Games are increasingly being used in educational contexts. The view of some game educationists is that games are able to effectively fulfil the requirements of a constructivist learning pedagogy. It is suggested, for example, that games are useful at representing complexity and often possess mechanisms that make learning more effective through mimicking behaviours required for study. This includes such elements as a call to focus, increasing levels of difficulty of skill, repetition and the need for players to regularly remember elements such as rules or previous moves. But while there has been much recent progress in this area, one aspect of learning that has not been adequately incorporated into game pedagogy is metacognition or the ability to reflect on one’s own thinking process. Thus, whilst many games are effective at teaching specific subjects, facts or skill, and some games support metacognitive processes, no games to date appear to focus on the ability for students to understand the inter-relationship of neuroscience and the behavioural techniques of how humans learn. This paper will outline my research plan to support the creation of a game to teach this inter-relationship. In this paper I will report on the theoretical background to game-based learning, considerations of how to conduct the game design and outline a methodological approach to test the capacity of the game. BrainPlay is a PhD by artefact and dissertation. The artefact is the Board Game designed to teach primary school students from 10 – 12 years old current neuroscientific models and practices of learning or how the human brain acquires, retains and processes facts and knowledge (explicit memory) effectively. The dissertation examines the results from testing the artefact on 3 populations of students to determine whether by playing the game within a class-room setting over a 10 week period the students alter the way they behave in class-room study as observed by their teachers or if they increase their academic scores over time.
Djaouti, D., Alvarez, J., Jessel, J.P., Rampnoux, O. (2011). Origins of Serious Games. In: M. Ma et al. (Eds.) Serious Games and Edutainment Applications (pp. 25-43). London: Springer-Verlag. Accessed Jan. 20 2015 from: DOI 10.1007/978-1-4471- 2161-9_3.