Teacher roles in learning games – When games become situated in schools

Magnussen Rikke
2007 DiGRA '07 - Proceedings of the 2007 DiGRA International Conference: Situated Play

Using learning games in education gives rise to a learning situation where game culture meets school culture and the result can be successful or corrupting for both. In this paper I present a case study of school classes and their teachers playing the game 'Homicide', a game where children play the roles as forensic experts who solve a series of murder cases. When teachers use this type of games, they have to adapt to new teaching situations and roles. This includes the fictional role in a game, but also the role as a supervisor for a group of students that play the role as professional experts. I present examples of teachers who adopt different roles in the game, and discuss how understanding the background for these roles can help us define the game-based learning situation. Finally I discuss what consequences the problems presented here may have for the design of future learning games.


Participatory design and opposing interests in development of educational computer games

Magnussen Rikke Misfeldt Morten Buch Tasha
2003 DiGRA '03 - Proceedings of the 2003 DiGRA International Conference: Level Up

In this study we have followed a participatory design process in a class of children aged 11 and 12. The development team, a group of Danish schoolteachers, invited the children to participate in the design of a computer game for mathematics education. The objective of the participatory design process was to have the children create a game close to their own interests, experiences and fantasies, hereby insuring that they would find the game interesting enough to play it in their spare time away from school. Prior to the design workshops, the development team had a discussion with one of their classes, and decided on a game of exploration where the player travels through time and space, and the purpose of the design process described in this paper was to develop this idea further. During this process it became clear that the teachers’ ideas in some sense differed from the children’s. In the teachers’ original concept, the landscape would represent the history of mathematics (e.g. ancient Egypt, Greece, China), whereas the children’s ideas, diverse though they were, evolved around a fantasy setting and tourist experiences. In this project there arose a conflict between a pedagogical goal and an attempt to understand the end-users world through research.


Learning Games as a Platform for Simulated Science Practice

Magnussen Rikke
2005 DiGRA '05 - Proceedings of the 2005 DiGRA International Conference: Changing Views: Worlds in Play

In recent years, science education has been the focus of study and development of new game-based learning environments. It has been argued that active and critical learning about rich semiotic systems, learning through learning communities and the complex problem-solving that good games involve, resemble science learning as being an active process of inquiry just as real life science practice. In this paper, I present the first studies from a test of the cross-disciplinary science educational game ‘Homicide’, a forensic investigation game developed at Learning Lab Denmark. The goal with Homicide is to use the game media to simulate an ‘authentic’ learning situation of science experts. In the game the players go through the process of inquiry similar to that of forensic experts. In this paper I present the first observations from a play test of Homicide and discuss the potential in this type of game-based learning spaces.