EC-TEL: Tutorial on Seamless Assessment in SGs

As I mentioned previously, I participated in the Eight European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning (EC-TEL 2013), in Paphos, Cyprus. I helped on the organization of the Tutorial on Seamless Assessment in SGs, offered by partners of the GaLA project.

(For a more complete description of my experience in the conference, check out this post.)

Our tutorial took place in the morning of September 18th. It was a small group – out of the 16 people who indicated that they would participate, only 7 actually showed up. Our idea was to have a short theoretical introduction and then proceed with a hands on demonstration of Learning Analytics for Serious Games (SGs) in action.

In the theoretical part, we explained the importance of in-game assessment, as opposed to the traditional pre and post-tests. It is possible to do better with SGs than to use them just as an alternative way of presenting content; we are moving in the direction of using the game itself to assess student competences. Michael Kickmeier-Rust gave an overview of assessment based on the Competence-based Knowledge Space Theory (CbKST), in which a knowledge domain can be represented in a finite set of atomic competences and a prerequisite relation between those competences, and a person’s competence state is described by a subset of those competences in the domain. We also presented the GLEANER (Game Learning Analytics for education research) framework developed by UCM-e in Madrid.

The hands-on part was more interesting, as the participants had the chance of seeing what in-game assessment looks like. Kickmeier-Rust gave an overview of a few tools implemented to support in-game assessment and their application in games. Afterwards, the participants had the opportunity to play a game connected to the implemented GLEANER service and see, in real time, their answers being analyzed and reported by the service. It is a simple game and the reports the service offers are simple as well, but it was a good sneak-peek on what in-game Learning Analytics can look like.

The most interesting part, in my opinion, was to see which tools are already implemented and available for use, especially the ones developed under the NEXT-TELL project. The participants of the tutorial seemed also interested in the service-based approach, as it allows for the reuse of software parts in their games with small effort.

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