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#6696087 Sep 10, 2012 at 02:42 PM · Edited 5 years ago
Guild Officer
354 Posts
Another way to consider assessing learning happening in games and simulation is through epistemic network analysis.

We looked at Epistemic Games in Week 4.

Here's a quick read to review. Epistemic Games Are the Future of Learning, Letting Students Role-Play Professions

Could this method of assessment be useful in your content area?

What learning theories are informing it?

ENA (Epistemic Network Analysis) video

For a more detailed look - Epistemic Network Analysis : A Prototype for 21st Century Assessment of Learning
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#6698185 Sep 11, 2012 at 12:34 AM
Initiate
108 Posts
At first I thought epistemic gaming didn't have much to do with my grade 6 classroom. It seemed a lot more relevant to an older audience and a more specific course. For instance, it makes perfect sense for a nursing student to play an epistemic game where they act as a nurse. But would it make sense for a twelve year old?

With a bit more thought, though, I realized that epistemic games can be used in a much wider context. I mean, Half Life isn't an epistemic game, but what you're doing is putting yourself in the position of a physicist and being asked to identify with that character.

So why shouldn't a sixth grade student learn about space by pretending to be an astronaut or a scientist? One of the areas in grade 6 science in our curriculum is forensics and crime analysis, and I'm considering if some of the CSI games (there was one for the DS that, while not particularly fantastic, did use an awful lot of criminal investigation techniques -- I just have to review it to make sure it's appropriate for the age group) would be useful in helping them learn the objectives.

TL;DNR: Epistemic games have a lot more use than I originally thought, and I think the element of fantasy they encourage could be extremely useful in engaging students at any level.
Don’t do work that just exists within your classroom... do work that changes the world. -Will Richardson

http://www.gamifymyclass.blogspot.ca
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#6699041 Sep 11, 2012 at 07:08 AM
Initiate
3 Posts
I see real promise in Epistemic Games for assessment. Games allow players to develop skills and knowledge over increasing levels of difficulty. Players succeed or fail through ongoing formative assessment and only when they actually have mastered relevant skills / knowledge do they advance.

For Epistemic Games to really help us assess student learning in school, we'll need to be careful to clarify the learning outcomes and make sure the player is practicing and being promoted (or not) in the game based on actual mastery.

Very interesting prospect I think.


Eric
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#6704735 Sep 12, 2012 at 10:59 AM
Guild Officer
354 Posts
#6698185 missrithenay wrote:

At first I thought epistemic gaming didn't have much to do with my grade 6 classroom. It seemed a lot more relevant to an older audience and a more specific course. For instance, it makes perfect sense for a nursing student to play an epistemic game where they act as a nurse. But would it make sense for a twelve year old?

With a bit more thought, though, I realized that epistemic games can be used in a much wider context. I mean, Half Life isn't an epistemic game, but what you're doing is putting yourself in the position of a physicist and being asked to identify with that character.

So why shouldn't a sixth grade student learn about space by pretending to be an astronaut or a scientist? One of the areas in grade 6 science in our curriculum is forensics and crime analysis, and I'm considering if some of the CSI games (there was one for the DS that, while not particularly fantastic, did use an awful lot of criminal investigation techniques -- I just have to review it to make sure it's appropriate for the age group) would be useful in helping them learn the objectives.

TL;DNR: Epistemic games have a lot more use than I originally thought, and I think the element of fantasy they encourage could be extremely useful in engaging students at any level.



I do think epistemic frames can be adjusted for grade levels. What you wrote reminded me of what Lisa Dawley and Chris Haskell are doing with NOAA with Planet Stewards. http://planetstewards.wordpress.com/ While their assessment is badges (and yes I think we can figure out how to mix epistemic network analysis with badging) it is placing the students in the role. I especially love this because it could end being combined with the citizen science movement.

And by the way that you so much for the leads on the open badging sites!


twitter @kzenovka
www.center4edupunx
Games MOOC Instructor and Designer
Google + gamesmooc@gmail.com



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#6704747 Sep 12, 2012 at 11:01 AM · Edited 5 years ago
Guild Officer
354 Posts
Agreed - I think we need to keep up the discussion on "gaming the system" or gaming the game. It needs to be addressed and we need to be as critical about our choice of games as we are about text or textbooks.

#6699041 esalahub wrote:

I see real promise in Epistemic Games for assessment. Games allow players to develop skills and knowledge over increasing levels of difficulty. Players succeed or fail through ongoing formative assessment and only when they actually have mastered relevant skills / knowledge do they advance.

For Epistemic Games to really help us assess student learning in school, we'll need to be careful to clarify the learning outcomes and make sure the player is practicing and being promoted (or not) in the game based on actual mastery.

Very interesting prospect I think.


Eric

twitter @kzenovka
www.center4edupunx
Games MOOC Instructor and Designer
Google + gamesmooc@gmail.com



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#6705175 Sep 12, 2012 at 12:52 PM
Cataclysmic
128 Posts
It's interesting, because even without games, students can game the system :-) There was a case a year or so ago about a professor going bananas because he thought everyone in his large lecture class had cheated, where no such thing had happened. They had just heard that the professor used a test bank, that was freely available and they opted to study from it, rather than the book. They gamed the professor and the test ;-)

I think in both context (both with games, and without games in the classroom), educators need to be aware of possibilities for circumvention of the spirit of the activity and how to meaningfully address any trespasses. After all, our activities (game or non-game) serve a purpose (don't they? ;-) )
--------
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#6705646 Sep 12, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Guild Officer
354 Posts
I remember the "cheating" case and had sincerely hoped that it would lead to maybe even a national discussion of the outsourcing of assessment to test banks from textbook publishers. A large lecture management course at a university, where the professor claims to write his own test questions finds out that a number of his students are using the publisher test bank to study for the questions. So of course this led to a student claim that they were gaming the system by using the test bank and key. The professor called it cheating.

Is it? If you can google and find a test bank - or in an online class google the answers and pass the course is real learning or real instruction happening there. Or is it just a system or process with the end result being get as high a score as possible. This is where I believe not only students need to think critically but also instructors and administration.I think as an educator, you need to look at your assessment or your homework manager that auto-grades and see is there a way to game it without having learned the material. If it possible or even easy, then I don't believe it's just about the students have the integrity not to cheat but you as an educator having the integrity to find a different way to evaluate if learning is taking place and to adjust if it isn't.

twitter @kzenovka
www.center4edupunx
Games MOOC Instructor and Designer
Google + gamesmooc@gmail.com



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#6710569 Sep 13, 2012 at 02:23 PM
Initiate
108 Posts
Agreed -- Planet Stewards provides a really interesting example of what can be done.
Don’t do work that just exists within your classroom... do work that changes the world. -Will Richardson

http://www.gamifymyclass.blogspot.ca
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#6710582 Sep 13, 2012 at 02:26 PM
Initiate
108 Posts
Oh, just FYI -- it's Caryn Swark, not Karyn Swank. LOL. You'd be amazed how often I get the Swank thing. I just pretend I'm related to Hilary ;)
Don’t do work that just exists within your classroom... do work that changes the world. -Will Richardson

http://www.gamifymyclass.blogspot.ca
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#6712559 Sep 13, 2012 at 10:52 PM · Edited 5 years ago
Consigliere
26 Posts
In my Intro to Business class, I'm piloting the use of World of Warcraft as an epistemic game for business. Specifically, I'm focusing students on the epistemic frame of the Auction House and the Crafting system. Students will create micro-businesses in WoW and then monitor and run them as if they were real businesses. With 11 million total players and roughly 10,000 or more characters per realm, World of Warcraft offers a very realistic market for the goods and materials students will sell.

One of the reasons we choose to pilot games is that retention in this class is lower than we want it to be. After talking with fellow business instructors from across the country, we've found that Intro to Business has low retention nation wide at many schools.
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