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Jan H.G. Klabbers

The purpose of this unique book is to outline the core of game science by presenting principles underlying the design and use of games and simulations. Game science covers three levels of discourse: the philosophy of science level, the science level, and the application or practical level. The framework presented will help to grasp the interplay between forms of knowledge and knowledge content, interplay that evolves through the action of the players.
Few scientists have witnessed such a radical change in their area of research and practice as those who engaged in play and gaming since the 1950s. Since that time game scientists from a whole variety of disciplines started adopting gaming and simulation methods in their research. Rapid advances in information technology and computer science are producing a tool rich environment for the design and use of games, and for humanities studies of games as digital arts and interactive narratives. Game science is advancing through these waves of change, driven by the digital computer game industry, enhanced through computer and information science, as well as through advances in professional gaming such as in education, public and business management, policy development, health care, eco-systems management, and so on.
When asking game scientists about the core of their science, one should expect to hear diverging answers. The common questions about the core of game and play are not new. They refer to: What is the meaning of game and play? What is real and what is virtual reality? How could we build simple and effective games from complex social systems? Are we able to bring forward a general theory of games? Are we able to help players (social actors) to find smart solutions and approaches to complex issues? How do games enhance learning and how do they improve our thinking capacity and action repertoire?
Current answers to these questions are scattered and inadequate. This book offers a frame-of-reference that will enlighten the characteristics of particular games and simulations from a common perspective. The author pays less attention to instrumental reasoning than on theoretical and methodological questions. Answers will provide a suitable context for addressing design science and analytical science approaches to artifact design and assessment, and theory development and testing. Due to the high diversity of approaches that game science has to accommodate the author chooses an interdisciplinary and where appropriate a meta-disciplinary approach.

Model-Based Approaches to Learning

Using Systems Models and Simulations to Improve Understanding and Problem Solving in Complex Domains


Edited by Patrick Blumschein, Woei Hung, David Jonassen and Johannes Strobel

Model-Based Approaches to Learning provides a new perspective called learning by system modeling. This book explores the learning impact of students when constructing models of complex systems. In this approach students are building their own models and engaging at a much deeper conceptual level of understanding of the content, processes, and problem solving of the domain, which is proven to be successful by research from the area of mindtools. Topics covered include the foundations of knowledge structures and mental model development, modeling for understanding, modeling for assessment, individual versus collaborative modeling, and the use of simulations to support learning and instruction in complex, cognitive domains. The thread tying these chapters together is an emphasis on what the learner is doing when he is engaged in modeling and simulation construction rather than merely interacting with constructed simulations.
Model-Based Approaches to Learning is an interesting book for Educators (Instructors, K-12 Teachers), who are looking for forms to use advanced computer technology in classrooms. Also Teachers’ educators who are working on the integration of technology into their teacher preparation classrooms can find new concepts and best-practice examples in this book. This also holds true for all Educators and Researchers who are interested in modeling as an activity to successfully work with ill-structured and complex problems.

The Emperor's New Computer

ICT, Teachers and Teaching


Edited by Tony Di Petta

c ICT’s subtle and seductive impact on educational administration; globalisation; curriculum design, development and delivery; and teacher roles and responsibilities has challenged the privileged notion of how education in society is or should be delivered. Most schools and curricula require ICT enabled or supported courses as part of their mission or design. Yet the seeming ubiquitous adoption of ICT has not made the technology’s use any less controversial. There is much that is still puzzling and troubling about Information and Communication Technology and its impact on teachers and learners. The Emperor’s New Computer: ICT, Teaching and Learning presents nine chapters that reflect international points of view on the intersection of Information and Communication Technology and education, pose critical questions about ICT’s use and examine ways of navigating the complex paths that ICT has carved in all aspects of global education, society and culture.

Rethinking Education with ICT

New Directions for Effective Practices

Edited by Nicola Yelland, Greg A. Neal and Eva Dakich

This book brings together a number of academics who have conducted research and written about effective practices and pedagogies that incorporate the use of information and communications technologies (ICT). The book is intended for graduate and undergraduate students in Teacher Education programmes, as well as teachers and those who are interested in contemporary educational issues. The authors in this book have been engaged in rethinking education with ICT. Implicit in this, is the view that we need to reconceptualise our pedagogies and practices in order to make schools relevant to the lives of the young people who inhabit them. The chapters in this book are based on empirically grounded research work. The chapters illustrate the various dimensions of innovative practices with ICT that can extend teachers’ pedagogies and engage learners so that they are able to extend their potential for knowledge building in new and dynamic ways.

Trails in Education

Technologies that Support Navigational Learning


J. Schoonenboom, M. Levene, J. Heller, K. Keenoy and M. Túrcsányi-Szabo

This book is about sequences of learning objects ordered according to time or according to the demands of given learning materials. As users navigate through a learning environment, they follow prescribed trails and create personal trails through their interactions. In digital learning environments, these trails can be stored, evaluated and accessed in a structured manner. Experts from different backgrounds shed light on different aspects of trails and navigational learning. Its chapters contain an investigation on how planning and evaluating trails can support curriculum development, a review of personalised learning and collaborative learning, a model which tackles issues relating to knowledge acquisition and cognitive aspects of trails, and a demonstration of how trails can be visualised. The target audiences are: professionals, practitioners and researchers interested in educational science, e-learning and computer-enhanced learning, computing in education, curriculum studies, instructional design, or computer-supported personalised and collaborative learning.


Douglas M. Towne

This volume presents an object-oriented approach for developing interactive graphical device models and for delivering instruction and performance aiding with such models. The volume attempts to illustrate, via a series of examples, why and how the particular design given satisfies relatively intensive and diverse instructional and performance-aiding demands with surprising ease.
The early chapters focus on the fundamental design concepts upon which all applications stand, including a consistent design of the basic elements - objects - from which all models are produced; a clear separation between the model of the target domain and the instructional processes; and, wherever possible, automatic generation of user interactions, based on the structure and content of the model.
Each of the later chapters focus on one particular application area, including explication of complex system functions, diagnostic instruction and guidance, procedural guidance, scenario-based instruction, and simulation-based technical documentation.
The volume is intended to serve instructional designers, curriculum developers, and software implementers, an ambitious scope that is hopefully achieved via the early presentation of critical “nuts-and-bolts”, followed by discussions of specific training and aiding environments that can be more selectively considered. The more complex examples presented in the volume are available for active operation and analysis in a Web site developed for the reader’s use.

Education is Not Rocket Science

The Case for Deconstructing Computer Labs in Schools

David B. Zandvliet

The dominance of computer labs in our schools is the result of a long struggle among teachers and technicians for control of precious computer resources. As technicians gain power and influence, this is expressed in the ‘row on row of machines’ installed in literally thousands of computer labs in schools around the world. While labs are in some ways, ideal for learning about technology or computer programming, they somehow seem ill equipped to assist teachers with a lesson on language arts, geography or for helping students conduct a scientific experiment. As a result, the huge investment in computers seems like so much wasted potential: labs are not influencing teaching in the ways we had hoped for, and in fact, their use may even be harmful to students. These observations are based on five years of experience as the director of a centre for educational technology at a leading Canadian university and, on the results of three international studies I conducted in Australia, Canada and Malaysia. A reversal of the current ‘techno- trend’ would mean teachers would reclaim computers for ‘their own’ classrooms, and relegate the idea of the computer lab to the scrap heap of history. As educators, we need to discard the ‘once size fits all’strategy which computer labs imply about teachers’ instructional needs. This is reinforced by the apparent failure of computers to transform teachers’ practice despite significant investments in computer technologies. Some critics describe this as a ‘management problem’ as computer labs reinforce ‘top down’ ways of thinking about knowledge. Unfortunately, once such models are adopted, undesirable uses of technology—such as the computer lab—become entrenched in a bureaucratic mindset, limiting the effectiveness of these expensive tools to support teaching and learning.