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UAL Research Online

Games-based Techniques and Collaborative Learning Between Arts Students in Higher Education

Comley, Stephanie (2020) Games-based Techniques and Collaborative Learning Between Arts Students in Higher Education. PhD thesis, University of the Arts London and Falmouth University.

Type of Research: Thesis
Creators: Comley, Stephanie

This thesis investigates how implementing game-based techniques delivered through digital resources can impact collaborative learning between arts students in higher education. Research into games-based learning has paid little attention to its use in the Creative Arts: STEM subjects or vocational training are often the main areas in which games-based techniques and serious games are implemented. There is compelling evidence collected from the fields of collaborative learning theories, educational technology and games research to suggest that games-based learning could be used to enhance collaboration between arts students. The phrase games-based learning within this thesis refers to the creation of an activity that utilises game mechanics to engage students, encompassing learning content and an activity that has a learning outcome.

This study examines the characterization of game mechanics, identifying which mechanics could benefit specific skills required to meet learning outcomes for enhancing and facilitating collaboration in the arts. Leadership, decision-making, communication, and creating a feeling of positive interdependence are traditional skills commonly regarded as needed for successful collaboration. This paper rests on the foundational notion that in the Creative Arts, skills such as improvisation, visualization and conceptualization are core.

This thesis presents a conceptual framework for the application of game mechanics to digital resources in the Creative Arts. This framework has been developed within a Design-Based Research methodology to provide coherence for further empirical inquiry and has informed the creation of an experimental prototype resource.

Rather than whether achievement of learning outcomes has been met, many games-based learning initiatives take student and staff satisfaction with a resource as measure of success. This thesis acknowledges the difficulties in measuring impact on learning outcomes and to help navigate this terrain it provides methods and tools that may be used to address relevant concerns.

The contribution to knowledge from this research is a conceptual framework - a ‘roadmap’ for those looking to apply game mechanics in Arts-based subject areas; empirical evidence supporting the specific impact of games mechanics on learning outcomes and the use of Personal Meaning Maps as a research tool which support the analysis of collaborative working.

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Date: March 2020
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2020 16:41
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2023 08:17
Item ID: 15547
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/15547

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