July 18, 2007 to July 20, 2007
Alex Frazer , University of Southampton, UK
David Argles , University of Southampton, UK
Gary Wills , University of Southampton, UK
Interest in educational gaming is on the rise once again, and particular interest has started to peak in the area of lightweight educational mini-games. But are these games really as useful as people suggest, or are they simply too shallow to convey sufficient pedagogical meaning? And how do we assess how well these games measure up as educational resources? This paper first generates a "conclusive" list of educational requirements from a structured review of other researchers proposed requirements. It then presents details of the three most interesting educational mini-games taken from an investigation of around 30. Whilst some games were able to offer immersive, curiosity-provoking experiences full of relevant information, many of the games were shallow, formulaic, and lacking in information. Finally, conclusions and future work are proposed, including the packaging of mini-games into compendia to add depth, the use of mini-games in blended learning scenarios, and mechanisms to harvest the relatively simple player interactions to assist learner assessment. These findings aim to help educators make a more informed decision as to whether these games are right for their educational aims.
Alex Frazer, David Argles, Gary Wills, "Is Less Actually More? The Usefulness of Educational Mini-games", ICALT, 2007, Advanced Learning Technologies, IEEE International Conference on, Advanced Learning Technologies, IEEE International Conference on 2007, pp. 533-537, doi:10.1109/ICALT.2007.173