Games are cool – no doubt. Serious games can be cool as well. Unfortunately, to be successful they need to be educational as well. Intelligent technologies for education require games to understand what is going on and to empower them to respond appropriately,
Thus, as a first step, we need to equip games with the power to a educationally suitable adaptation and the capacity to a good game-balancing which in turn requires equipping the game with an understanding of the learning domain, aspects and characteristics of the player and, in particular, an understanding about what is going on in the game, for example, motivational states or learning performance. Thus, seamless user performance assessment is a major research topic. It is not a trivial to assess and interpret activity data coming from the game in an unobtrusive manner in order not to harm the gaming experience and perhaps ‘flow’ and requires intelligent technologies.
A recent trend in educational technology is educational data mining and learning analytics. The fundamental idea of learning analytics is not new, in essence, the aim is using as much information about learners as possible to understand the meaning of the data in terms of the learners’ strengths, abilities, knowledge, weakness, learning progress, attitudes, and social networks with the final goal of providing the best and most appropriate personalized support. At this point educational adaptation, game balancing, seamless assessment and EDM/LA meet. New educational technologies leverage the potential of serious games and increase their educational depth.
GALA is at the edge of those developments and cooperates with cutting edge projects in the field of learning analytics such as LEA’s BOX. This EU project aims at bringing together smart learning analytics and data mining approaches to support teachers in front of the European classrooms (which is tough enough!). In addition, LEA’s BOX is about looking into novel ways for non-invasive assessments and analyses of learning activities on the basis of psychologically sound, non-numerical test theories such as Competence-based Knowledge Space Theory or Formal Concept Analysis.
In this respect, GALA and LEA’s BOX are organizing a workshop at one of Europe’s leading conferences in the field of technology enhanced learning, which is EC-TEL. This conference is held in conjunction with i-Know, in Graz, Austria, from September 16 to 19, 2014. If you want to be part of it, send us an proposal or simply visit us at EC-TEL 2014! The registration page for GALA’s workshop can be found here. Or alternatively send us an email or check out LEA’s BOX!