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Title: Digital anthropology and educational eGames : learning through behavioural patterns in digital, game-based contexts
Author: Burgos, D.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5923 9809
Awarding Body: University of Westminster
Current Institution: University of Westminster
Date of Award: 2015
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The selected publications are focused on the relations between users, eGames and the educational context, and how they interact together, so that both learning and user performance are improved through feedback provision. A key part of this analysis is the identification of behavioural, anthropological patterns, so that users can be clustered based on their actions, and the steps taken in the system (e.g. social network, online community, or virtual campus). In doing so, we can analyse large data sets of information made by a broad user sample,which will provide more accurate statistical reports and readings. Furthermore, this research is focused on how users can be clustered based on individual and group behaviour, so that a personalized support through feedback is provided, and the personal learning process is improved as well as the group interaction. We take inputs from every person and from the group they belong to, cluster the contributions, find behavioural patterns and provide personalized feedback to the individual and the group, based on personal and group findings. And we do all this in the context of educational games integrated in learning communities and learning management systems. To carry out this research we design a set of research questions along the 10-year published work presented in this thesis. We ask if the users can be clustered together based on the inputs provided by them and their groups; if and how these data are useful to improve the learner performance and the group interaction; if and how feedback becomes a useful tool for such pedagogical goal; if and how eGames become a powerful context to deploy the pedagogical methodology and the various research methods and activities that make use of that feedback to encourage learning and interaction; if and how a game design and a learning design must be defined and implemented to achieve these objectives, and to facilitate the productive authoring and integration of eGames in pedagogical contexts and frameworks. We conclude that educational games are a resourceful tool to provide a user experience towards a better personalized learning performance and an enhance group interaction along the way. To do so, eGames, while integrated in an educational context, must follow a specific set of user and technical requirements, so that the playful context supports the pedagogical model underneath. We also conclude that, while playing, users can be clustered based on their personal behaviour and interaction with others, thanks to the pattern identification. Based on this information, a set of recommendations are provided Digital Anthropology and educational eGames 6 /216 to the user and the group in the form of personalized feedback, timely managed for an optimum impact on learning performance and group interaction level. In this research, Digital Anthropology is introduced as a concept at a late stage to provide a backbone across various academic fields including: Social Science, Cognitive Science, Behavioural Science, Educational games and, of course, Technology-enhance learning. Although just recently described as an evolution of traditional anthropology, this approach to digital behaviour and social structure facilitates the understanding amongst fields and a comprehensive view towards a combined approach. This research takes forward the already existing work and published research onusers and eGames for learning, and turns the focus onto the next step — the clustering of users based on their behaviour and offering proper, personalized feedback to the user based on that clustering, rather than just on isolated inputs from every user. Indeed, this pattern recognition in the described context of eGames in educational contexts, and towards the presented aim of personalized counselling to the user and the group through feedback, is something that has not been accomplished before.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available