Monday, 8 October 2012

Games Based Situated Learning and Sustainaville

Welcome to the first blog post in this series!  I spoke briefly in my previous blog post about how pixelfountain and games-ED use Games Based Situated Learning (GBSL) as the theoretical underpinning of our products.  In this series of blog posts, I will explain further what I mean by this and offer a case study of one of our products in particular: Sustainaville.  This learning simulation is typical of our approach although all of our products are underpinned by the same theory.  The series draws material from the Games Based Situated Learning paper written by the other author of this blog, Paul Ladley.  The full paper can be found on the resources page of our corporate website.


The first part of the series will introduce briefly some of the theories that underpin our products and games based learning at large.  The main focus of this series is Games Based Situated Learning, which we have discussed before, but several years ago and very briefly.  I will also try to uncover whether Situated Learning can actually occur through games and simulations, i.e. is that situated enough?

I will then introduce one of our games-ED products: the learning simulation Sustainaville.  I will explain the simulation and how it is used in a workshop including the plan > do > review stages.

The final and main part of the series will essentially be a judgement of Sustainaville using some theoretical principles outlined in the first part of the series (put forward by Jan Herrington and Ron Oliver, 1995).  This checklist can be used to judge other serious games and learning simulations in a similar way.  We will back up our judgements with both qualitative and quantitative feedback from our workshops.

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