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Wednesday, June 11 • 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Changing Perspectives and Attitudes

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Discussant:  James Paul Gee

Political Agenda: A cognitive game for political perspective taking
Matthew Easterday, Selwa Barhumi, Yanna Krupnikov
How might we use games to teach citizens political perspective taking? The first phase of this design-based research project surveyed 187 undergraduate students and found relatively poor political perspective taking abilities. The second phase of the project designed an educational game for political perspective taking and used a single-group pre/post design to test the game with 14 social policy students and found that the game was engaging but did not promote learning. The third phase of the project describes the design of a game with an embedded intelligent tutor that provides the sort of step-level feedback needed for teaching reasoning on complex skills. This work argues that we can design effective and engaging civics games by: (a) teaching political perspective taking through moral foundations theory, (b) using fantasy environments that ask players to predict policy positions, and (c) using embedded intelligent tutors.

Project NEO: The effect of a science game to promote STEM learning by changing attitudes and skillsets of preservice teachers
Richard Van Eck, Mark Guy, Robert Brown, Scott Brewster, Austin Winger
The number of STEM majors needed to meet the expected needs of our future workforce is expected to grow, yet fewer students are choosing to major in STEM areas, and those who are may be underprepared by current school curriculum. While innovative solutions like video games in middle school STEM areas are critical, solutions may also need to involve elementary school preservice teachers (PSTs). Research shows that PSTs are underprepared, however, and that their students do not master fundamental skills needed for middle school. This NSF-supported project developed and tested the first of several planned modules of a video game based on the Next Generation Science Standards. Results suggest that PSTs who play the video game demonstrate improved science content knowledge. The study also found that PSTs had positive attitudes toward video games as instructional tools. Implications for PST education relating to games and science education are discussed.

Designing Beyond the Game: Leveraging Games to Teach Designers about Interaction, Immersion, and Ethical Perspective
David Simkins
This paper discusses a course developed to explore contextual ethics and critical ethical reasoning through study of the design of a popular, open world, sandbox role playing game. This work is based on a course centered on Elders Scrolls 5: Skyrim, offered spring 2012. Throughout the course, students played about 10 hours per week and kept a journal of their play, class time was spent discussing readings about the social context represented in the game, as well as ethical theory, and the practice of game and role play design.This paper offers a framework for other instructors in how one might use an integrated approach to exploring game design and humanities in a way that enhances student learning of both.

avatar for Matt Easterday

Matt Easterday

Assistant Professor, Northwestern University
Matt Easterday is an assistant professor in the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. He received his PhD in 2010 from the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, where he was a fellow in the Institute for Educational Science’s... Read More →
avatar for David Simkins

David Simkins

Associate Professor, Rochester Institute of Technology
David is fascinated by the potential of games, particularly role playing as a tool for facilitating and encouraging learning. He is also fascinated by the constraints and affordances of different games as tools for learning. Fortunately, he is able to study games, write about games... Read More →

Wednesday June 11, 2014 4:00pm - 5:00pm CDT
Old Madison

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