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Title: Games, design and assessment : how game designers are doing it right
Authors: Bezzina, Stephen
Keywords: Artificial intelligence
Games -- Design
Simulation games in education
Educational games
Computer-assisted instruction
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: ECGBL
Citation: Bezzina, S. (2019). Games, design and assessment : how game designers are doing it right. ECGBL 2019 - European Conference on Games Based Learning. 67-73.
Abstract: The fixation of formal education to measure and certify academic attainment, continues to fuel the ubiquity of standardised assessment procedures. As such, educators are reluctant to embrace the same constructivist and novel stance adopted towards learning to the assessment domain and continue to favour summative over formative practices. On the other hand, literature on games in education, suggests that well-designed digital games support and enhance the positive interplay between the different forms and functions of assessment, which are inherent to the learning environment. This paper examines the principles of good game design in light of the constructive interaction that exists between learning and the different functions of assessment in games. For instance, levelling and collecting badges whilst climbing up the ladder of challenges found in games, can be considered as the outcome of a purely summative assessment of the player’s progress, as the information collected during gameplay is solely used to judge and certify the player’s performance. However and more importantly, both for the game designers and the players, the game is continuously producing immediate performance feedback in the form of, amongst others, both on-demand and just-in-time information, which informs the players’ learning and allows them to adjust their actions, thus serving as a formative assessment of gameplay. On analysing the respective literature in the field of game studies and assessment, this paper discusses a number of game elements and core mechanics, under three broad themes, namely (i) adaptivity (ii) feedforward and (iii) distributed cognition, which game designers successfully deploy in good game designs. These are gradually and naturally extended towards the theoretical and practical underpinning of an assessment for learning pedagogy, thus potentially informing and transforming traditional assessment practices into a more playful experience.
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - FacICTAI

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