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Epistemic Games By: Ali Shameem Instructional Technology Masters Student College of Education Presentation is based on David Williamson Shaffer’s book “How Computer Games Help Children to Learn” 1 Overview • Problem in our education system • Epistemic Games • Elements of Epistemic frames • Epistemic frames • Is it really a Game? • Example of Epistemic Games :Digital Zoo • Example of Epistemic Games :Urban Science • Building Epistemic games: Epistemography • More Information about games and Learning 2 Problem in our education system • Currently our Education is about – giving the learner basic skills – Preparing students to score well in standardized tests. • Basic skills jobs no longer exist • We should raise the bar on educational achievement • Our kids and our economy will be left behind 3 Epistemic Games • They are a way to help students learn to think like professionals. • they are based on what we already know about how people learn to be innovative thinkers • how thinking is used to solve real problems in the world outside of the game • This concept is based on the idea of “epistemic frames” 4 Epistemic Frames – New way of thinking about thinking – the way of thinking and working of a profession or other community of practice – entails a situated and action-based form of learning based on the ways in which professionals develop these epistemic frames. 5 Elements of Epistemic frame • 5 elements of Epistemic frame are – Epistemology – knowledge, – skills, – values & – identity. • professionals organize their work around these epistemic frames • professionals use them to think in innovative ways 6 Is it really a Game? •The definition of a game from Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals book A game is a system In which players engaged in an artificial conflict defined by rules That results in a quantifiable outcome 7 Is it really a Game? • Epistemic games are role playing games • It is system • A number of players involved in game play • Engaged in an accurate simulation of real-life problem. – overcome obstacle to achieve the goal • Defined by rules same as the ones in real life • May or may not have a quantifiable outcome – The experience is considered more important – Learning through experience/interactions of game play 8 Examples of Epistemic Games :Digital Zoo • A game developed at the University of Wisconsin • Players become biomechanical engineers and design virtual creatures. • Uses Sodaconstructor – a virtual spring-mass modeling environment – Players advance from one level of the game by producing designs for clients. 9 Example of Epistemic Games :Urban Science • Very similar to commercial game SimCity • Why not use SimCity? – SimCity is not an epistemic game. • Role-playing game of professional urban planning. • designed to re-create an urban planning practicum. • iPlan is the epistemic game engine used in Urban Science 10 Building Epistemic games: Epistemography • Build based on the way professionals develop skills – Practica • By analyzing practicum through epistemography – By looking at the kind of actions and kind of reflection-on-action that develops the epistemic frame of the profession. • How can we make these learning practices available for other through games. 11 Questions The following questions are asked when designing an epistemic game. – What is worth being able to do in the world? – Who knows how to do this kind of things and how do they learn how to do it? – How can we make these learning practices available for the others? • Technology that can create simulations. 12 More Information about games and Learning • Details on all of these games are available at Shaffer's Web site, Epistemic Games (www.epistemicgames.org). 13 Questions ?? Thank you 14
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