Games for Learning Phase I: Interviews with Experts
The Games for Learning Institute is not the first to tackle this important subject– Games for Learning- of course! There are years of effort already invested in understanding how games and learning fit together. Early on, we asked ourselves how best to ensure that we are up to speed/that our team carefully considers what is already known/ about what’s already known.
One well-understood path is to read existing published work. For this project, the work spans the fields of learning theory, social science, psychology, game studies, and usability. The work ranges from theoretical models to large scale studies of learners and players. Of course we have pursued such research, and have a comprehensive literature review emerging during the project’s first year. Not everyone with important insights at the intersection of games and learning, however, publishes journal articles or conducts publishable studies, for a variety of reasons. Another way to tap this deep reservoir of knowledge is to consult with experts directly.
Interviews with Experts is our supplementary data-gathering effort–a wide-ranging set of interviews with people involved in games and learning from a host of different perspectives, including:
– Researchers (in Education and other related fields)
– Game Designers and Developers (from both large and small companies, not all of which are explicitly education-focused)
– Hybrid experts–people with a foot in more than one of these areas.
We ask interviewees a short, relatively open-ended set of questions aimed at uncovering key insights and avoiding known pitfalls, in order to help shape our research agenda in parallel to conducting the more traditional literature review. The interview corpus will be used to identify common themes and directions for the project; we’re also sharing brief clips here (with the permission of those interviewed) that point to key issues that may be of interest to others working in the area.
Look to this site in late-May/early June for a summary of key themes from the interviews, as well. We hope you find these experts’ comments interesting and helpful!
And if you think you’d be interested in being interviewed, please contact us! We will be doing interviews on-site at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco in March 2009, but we are also doing interviews using Skype, so if you have a webcam and a computer, you can participate.