Design of Learning Games
From CS 160 Fall 2008
Lecture on Nov 17, 2008
- Localized Iterative Design for Language Learning in Underdeveloped Regions: The PACE Framework Matthew Kam et al, in ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI), 2007.
- Designing E-Learning Games for Rural Children in India: A Format for Balancing Learning with Fun Matthew Kam et al, in ACM Conference on Design of Interactive Systems (DIS), 2008.
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Perry Lee 02:43, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
Both papers serve as an example of why you should use an iterative design cycle and reflect the importance of using a flexible framework to implement a prototype. It's hard to predict how effective and intuitive a user interface will be -- especially when you are designing a user interface for an educational application/game and for a cross-cultural audience. The first paper illustrates the importance of using a framework that allows for rapid and scalable development from reusable parts. You don't want to waste time reinventing the wheel. You want to spend more time conducting the usability tests rather than being held back by the technical side of things. The second paper illustrates the difficulty of balancing pleasure and education. An unexpected challenge was that students were playing the games solely for the entertainment value rather than for the learning aspect; the studies showed that students were glossing over the learning and thus showing little improvement. By using rapid prototyping, researchers were able to redesign the game relatively quickly and find a proper balance of pleasure and education. In doing so, they were able to achieve significant learning gains ("In quantitative terms, the 16 learners from class 3 who played Floored scored an average of 3.50 out of 8 on the pre-test and 7.06 out of 8 on the post-test").
Vedran Pogacnik 10:57, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
I have to disagree with Perry here, because I don’t think that it is a hard task to design a game for target users of different culture. One merely has to think harder about the details, actually. I didn’t see that on sample interface pictures presented in both papers. Specifically, if one is presenting something to kids from the rural areas, and expects them to learn the target task, one shouldn’t give out a three-lane high-way, because chances are that the kids have never seen it and are wondering what does it to, which might divert a small portion of their attention from focusing on the target task they need to perform. The same goes for kids in Africa, who were presented with a picture of a cop wearing a uniform of the “western world.” Might those kids wonder what that man is doing and clearly identify that mad as a cop instead of a doorman? My point is, thinking about details here should include thinking about a sufficiently specific audience, whereas here I believe the target user group is loosely defined. When thinking about that, one should relate every detail of the app as close as possible to the circumstances of the users’ lives. This detail is small visual example that seemingly doesn’t have much to do with the high-level purpose of the game. However, I believe that a number of such details add up to confusion and ineffectiveness of the application.
Witton Chou 00:14, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
Both papers have a strong focus on utilizing iterative design to improve learning. And as they walked through the cycle several times, they realized how the children would attack the gaming aspect and sometimes avoid the educational objectives. I think it is very important to employ ethnography here to understand the culture and the available resources. They observed that there were issues with using the joystick which I think would be a lesser problem if the study were done one a well developed technologically advanced area. Though smartphones are becoming more popular, they are still a relatively new technology and features we find to be intuitive may not be in less developed areas. Many people overlook the difficulty of targeting a user set that is different from their own. Assumptions are often made and sometimes they can be true, but many of these assumptions and their effects are not always clear. Thus the iterative design process is very important and proved to be highly effective in these studies.
Buda Chiou 00:29, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
I don't think it's a good idea to let children learn alphabet through some learning game because there is too few tasks that users can perform without knowing the alphet or some simple vocabularies so that we can't make the game too complex, which will destroy the entertainment value of the game. If the game is not fun at all, kids may not even want to play that game which will make the whole learning idea useless. When I was little, I learned a lot about English and Japanese through the games made in these languages, and these games are certainly not some language learning games. Since these games are so fun that I spend a lot of time on them, finally I can figure out what each words' meaning that appears in the games. Of course, I feel the games are fun because I know all the alphabets and some simple vocabularies of these languages. Therefore, I think playing alphabets learning games may not be a very efficient way of learing.
Jacekmw 01:48, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
For both the first and second paper, I found it interesting to read about the various difficulties and design choices the team struggled with along the path of creating their English-language-learning phone game. The paper really shows the merits of iterative design, and of getting a good varied sample of the potential users of an interface. For instance, in the second paper he mentions that the getting the rural children to work with the parrot game was much more of a challenge, since they did not have the basic exposure to English sounds that the urban children did, and also needed to learn to use the phones themselves. This brings to mind that not every user will immediately understand what they need to do, and some indeed may be new to the concept of a computer. This also shows us the importance of knowing exactly what types of users this is being made for as well. The first paper also discusses this, noting that they soon realized after User Study 1 that their target audience was actually much younger, because children much younger (4-6) were able to user their game, which had been designed for 10+ year old children. Thus a user interface design benefits from an iterative procedure in that just about any part of it can and likely will change in the process of the interface's development.
James Yeh 03:15, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
Both papers highlight the importance and benefits of a concept that we have repeatedly stressed in class: iterative design. In particular, I found the concrete examples presented in the second paper to be highly effective in demonstrating the improvements and advances in learning-based game design that can be achieved through multiple revisions of previous versions. For instance, it seemed counterintuitive to me at first to make the practice session of the game have a more classroom-like environment, as I always thought the objective of a game was for the user to have fun. But after reading through the description of the reasoning and the results of the iterative designs of the Frogger and Floored games, it made sense why the students would be more concentrated on the material when a simulated classroom setting was guiding them through the learning process. In addition, I agree that it can be very difficult to match and satisfy the users’ expectations and desires when the designers are not of the same background and have little knowledge of the working environment. As mentioned in the first paper, the use of iterative design and existing patterns greatly helps, but I also felt that the designers in each of the cases benefited strongly from having a former native of India help in interpreting and conveying the Indian customs and values. Thus, iterative design is not the solve-all solution for adapting game designs to foreign or unknown cultures; field studies on the target environment using techniques such as contextual inquiry or types of ethnography are also required to obtain an accurate and comprehensive description of the target users.
Xuexin Zhang 05:15, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
In his first paper, Kam talked about how they applied iterative design with users by undeserving communities. From their research, they found that this design patterns allowed them with a basic and abstract view to their design process in the process of localizing the language learning content. He also talked about how the rapid prototyping helps them create a reusable and scalable development. In the second of his paper, Kam revealed the some facts of successful learning products from the developed country and how he use similar format to help the game system to learn English alphabet in term of balancing between pleasure and learning. I believe that using a game to learn alphabet and vocabulary is a good idea and I am kind of against the idea of using a game to learn a language in general. First of all, the process of learning alphabet and vocabulary is based on memorization in opposed to the language in general which requires understanding and practice.
Mohammed Ali 06:05, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
I think it was interesting how the e-learning games were more obvious in different settings like the classroom. Having the teachers face on the screen really excited them and it was interesting how they were simulated by it. I never really though about the seriousness of serious games in different settings really. The photo of the teacher gave a message to the players, that through this game, they should learn.
KevinFriedheim 07:21, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
I agree with the PACE framework in underdeveloped regions for UI development; in particular the patterns that they mention in languagle learning games. Most games use common patterns for teaching and testing at particular levels of a game or challenge. The example they gave with the cell phone (Figure 1) was a perfect example of a pattern as it was not clear to me prior to viewing it. Also something that I think is very important (and not just with language learning) is the addition of a fun factor or other appeal to the learning process. This is precisely what our group is trying to do with our group project "Talk Soup."
I also agree with the point that was made about how people come from different background and different levels of learning abiliity and understanding of computer functionalities in general. This is why I feel that the PACE method is a good approach to building and designing games that are aimed at people that fall on any extreme of any scale.
Vedran states above that he doesn't think its hard to design games for different cultures -- I'd have to respectfully agree with him since different cultures afford different levels of understanding and basic computer knowledge of functionality. For example, most Americans know or are mostly familiar with computers and can get their way around most interfaces where as someone in a 3rd world country may not have ever seen or heard of a computer and never seen an interface -- which would throw heuristics like "Consistency" right out the window.
Haosi Chen 07:44, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
These two reading have a strong focus on utilizing iterative design to improve learning. And as they walked through the cycle, they realized how the children would attack the gaming aspect and sometimes avoid the educational objectives. I think it is very important to employ ethnography here to understand the culture and the available resources. On the other hand, I don't think it's that great to let children learn alphabet through some learning game because there is too few tasks that users can perform without knowing the alphabet or some simple vocabularies so that we can't make the game too hard, which will destroy the entertainment value of the game.
Wenda Zhao 07:45, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
The paper generally talked about language learning on cell phones. They introduced the PACE framework. I think it is a very useful framework and we can definitely learn a lot from it. The development process is iterative and it supports rapid and scalable development. And it encourages developers to have more usability tests in stead of figuring out what users want. In this way, the development will be a lot more effective.
Bing Wang 07:49, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
The two papers mainly focused on discussing using iterative designs to carry out language learning on cell phones in under developed segment of the society. The article is interesting because it is very similar to the course we are doing - an educational game. The paper vividly described how the designers went through initial field studies to collect the results from the users, and then used iterative design to modified the subsequent revisions. The paper talked about pattern as well as ethnographic studies as they are doing the study in other countries which has a different culture than the US. It is interesting to see how the things that we learn in class applies to the real world.
One thing that I want to note is that the lack of lo-fi prototype in the readings. I am not sure if the researchers regarded as something that is of low importance or just ignored doing lo-fi prototype at all. I found lo-fi prototype to be a quite useful while iteratively designing the game for the class. We caught some major issues with the lo-fi prototype. I believe if they used lo-fi prototype, they might have saved some iterations.
There seems to be a heated debate regarding whether it is hard to design games for another culture. I will have to side with the people that say it is hard to design games for another culture especially that of India which is completely different from that of the United States. It may be better since the game is teaching English and it would be acceptable to use the American or British culture just to highlight where English is used. However, I think in terms of other games, some cultures carry very different values. Same colors in different cultures can mean very different things. (i.e. US stock market uses red as down while the Chinese market uses red as up).
Volodymyr Kalish 09:14, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
As mobile phones are becomming more affordable for everyone, it is a great idea to utilize them for learning, especially for such world-wide standard language as English. The mobile phone conversations are not cheap, but when not calling someone kids (and also adults) tend to mostly play games ("to kill some time"). So, learning while playing is a great insentive, and all that is required is to have a mobile phone (even from economical point of view no special equipment or access to the Internet is required).
Shaharyar Muzaffar 09:38, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
Although these papers highlight the importance of the iterative development design, I think they give the impression that the redesign process is basic and straight forward. For example, for the redesign of the frogger game, they fixed a problem in recognizing the teacher by simply changing the picture. They did not discuss why this was a problem, but instead made a basic change to just fix the problem. I think the redesign phase should not be thought of a only "how to fix" phase but also a "why is it bad" phase.
Karen Tran 10:05, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
After having read previous responses to today's reading, I'd have to say that I agree most with Vedran's comments. While it is difficult to understand kids who come from a different background than that of the designers, it is not a hard task to design games for them. For every game developed, the designers should spend time studying their targeted users. Even within the same culture, people from different generations can be very different. If a team of USA game designers, who are already in their late forties, were developing games for USA teenagers, I highly doubt that they would understand the world, from which the teenagers live in. Good game designers would diligently study the interest of their target users and devise their games accordingly. The same argument could be applied to a group of USA game designers developing games for kids in rural India countries. The designers should spend more time paying attention to the details, the interests and the familiarities that the kids here associate themselves with. If the target users cannot recognize any familiar settings, objects, etc, it is hard for them to develop a connection, an interest in the game because they would feel like it's too foreign, leading to the result of "guess blindly," clicking on all answers until a correct answer is clicked, as mentioned in the first article. This would defeat the purpose of learning.
One resounding concept being stressed over and over again is the idea of iterative design. It is clear that iterative design proves to be very helpful here because in my opinion, it is the only way that the game designers could continue to focus thier design on the targeted users. It is hard to understand kids from a different background, and the best way to make the game as adaptable for them as possible is to constantly get feedback from them. Having said that, I find it interesting that neither paper mentioned low-fidelity prototype because this is the way to cut down the design cycle as short as possible, allowing more feedbacks to be gathered and more mistakes to be caught before the design derailed too far from the focus.
Stuart Bottom 10:09, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
These papers have fueled the debate in my mind (along with the other comments on this page, of course) on just how effective serious games are for teaching techno-centric languages/conceptual models to other cultures. The main issue I see is in distribution of technology to Third-World regions, where the low saturation of items like computers means that while most kids have probably seen a computer at some point in their lives, they would have no idea how to use one except by trial and error. That is to say, the low technology density in many of these regions simply means that kids don't have a conceptual model for working with a computer or a user interface. Give a kid in the U.S. an OLPC machine and he/she may be able to figure some things out on it; but if you give the machine to a kid in rural Africa, he/she is much more likely to get frustrated if asked to perform any specific task on it - simply because the machine does not fit any conceptual model the child has ever used before. Designers need to be aware that the frameworks their users follow in these situations may be very weak or nonexistent, demanding special care if a serious game is truly going to be effective in its educational goals.
Kumar Garapaty 10:20, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
I found the articles extremely interesting since they connected UI with real world applications and developing good user interfaces to improve child literacy is one of most excellent applications of HCI. Although, there are several financial and technical problems to solve before actually implementing serious learning games through mobile applications, I think the use of mobile phones to improve literacy is probably the best way since there is already a widespread prevalence of mobile phones in India. Mobile phones, themselves, have to become cheaper and more powerful (which I am sure will happen in due time) for them to perform these games with proper abilities and achieve a long term goal.
JoshuaKwan 10:40, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
The fieldwork done in Uttar Pradesh is a really impressive testament to the success of UI design methods of all kinds. Actually, I think a condensed version of this paper deserves to be presented early on in the class. Anyway, this talk of educational games reminds me of the educational games I grew up and their various successes. I vividly remember playing Math Blaster, Word Munchers, Oregon Trail, and the Logical Journey of the Zoombinis as a child and I credit those games (as a unit) for making me smart enough to be a CS major! :) ESL is a particularly sticky subject and I feel pretty humbled. I was sitting here a while ago bemoaning the difficulty of our game's subject matter, but teaching English with games to people who can't even understand the design patterns of video games is a much more involved task. The contextual inquiry/task analysis and iterative design processes are absolutely crucial here because all the developers, coming from a Western perspective, can't understand those who are poor and insulated from the modern world at large...
Saliem Than 11:50, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
Brief Notes: - interesting design patterns described: steps that a current language software takes to implement a learning task: word recognition: receptive phase, activation phase. 50+ patterns found from 35+ pieces of the best selling language learning software (clifford big red dog theme! (favorite) :D). would have to explain pictures in voice overs in native language, learner may not associate words with certain pictures w/o an ESL teacher as was the context of the games - interesting rationales for iterative design: difficult to get an accurate understanding of baseline of user educational baseline, limited computing experience > usability, making design consistent with the local culture and practices - curious game design choices, thought they were contrary to the idea of localization: hangman and crossword puzzles? surely those type of games aren't native and there are some games that are native and more familiar to the users in the study
Overall I thought the study was very thorough and well put together. I do think however that one critical aspect wasn't taken into account discussed or factored into the design of the initial games used for the study and that was the amount of time available for learning a second language. Another way to describe this aspect is to perhaps introduce a solution (contrary to design principles perhaps though, eeks?) the solution being that the games might be better off if they were personalized and fitted down into the very daily, hourly activities of the users in focus. That perhaps would facilitate learning a second language and surely might complement the purpose of the second language software design patterns introduced.
Saliem Than 19:32, 17 November 2008 (UTC) - edit - lecture told me that lifestyle and time considerations were actually taken into consideration: the play habits of the children was studied, and audio as a teaching instrument was explored for use while working.
Trinhvo 12:05, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
Interesting articles. After reading the articles, I could how difficulty it is to design a good learning game. It takes a lot of effort and cultural understand of the target users to be able to design appropriate user interfaces. During the process of designing, designers should know how to utilize what they already have to save time and bring their products to test at early stage. In designing a learning game, designers should think of ways to prevent users from cheating by getting the right answers without comprehension. Also learning games should be balanced between entertainment and education.
Jimmy Nguyen 13:48, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
I like the fact that to get a feel for a game, then the iterative design includes going to a specific target group, not only to test but also to analyze the environment and background that they are in. It is cool how they can even use this information to their use as they go through the design process. My only concern for this methodology would be that it may run into the case that things get TOO specific from over analysis of the user environment, but it is still understandable because interface design is based around the user anyways... right?
Billy Grissom 17:20, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
I thought these were pretty interesting. I mean it seems like a no brainer to make learning fun but it's also interesting having to take in the cultural aspects into concern. I mean what might be entertaining or practical for children in the U.S. might be different for those in third world or other countries. I think games are a great way to provide learning but you have to do so with regards to certain respects. Like the article pointed out it's hard finding a common level that everyone can kind of play with and not get bored. On one hand you can make something challenging but this rules out a lot of potential players, on the other hand making something too easy also turns a lot of people away or doesn't grad their attention for very long. The key I guess to any game, whether it be learning or not, is to find that balance.
Frank Yang 14:19, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
I too think that these papers really illustrate the power of iterative design. It also demonstrates some of the troubles that any game designer will face when creating a game. Especially in the second reading, the background of the target user group is extremely important. Although both the rural and urban students were of similar ages, due to their locations and exposure to the English language, the effectiveness of the game was completely different. However, as Jimmy mentions above me, the hardest part in the design is to create a design that all groups can easily use and enjoy, without leaving any group out or "dumbing" it down for any other group. Because once the game is too specfic from over-anaylsis, the target user group shrinks, and the program will only be effective within a small group of people.
Juanpadilla 17:18, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
To me, this was a great example of a real world situation that uses the methods and techniques we have learned in this class. Using methods we learned like the design cycle, the zone of proximal development and design patterns this article re-iterates the importance of these methods and how they can be used successfully. Furthermore, these articles show that even professionals with lots of experience do not succeed on the first attempt even with careful preparation. The balance between fun-factor and education has been a concern with our game for this class so it is interesting to see how this situation can occur in a real life setting so different than our classroom test tube.
MuQing Jing 17:23, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
Although the two papers really focus on the concept of using iterative design to fuel learning games, I would think that the initial premise of teaching basic skills via games might be something of a detriment. At such a young age, learning basic tasks like the alphabet or arithmetic really serves two purposes: to learn the actual task, and to experience the conventional learning process (memorization, practice, retention, etc). While games may be effective at fulfilling the first purpose, it is hardly a sound strategy for the second purpose. The articles do address, however, the need to cater these types of games not only to the demographics of the target audience, but also to the society and culture as a whole. As such, a very good general design is extremely important, but the process of iterative design allows for the design to branch off to different target groups for the purposes of refinement.
Yuta Morimoto 17:53, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
Today's readings are very appropriate for us since we finished assignment of pilot usability study. As I conducted the iteration several times, they found how the children would play the game and sometime avoid the educational objectives .The paper showed how the designers did field studies to collect the information from the users and used iterative design to modify the later ones. The readings show us practical iterative redesign and actual procedure of redesign of games. However, the reading is focusing on more educational aspects to encourage for children to learn language. Even if these aspects may be useful to improve persuasion of game, I think they do not told us UI aspects.
Greg Nagel 17:59, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
There's been some talk about how difficult and ineffective these games may be as a teaching tool, but I think it's important to note that some of these kids have no access to any education. Any attempt to teach them basic reading and writing skills is probably better than what they'd have otherwise. Projects like One Laptop Per Child, as badly as that one was carried out, are popular because it's a good idea to bring technology to third-world countries. Those who have even limited access to technology could benefit so much from a game like this.
Mike Kendall 18:01, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
I found it interesting how certain things came up as important when developing games for an audience that you are not a part of and others didn't. There was very little UID in the article, instead focusing first on learning practices. The parts of the article about contextualizing the content of the game to make sense in other cultures seemed like an interesting arguing point since in an educational game, you want your user to see the game as approachable. In most games for entertainment, the world that has been created doesn't really follow contextual guidelines like that. The majority of role playing games are made in Japan and follow the societal cues of that country, but that doesn't seem to be a problem when selling the games in an American market.
For some games, it is a benefit to make an alternative and immersive world, but for others it's a hindrance.
Also, it was good to see how the games' design and programming made up for a lack of good input mechanisms. I saw this with respect to the two biggest errors: the speaker for the phone not being loud enough to hear a sound in the archery game, and the joystick being confusing for children to learn.
Gary Wu 18:04, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
Iterative refinement is definitely a great tool for UI design. Compared to that of the basic software engineering waterfall method, iterations allow designers to save time and find bugs/errors a lot quicker. Rewrites of layouts and design can also be easily fixed in iterative design. I like how PACE follows this idea and takes it to another level with the semblance of the idea of personas, where it allows the design to be flexible for different age groups and people of different needs. In the second article, I actually had a real-world experience of what was discussed. During the pilot study, since our target group are younger kids, I found that I had to lower the baseline level of the puzzle that was included in our game. This falls in line with how they had to work with the lower educational baseline of rural children.
Cynthia T. Hsu 18:08, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Bouda's skepticism from a few posts back. While reading the "Localized Iterative Design" paper, I found myself very irritated with one particular sentence in it, although it was a little bit off the paper's point:
"Most important, a large-scale evaluation by Pratham showed significant gains on mathematics test scores from playing computer games that target math learning . It is plausible that similar learning outcomes can be replicated using mobile games for ESL."
I'm not entirely convinced, because math learning requires a lot of practice and repetition. Languages, while requiring practice and repetition, also require a contextual (master-apprentice?) model to learn - that argument seems as flawed as saying that since computers are able to compute so well, they must be able to learn English very well too. It's one thing to memorize vocab and another to learn a grammar or the subtleties of the vocabularly, although I suppose the start provided by this technology is better than none.
More central to the main idea of the "Localized Iterative Design" - I did find it interesting that it seemed that the initial study was done with twelve rural paper on laptop games was performed before what seemed like their major ethnographic study. The initial study seemed reminiscent of the pilot study, while the larger study seemed to have been conducted largely based on the results of the initial study - that more information had to be gathered before continuing. While it makes sense, I didn't really think of the pilot study occurring before a high fidelity prototype had been generated. Of course, the definition of a "pilot usability study" is debatable in this case - perhaps it is more like a contextual inquiry with a small set of people doing the task of playing a computer game. But it is still very similar.
In the second paper, I found it interesting that the researchers "needed to remove the time limit for the “easy” level of difficulty since our users were using cellphones for their first time and required more time to select their answers." While mobile devices make sense because they are small and transportable, it seemed like a leap of faith that they felt that the best way to introduce a new English speaking game without tailoring it to the technological background/accessibility of the user.
Antony Setiawan 18:19, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
I only have time to read one of the articles because I don't have time to do so (I have two CS project due today). I Chose the article E-learning games for rular children in India becuase it's seems to be not more than just a theory. I totally agree if the first design of the parrot game is not really intuitive. The placement of the human picture seems to be off on a moment I see the design. Turns out to be true. Matthew changed the design on the next iteration. The parrot game itself raises some concerns such as the quality of the sound. Since this game relies on the sound, the sound quality of the phone can greatly affect the game. Crappy speaker phone can even make two phrases sounded the same. Also, how big the library for this game should be to be suffice enough to educate those children? Nevertheless, iterative design is required and is very useful to diminish previous assumption in making a game/program.
Paul Im 18:21, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
Kam seems to have done a lot of research in the field of language acquisition. In the first article, he explains how a pattern framework (PACE) allows for flexibility when learning a language. It is flexible in a sense that this learning strategy can be applied to multiple age groups, beginner to advance learning levels, and to a diverse set of cultures.
The second article talks a lot about an iterative learning framework, and how learning a language usually occurs only when learning and pleasure are distinct. In other words, a child cannot specify what the learning goals are when the curriculum involves simultaneous learning and pleasure. To me, it seems as though learning a language cannot be done through pure goal-setting strategies. Somehow a child must acquire all aspects of the language: vocabulary, spelling, grammar, syntax, etc. There doesn’t seem to be too much room for enjoyment or pleasure in the mix of all that.
Shyam Vijayakumar 18:29, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
The two papers seemed very applicable to the things we have been doing recently like the pilot usability study and just overall developing a serious game. They go through field studies (like pilot study) to collect results and use those results to make changes to a user interface. Later on, they used iterative design to make more changes. For our situation, we would do the same thing. We would ideally test our high fidelity prototype with groups of users over and over again, revising for each iteration. I wonder if they used other techniques that we learned in this class, especially like low-fidelity prototyping or contextual inquiry. They were very helpful for us in catching mistakes early on so we have a better version when we actually decide to implement certain functionalities.
Kai Lin Huang 18:33, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
The mobile educational game design in both research paper presented careful analysis on criteria of how these games may actually approach a wide variety of ESL students in India. Because some of the assumptions in designing typical user interface do not apply in this case due to the fact that the educational level of these game users are not equally educated because of social inequity. For example, the assumption of most users have knowledge of a eighth grader is not true anymore, and the games must incorporate both older and younger learners with a wide variety of educational background in order to be effective in teaching. Because of the nature of a mobile game, there will not be adequate pixels to represent complex graphics, and some universal symbols may be applied in order to convey abstract vocabulary. I think that due to the high cost of drawing pictures for every individual word, it may be a little bit more effective if the Wikipedia idea can be utilized. Because Wikipedia has a GNU license and thus it will be no copyright problem to share, some words that do not have a dedicated picture designed specifically for ESL students can be referred to a simplified Wikipedia’s page that’s stored in the cell phone. In fact, from the Wikipedia’s website, it has already had reached some population in India, and may be more widespread if the mobile game will have its descendent content.
Anthony Kilman 19:14, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
It seems that mobile phones as a potential platform for learning applications is a great idea. But I don't necessarily think that in their current state they are adequately suited to teaching language. These types of system requirements tend to only be available on personal computers, but as current trends show, this may not be the case for much longer. All in all, utilizing mobile phones as a vehicle for learning is a great idea, but they will be limited in terms of capabilities.