Engaging By Design

Dickey, M.D. (2005). Engaging by design: How engagement strategies in popular computer and video games can inform instructional design. Educational Technology Research and Development, 53, 67-83.

Dickey investigated how the design of games might inform instructional design by looking at methods, strategies, and devices that engage game players, and comparing them to a model of engaged learning. The findings reveal that aspects of player positioning, narrative, and interaction in game design, in addition to providing more detailed methods for creating engaging learning environments, may also serve as a type of guiding architecture for the design of interactive learning environments. Game design provides assistance to instructional designers not in the form of a system or a formula to be applied, but rather as a type of architectural model for promoting engaged learning. It is acknowledged that the goal of game design is entertainment, whereas the goal of instructional design is learning. This investigation revealed that there is much more to be explored from the study of game design. Dickey believes that the research in her article has yielded information into how game design may assist instructional designers in the development of problem-based, project based, and constructivist learning environments by looking at the roles of narrative, role playing, learner positioning, and interactive choice.

Similar to the Museum Immersion project that I am a part of, we considered aspects of player positioning, narrative, and interaction in game design in guiding the architecture for the design of our interactive learning environment. These were helpful method that can enbale students to immerse themselves within a given conext and construct their own meaning of the artifacts encountered in the game world. We provided them with the means of experiencing engaged learning via the construction of their villas within the game world.

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