemas, visual misrepresentations, and usability difficulties. In detailing these unintended consequences, we hope to spur productive discussions about how to address the challenges of bridging the fields of game design and education.
Christine Bediones, Camille Macalinao, Benjamin Kal McDowd, Katerina Schenke, Cathy Tran, AnneMarie Conley

The Inevitability of Epic Fail: An Investigation of Implementation Problems Associated with Technology-Rich Research Innovations
Reviewing large-scale attempts to introduce new technology-based approaches to instruction yields many instances where researchers have used contemporary learning-science research and theory to design innovative, technology-based curricula that show substantial benefits to important instructional variables. Crucially, however, these results arise only when the project originators have close and direct involvement with teacher training and implementation. With evidence for limited long-term success, both educational psychologists and practicing educators must ask: “Why do technology-rich research innovations fail once researchers are no longer directly involved?” The authors aim to address this question in a way helpful to game-based learning researchers by presenting an example of failed implementation of a learning game paired with follow-up research on other instructional tools and methodologies. We propose three reasons why such innovations fail: 1) Fatal Mutation Due to Assimilation; 2) Loss of Fidelity; and 3) Failure to Thrive. Recommendations for addressing these issues follow.
Stephen Slota, Michael Young, Roger Travis

The balancing act: content, process, game design. Not only kids should learn from mistakes. 
The real practical world of making games for learning is an endless balancing act with lots of chefs in the kitchen including: content experts, gaming experts, sponsors, producers, designers, evaluators, artists, teachers, school administrators, and of course, the kids themselves. This presentation will use specific examples (and data!) from various Numedeon virtual world learning projects, including Whyville.net, to explore the complex mix of variables that contribute to perceived and well as measured success and failure in learning game design. 
James M. Bower

Dani Herro, Discussant

avatar for Dani Herro

Dani Herro

Assistant Professor of Digital Media and Learning, Clemson University
I am a former Instructional Technology Administrator and K-12 Technology Resource Teacher. My PhD work at UW-Madison involved studying teen learning using games and Web 2.0 apps. My current research involves writing and studying game and app design curricula in "formal" schooling... Read More →

avatar for James M. Bower

James M. Bower

CEO & Chairman of the Board, Numedeon Inc.
Dr. James M. Bower is the founder, Chairman of the Board and CEO for Numedeon Inc., which in 1999 launched Whyville.net as the first simulation-based gaming virtual learning worlds for tweens.  Whyville,net currently has more than 7.5 million registered users, and remains one of the few learning-based virtual worlds.  Dr. Bower is also a computational neurobiologists who has published more than 150... Read More →
avatar for Stephen Slota

Stephen Slota

Co-Founder, The Pericles Group, LLC
Steve (@steveslota) is an instructional design specialist and game design scientist at the University of Connecticut Health Center and a co-founder of The Pericles Group, LLC. He holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology: Cognition, Instruction, & Learning Technologies and has worked... Read More →
avatar for Cathy Tran

Cathy Tran

Researcher, UC Irvine
avatar for Roger Travis

Roger Travis

Storrs, CT, US, University of Connecticut, and The Pericles Group, LLC
Only connect: ancient epic to video games; teacher to student; gamer to gamer; fan to fan; parent to child; human being to human being.
avatar for Michael Young

Michael Young

Profesor, University of Connecticut
A situated cognitive view of learning on-the-fly in video game environments, through rich narratives, assessed through card play and understood as social participation, with an ecological psychology flare.

Thursday June 13, 2013 12:00pm - 1:00pm

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