Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

Using Instructional Pervasive Game for School Children's Cultural Learning

Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

Using Instructional Pervasive Game for School Children's Cultural Learning

Article excerpt


In the past thirty years, the instructional implementation of computer technologies have gone through the phases of "Computer-assisted Instruction (CAI)," "web-based instruction," and "mobile learning (m-learning)," just to name a few. The education has been transformed from the teacher-directed and one-size-for-all learning materials to stand-alone, self-paced, and well-programmed instructional materials. With the assistance of digital technologies, Interent, and mobile devices, the educational implementation further break the limitation of time and space that extends the classroom to the environment around us. Learning has been beyond the physical constrain, students experience "ubiquitous learning (u-learning)." In comparison with CAI and web-based instruction, more and more research evidences have shown that m-learning or u-learning is especially helpful in facilitating learners constructing knowledge with regard to the situational information in social, cultural, and physical contexts (Laine, Sedano, Joy, & Sutinen, 2010). Mikic, Anido, Valero, and Picos (2007) also said that mobile learning has created a new learning environment that enables learners, through active learning aids.

With the help of advanced mobile devices and well-designed instructional strategies, m-learning is able to bring students out of the classroom to interact with the environment. Many local studies on m-learning repeated the concerns of establishing a learning system emphasizing on the use of mobile devices (such as PDA) with the established system, (e.g., Liang 2005; Lin, 2006) but seemed to fall short of either applying or concluding a set of effective instructional strategies with in-depth explanation of theories and practices.

For this reason, the instructional application of pervasive game seems to be an innovative way introduced to enhance m-learning (Laine, 2010). We defined the term instructional pervasive gaming (IPG) as all pervasive game involving instructional functions. Montola (2011) explained that a pervasive gaming environment is "an extension of m-learning with an emphasis on the roles of an intelligent environment and of the context". With the aid of GPS, Chen and Shih (2011) have initiated an experimental study which employed a typical pervasive-game type activity called "geocaching" in teaching high school students geographical coordinates and map reading. The results indicated that GPS-aided geocaching helped students learn to read maps and recognize the geographical coordinates in a more effective way, and the GPS-aided geocaching group was generally acquired a better attitude toward using technology.

Such results are in coherence with some other related studies (Chavez, Schneider & Powell, 2009; Munro-Stasiuk, 2006). However, Gentes, Guyot-Mbodji and Demeure (2010) pointed out, most game strategies do not take into consideration the anthropological data pertaining to the specific context of use. They indicated that maps and trajectories are one aspect of treasure hunts but companionship and discovery are at the core of the pleasure of pervasive game. These comments have inspired the further exploration of applying pervasive game in the m-learning with the interest to place more cultural elements into the gameplay.

Therefore, more cultural factors are included in this study. Moreover, a theoretical model of instructional pervasive gaming (IPG) is employed, in which game rules, game mechanics, game strategies, and social interaction are defined (Shih & Chen, 2012). Their model is employed for designing the local cultural-oriented IPG for the study. The objective of this study is to understand the learning effects and learning attitude on IPG. The differences between individual learning mode and collaborative learning mode are also investigated to help identify the effects of the innovative instructional strategy. At last, this study also explored the student's attitude toward mobile devices as well as the degree of satisfaction to the game. …

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