There is an overlooked opportunity in games – big data generated in the interactions through gaming. Game based learning is great, it’s learning-by-doing with lower costs in many cases, it’s focused on problem solving, it improves students motivation. But when we suggest teachers to use serious games to teach their students, the first question that it comes to their minds is: “Well, I like the idea, but… How do I assess this?”, or “How do I know it works for everyone?”
Learning Analytics for Serious Games should step in now. Actually it’s another data mining process, quotes from the post from Games and Learning Alliance(GALA):
Most of current research is focused on analyzing data generated by LMS, and they obtained interesting results analyzing visits and views of courses resources, forums interactions… However, serious games—and all videogames—are interactive by nature, and this interactivity generates a lot of data that can be analyzed. Data derived from the direct user input but also data coming from all the meaningful game events occurred during the game play.
GALA has elaborated this concept in further details (refer to here : a “Call for submission” for GALA special issue on game-based learning):
A key aspect, for effective serious game design, is the development of modules and tools able to support an effective user assessment in the game. Breakthroughs in this aspect of serious games design are mostly expected on issues such as: (a) user feedback mechanisms, (b) effective user data gathering and management, (c) sensor data fusion and integration, (d) data analysis methods, and (e) an efficient and easy-to-use user interface.
All search engines know every search or click means an inquiry, big data has already been highly appreciated in the business world. We see a great potential that digital games can reveal a thorough learning profile and process, then the feedback could construct an efficient learning path and a personalized learning environment for learners. The Personalized Learning Model and The Game of School by Brandt Redd, the Senior Technology Officer in Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has given a direction for educational technology investment.
For a basic introduction to learning analytic and how it will affect the future, this is an infographic for you.
Learning Analytics: Leveraging Education Data – An infographic by the team at Open Colleges
- A framework to improve evaluation in educational games (IEEE Xplore, EDUCON)