As the course notes state, as educators, we need to have a range of strategies and be aware of pragmatic frameworks. The article by Lacovides et al. (2014) and the following key ideas resonated with me:

  • “learning through immersive worlds involves a more complex understanding of learning…not easily tied to specified learning outcomes” (ibid, p. 612).
  • aspect of “affinity groups” – players contributing knowledge, skills, tools, resources to the domain re Gee (ibid)
  • “communities of practice re Wenger (1998) – players gain resources to help them solve problems from fellow members (ibid, p. 613) – learning as social participation (p. 622)
  • “critical learning” – learning that takes place when players start to consider “the domain at a ‘meta’level as a complex of interrelated parts” (ibid).
  • “intrinsic motivation” proposed by Malone and Lepper (1981, 1987) – games rewarding in and of themselves
  • need to consider the social dynamics that occur in around the context withing which games are played (ibid)
  • Garris and colleagues (2002)…factors which initiate engagement and learning (Input-Process-Outcome Model) – with focus on games as vehicle for delivering content
  • Player Involvement Model (Calleja, 2011)
    •  distinguishes between micro-involvement = “moment-by=moment engagement of gameplay” (in p.40) – the experience of gameplay
    • macro-level = the “off-line involvement” and “issues of motivations and sustained engagement with digital games through the long-term” (p.39) – activities that occur around play
  • concept of “gaming capital” (Consalvo, 2007) – “paratexts” help players acquire gaming capital. Paratexts are external resources that  “surround, shape, support and provide context or texts” (p. 182) e.g. walkthroughs, reviews, YouTube videos, blogs, magazines that relate to games
  • Question: How do motivation, engagement and informal learning relate to each other within the context of digital game-play? (p. 615)
  • Consideration of what people learn:
    • game level – game controls, game content, following narrative of game, understanding spatial layout, understanding game mechanics; game strategies e.g. how to be successful within certain games (ibid. 618); behaviour of others within game world (other characters either AI or human players); learning about games in general
    • skill level – general pyscho-motor, cognitive, social, numeracy, literacy, technical skills
    • personal level – learning likely to transfer beyond game and skill levels e.g. developing persistence, cultural development, career influence

The Gaming Involvement and Informal Learning Framework:

  • role of player identity in relation to how people identify as players (p. 620)
  • micro level – learning occurs through play
  • macro level – engaging in game related activities (ibid) …either interacting with others outside of play or using external resources e.g. paratexts or sources; learning through others e.g offline discussions about gaming
  • game play is the core activity
  • iterative relationship between identity, involvement and learning
  • “The more strongly someone identifies as a gamer, the greater their micro- and macro- involvement and the more likely they are to learn from their gaming experiences in a range of different ways” (p. 621).
  • “…it is important to ask whether (a) people are aware of what they are learning and (b) whether they value what is being learnt (p. 622)
  • important to consider learning in relation to how people identify as players – see p. 623 re tapping into “the intensity of the students’ passion for digital games”

Reflection: The GIIL framework highlights the importance of this gamer identity in relation to increasing participation in a variety of gaming practices and what players learn as a result. How might a teacher attempt to gather information from students about this though formative assessment and re-designing classroom activities?

This week I have introduced Kahoot to the year 5 students to assess and give feedback relating to their conceptual understandings of website evaluation. It is a quiz game format, with a competitive edge, sound effects, time constraints and the kids have LOVED it! It would be interesting to survey students informal game playing to see if it correlates to the students who absolutely loved the game. At the end of the game, there is a reflection where students can add whether they felt they have learnt from the game, their feelings….and there has been an overwhelming response in the positive/affirmative. However, that is not to say there are not ‘pockets’ of students who have not enjoyed the game, or not felt they have learnt anything. I do wonder what our EAL students think about it, how they have gone with playing the game and will be looking closely at a small class sample of the data that you can draw from Kahoot. I think, though, that this is why it is important to provide for a variety of strategies and tools to cater for differences. I would imagine that gathering information from students at the beginning of a school year to consider whether they identify as ‘game players’ would be useful. I even imagine Kahoot would be a great tool to use!


Lacovides, I., McAndrew, P., Scanlon, E., & Aczel, J. (2014). The gaming involvement and informal learning frameworkSimulation & Gaming, 45(4-5), 611–626.