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The Global Village Playground: A qualitative case study of designing an ARG as a capstone learning experience.

Description: The Global Village Playground (GVP) was a capstone learning experience designed to address institutional assessment needs while providing an integrated, contextualized, and authentic learning experience for students. In the GVP, students work on simulated and real-world problems as a design team tasked with developing an alternate reality game that makes an impact on the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the design of the GVP as a capstone experience. The research design follows a qualitative case study approach to gather and analyze data collected from the instructors and students participating in the pilot implementation of the GVP. Results of the study show predominantly favorable reactions to various aspects of the course and its design. Students reported to have learned the most through interactions with peers and through applying and integrating knowledge in developing the alternate reality game that was the central problem scenario for the course. What students demonstrated to have learned included knowledge construction, social responsibility, open-mindedness, big picture thinking, and an understanding of their relationship to the larger society and world in which they live. Challenges that resulted from the design included the amount of necessary to build consensus and then develop an overarching game concept, the tension between guided and directed instruction, and the need to foster greater interdependence among students while encouraging them to become more self-directed.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Dondlinger, Mary Jo
Partner: UNT Libraries

Using Diffusion of Innovations to Explore Digital Gaming in Undergraduate Library Instruction

Description: Digital games and simulations are receiving considerable notice within the Library and Information Science (LIS) community. This study adds to the depth of knowledge in this area by providing research on the likelihood a hypothetical digital game delivery method for library instruction achieves sufficient adoption to justify its development. Furthermore, this knowledge will assist decision making processes for individuals debating the current or potential role of digital gaming at their institutions. In this mixed methods study, over 300 undergraduates were surveyed about their technology preferences, including digital gaming, for delivery of two forms of academic library instruction. The two forms of library instruction were (a) providing users with spatial information on physical library layout, and (b) educating users on information literacy topics and skills. Observational data was collected during the survey sessions, occurring at face-to-face library instruction sessions. Self-selected survey participants were also interviewed to further probe their survey responses. Rogers' Diffusion of Innovations was the theoretical foundation to this research. The primary innovation of study was the digital game delivery method. Detailed analysis of the survey-based data set included three nonparametric scaling methods: 1) rank-sum scaling; 2) circular triad analysis; and 3) multidimensional preference mapping. Content analysis of the observations and semi-structured interviews also occurred. Major outcomes were 1) the digital game delivery method achieved mediocre preference across both questions; 2) the audiovisual delivery method received the highest overall preference ranking; and 3) overall preference for the audio-only delivery method was remarkably low. The most important theme across the observational data was the participants' waning attention during the face-to-face library instruction sessions. The most important outcome from the semi-structured interviews was interviewees' stated appreciation for useful technologies. Over 95% of participants were so-called digital natives, that is, born post-1980. Rogers' assertion that age plays a minor role in predicting ...
Date: August 2009
Creator: Robertson, Michael James
Partner: UNT Libraries