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Title: Employing variation in the object of learning for the design-based development of serious games that support learning of conditional knowledge
Author: Ruskov, M. P.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5359 2601
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2014
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Learning how to cope with tasks that do not have optimal solutions is a life-long challenge. In particular when such education and training needs to be scalable, technologies are needed to support teachers and facilitators in providing the feedback and discussion necessary for quality learning. In this thesis, I conduct design-based research by following a typical game development cycle to develop a serious game. I propose a framework that derives learning and motivational principles to include them into the design of serious games. My exploration starts with project management as a learning domain, and for practical reasons, shifts towards information security. The first (concept) phase of the development includes an in-depth study: a simulation game of negotiation (Study 1: class study, n=60). In the second (design) phase I used rapid prototyping to develop a gamified web toolkit, embodying the CCO framework from crime prevention, making five small-scale formative evaluations (Study 2, n=17) and a final lab evaluation (Study 3, n=28). In the final (production) stage the toolkit was used in two class studies (Study 4, n=34 and Study 5, n=20), exploring its adoption in a real-world environment. This thesis makes three main contributions. One contribution is the adaptation of the iterative method of the phenomenographic learning study to the study of the efficiency of serious games. This employs open questionsing, analysed with 3 different means of analysis to demonstrate 4 distinct types of evidence of deep learning. Another contribution is the provided partial evidence for the positive effects from the introduction of variation on engagement and learning. The third contribution is the development of four design- based research principles: i) the importance of being agile; ii) feedback from interpretation of the theory; iii) particular needs for facilitation; and iv) reusing user-generated content.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available