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Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops

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Copyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy

Text of Designing Engaging Game Making Workshops

  • 1.Designing engaging game-making workshops the full picture Michael HallissyDirector of LearningDigital Hub Development AgencyCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy

2. Presentation Overview Introduction The Digital Hub Learning Programme 21st Century Learning some challenges Use of computer games in The Hub Our experiences with MissionMaker 5 Lessons we learnt QuestionsCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy 3. IntroductionCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy 4. Introduction Former primary teacher Partner in H2 Learning Teachers and Learners Better teaching and learningCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy 5. The Digital HubCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy 6. The Learning Programme DHDA were tasked with implementinga strategy for educational provision, particularly for digital arts and technology, including linkages with first and second level schools, with further education and third level institutions engaged in digital content production (FGS, 2007: p.9) - Support from Diageo - The NCTE/DESCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy 7. Focus on Literacy Literacy levels were particularly low Schools keen to implement new innovative approaches to literacy to assist with traditional literacy to develop new literacies Influenced by research around an expanded notion of literacy Literacy for the 21st century Where young people could read and write digitalCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy 8. Notion of Digital Literacy Digital literacy is the awareness, attitude and ability of individuals to appropriately use digital tools and facilities to identify, access, manage, integrate, evaluate, analyse and synthesize digital resources, construct new knowledge, create media expressions, and communicate with others, in the context of specific life situations, in order to enable constructive social action; and to reflect upon the process. (Martin, 2006: p. 19)Copyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy 9. 21st Century LearnersThey have grown up digital:They want a choice in their education, in terms ofwhat they learn, when they learn it, where andhow. They want their education to be relevant tothe real world, the one they live in. They want itto be interesting, even fun(Tapscott, 2008: p.126) Digital technologies have the potential to redefine how we learnCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy 10. Opportunities for change Young people can create and publish at the click of abutton Exciting time for learning (Heppell) New technologies are opening up new opportunitiesfor learners Computers as finger paint (Mitch Resnick in 2001)Copyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy 11. Computer Games in Education Important element of popular culture Very much associated with play Something one chooses to do as a source of pleasure,which is intensely and utterly absorbing and promotes theformation of social groupings(Prensky, 2001; p. 112) Evidence that games motivate reluctant learners (Ellis et al., 2006 & Mitchell and Savill-Smith, 2006, Williamson, 2009)Copyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy 12. Computer Games in Education But also evidence that games can play a role in development of critical-thinking, in problem-solving and in developing decision-making skills Tiong and Yong (2008) believe that it is their potential to engage and develop these 21st century skills that has attracted much attention in recent times. Much of the literature has focused on playing games where our interest was in game-making Ben Williamson reported in 2009 that: there are emerging practices around young people as creative producers of games particularly when they develop their production skills.Copyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy 13. Some literature on game-making Williamson found that game-making in UK schools was not wide-spread Not surprising as Futurelab found that 72% of teachers were not playing gamesfor leisure (Sandford et al., 2006) Tiong and Yong (2008) found there has been an upsurge in game-makingin recent years Associate this with advancements in game-authoring tools Yet they have raised questions over the quality of games created Raised questions about the suitability of the tutors They quoted Zimmerman and Fortugno (2005) that making games is hard They questioned the naivety of education professionals and scholars of learningin relation to game design and development Contended that tutors should have at least have: Experience in playing games A deep knowledge of game design theory Some substantial experience in game-makingCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy 14. Some literature on game-making Despite these findings other research suggested: that teachers/tutors had a key role in mediating computer game activities in schools This was particularly true in simulation games (Mitchell and Savill-Smith, 2004) But this is game playing activities! Raised the question How should teachers mediate game-making workshops and what is their role?Copyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy 15. Studies on game-makingCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy 16. Some Game-Making ToolsInventagiochi (Koala Games) MissionMakerGameMakerCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy 17. Review of the Studies Element of the StudyFinding Learning Environment Social Constructivist approach Learning/Teaching Strategies Little direct teaching with Scratch Direct teaching in school settings Social Constructivist approachescommon Tutor Role Organiser Scaffolding the learning process Mentor Artefact Production All wanted participants to create agame that others could play Environments Game-making can take placesuccessfully in both locations Support and Training Howells and Robertson (2008)found that teachers did requireextra support and trainingCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy 18. MissionMaker WorkshopsCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy 19. Our Interest in Games Reluctant learners how do we engage them? Aware that young people love to play games their ability to engage young people Some had even suggested that games can be viewed as digital texts Locating game-making in this discourse Linking the activity to digital literacy Young people writing games Lets do it Summer project to enable young people create their own games Selected a tool and off we wentCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy 20. What did we do? Need for an authoring tool Suitable for teenagers with little or no programming experience Allow them to create a game Develop 21st century skills Target audience was teenagers 12 to 16 Selected our tutors and off we went Designed our programme (roughly) Recruited young people and beganCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy 21. MissionMaker The Tool All our energies focused on finding a tool Selected MissionMaker Developed by London Knowledge Lab and Immersive Education Used in UK schools as part of their media education programme New on the market It came with Training manuals Training programme We decided to run a 3-4 day programme 12 to 16 hours total New setting for ImmersiveCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy 22. Our Tutors Two experienced tutorsCreativeExperienced in using digital mediaExperienced in working with young peopleHowever, they were not gamers Support they received They attended a one-day workshop They taught themselves how touse the software MissionMaker is not an easy tool to useCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy 23. Tutor Training From the beginning of the training I had a difficulty understanding and I think my difficulty was more to do with my lack of experience [in] the context of understanding Suddenly I a gamerealised thatactually makinga game becamereally good fun I learnt by taking time to sitdown and do it myselfCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy 24. Lessons Learnt Lesson 1 Tutor preparation is vital need to consider whatcompetences they have and how we prepare them? How do you deliver this training or support? Not just teaching them the software functionsCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy 25. Instructional Strategies Structure of MissionMaker A set timetable where IMissionMaker is veryhave to introduce formulaic in that it is verysomething, explain it,concentrated on the step-and then let them test itby-step Predominant Pedagogy Direct teaching or modeling (Mellar, 2007) Walk through the product on the big screen and participants mimic your actions Impact on participants They never really look up Some participants found this approach tedious Designed to fast-track learning of software featuresCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy 26. Instructional Strategies Tutors believed that it was the best way they were still into it need to know what the tools will do Consequences of this approach Quietness in the room No discussion/No peer conversations Just young people working on computers Combination strategy emerged Directed teaching to introduce software features More collaborative/facilitative strategies laterCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy 27. Lessons Learnt Lesson 2What teaching strategies will tutors use?How will you equip them with these strategies?How will this impact on the learning activities?What activities will you include in the workshop?Copyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy 28. Collaboration and Teamwork This was one of the quietestThe quietness was a bigworkshops I ever gave concern though the engagement is hugely positive it could promoteGame creation and game play isolation are solitary activities Tutors viewed game-making as head-centred and kind of myopic Lack of physical activity and contact Tutors actively built in teamwork activities Ice-breaker activities where they solved puzzles mental challenges worked well as opposed to physical gamesCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hallissy 29. Teamwork MissionMaker did not allow participants to build game sections Each game was a stand-alone artefact So what could we do? Tutors developed a strategy around linked games Team of 3 had to link their games Think it worked out nicely found out abouteach others games and really modeled thewhole relay thingCopyright @ 2011 Michael Hall

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