Checklist for Novice Education Gaming Researchers

EverQuestII Paladin character is a human-like female puma in armor at home near Frostfang Sea

This is a cursory list of important concepts and items to consider when preparing to conduct educational research that involves the use of videogames.

  • Use media selection criteria (e.g., Chapelle’s 2001 computer-assisted language learning media criteria or 2005 revised version)
  • Determine reading level of videogame text by analyzing chat logs with the Flesch-Kincaid readability index. Make sure participants’ reading levels are within 2 grade levels of index.
  • Use vocabulary concordancer (e.g., Range software) to obtain frequently occurring words from chat log texts for assessment.
  • Learn commands pertinent to research analysis to capture chat logs (e.g., /log) and/or images (e.g., print screen) to computer station public folder.
  • Determine participants’ gaming literacy skills and complexity of game.
  • Determine participants’ propensity for pathological gaming behavior: low social competence, high impulsivity, and excessive gameplay (i.e., 30 hours) (Gentile, et al., 2011).
  • Determine participants’ perceived relevance of gaming as a learning tool.
  • Provide videogame tutorial and ongoing support.
  • Provide explicit instruction on the benefits of strategies used to enhance learning.
  • Consider participants’ preferences for gaming session location, time, and features.
  • Consider Reese’s (2010) Flowometer to determine gamers’ self-perception of flow and other mental states of engagement to achieve optimal learning condition (i.e., advanced skill use during challenging gaming tasks).
  • Provide warning of photosensitivity to persons with epilepsy (Daybreak Games, 2016).

This list will be shared during a gaming panel at the SITE 2017 conference in Austin, TX.  What advice would you add?

References

Chapelle, C. A. (2001). Computer applications in second language acquisition: Foundations for teaching, testing, and research. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.

Daybreak Games [Website]. (2016). Photosensitive warning. Retrieved from https://www.daybreakgames.com/photosensitive?locale=en_US.

Gentile, D., Hyekyung, C., Liau, A., Sim, T., & Li, D. (2011). Pathological video game use among youths: A two-year longitudinal study. Pediatrics, 127(2). doi:10.1542/peds.2010-1353

Range [Software application]. (2016). Retrieved from http://www.victoria.ac.nz/lals/about/staff/paul-nation

Reese, D. D. (2010).  Introducing Flowometer: A CyGaMEs assessment suite tool. In R. Van Eck (Ed.), Gaming and cognition: Theories and practice from the learning science. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.

List of Student and Teacher Expectations for Online Courses

(Originally posted in 2015, I thought this blog was relevant now at the beginning of the semester for all those teaching online this term.)

What you can expect from your Instructor:

  • I will reply to your questions within 24-48 hours except during holidays.
  • I will provide clear and concise instructions and exercises for you to follow.
  • I will return graded assignments within two weeks from the due date.
  • I will monitor discussions to clarify students’ postings, highlight good or interesting comments and ideas, and provide insight.
  • I will provide the necessary components of successful interaction: explanation, demonstration, practice, feedback, and assessment.
  • I will provide a range of practice opportunities–from self-corrected multiple choice items to free form expression on a concept.
  • I will provide meta-cognitive, cognitive, and social strategies for instruction.
  • I know the platform you are using very thoroughly, so that I can anticipate and make good guesses about the origins of any problems you are likely to have, and some answers for them.

What I expect from my Students:

  • You will meet the minimum technical requirements of this course. Take the student orientation tutorial for this learning management system before getting started.  Seek other training services for basic computer and word processing skills (e.g., JagSkills).
  • You should always use good grammar and spelling when posting online.  Use the spell check feature.
  • All your messages will be consequential and full of content! For example, simply responding “me too,” or “thanks,” does not include content.
  • You follow the rules of Netiquette. For example, no bullying online.
  • You will complete all required tasks in a timely manner.
  • You will not copy (plagiarize) the work of others and claim it as your own.  Cite your resources using the American Psychological Association’s (APA) manual for publications. It’s currently in the 6th edition.

Protocol for Technical Issues:

  • First, make sure it’s not a browser issue (e.g., Google Chrome), and try a different browser to see if this resolves the issue.  If so, then you either need to update your regular browser or clear its history/cookies/cache.
  • Read the information in the Help tab (online manual) to learn how to use a tool.
  • Read log error messages and record specifics of problems and forward this to the tech support and instructor. Take a screenshot if possible to illustrate the exact problem.
  • Remember that your peers can help you, too!
  • Last, after someone fixes the problem, make sure you refresh the Web page, as the system will remember the exact same page you were looking at the last time you logged in.

Sandra Rogers

Updated 11/19/2915

Problem Analysis: 3 Job Aids to Find Root Causes

My Human Performance Improvement Toolbox

HPI Image for blog

Beresford and Stolovich (2012) defined human performance improvement (HPI) as three perspectives: vision, concept, and end. Vision is for individuals to succeed in areas that are valued by their organization’s stakeholders. Concept is to use the vision to accomplish the organization’s goals through successful interactions with not only the organization’s stakeholders, but also with the customers, regulatory agencies, and society. End refers to terminal behaviors, products, and other outcomes that provide a return on investment (ROI).  I’ll use Beresford and Stolovich’s perspectives on HPI in my toolbox to address the needs of an organization.

Gilbert (2007) provided HPI with a formula for worthy performances (Pw), which is Pw = Av/Bc, where Av refers to valued accomplishments and Bc refers to costly behaviors. The term “costly” can have positive and negative connotation; it references the costs involved with each performance (e.g., salaries, resources, and trainings). Gilbert’s formula is a powerful tool for better determining worthy performances.

The first step in improving a particular performance is to conduct a needs assessment (NA) to better understand the current performance in relation to the desired outcomes such as industry standards (benchmarking) coupled with the vision of an organization. A NA helps organizations identify the gap (need) between the actual and optimal performance levels of an organization. I would rely on the Aultschuld’s (2010) three-phase NA model (preassessment, NA, postassessment), as a guide for interacting with a NA team and NA committee of stakeholders. In the preassessment, my team would gather data on the topic from key informants, literature, and extant resources.

The NA team would follow up on emergent themes describing the perceived need and gather specific information via interviews, questionnaires, and focus groups on what the respondents value as possible solutions. The NA postassessment process identifies the problem succinctly. Is the gap due to a lack of incentives, knowledge, skills, or institutional support?  Training is not always the answer.  Interactions and behaviors can be improved via instructional and/or noninstructional interventions. For instance, HPI can be as simplistic as buying a better writing instrument (e.g., Dr. Grip pen) to expedite note-taking on the job. This would be a noninstructional intervention.

I’d utilize the various job aids provided in Aultschuld’s series of books to identify and address the problem in light of the organizations concepts. For example, I favor Ishikawa’s Fishbone Diagram with the bones representing the various issues within labeled categories of performance. Moreover, I’d collect solutions from stakeholders and conduct a Sork feasibility study to determine the appropriate solutions.  Given the complexity of a NA, the Aultschuld series would serve as another item in my HPI toolbox.

I created a manual of methods for problem analysis (PA) for novice instructional designers that can be used on a daily basis when a full NA is impossible.  I studied Jonassen’s typology of problems to determine the type and possible actions required.  I learned if the problem is well-structured, then a quick solution can be found because it is easily solved.  If it is ill-structured, then I should conduct a PA to get to the root of the problem. I would use Harless’ (1974) list of 14 questions for PA. I recognize his first one as being very important: Is there a problem? After a problem(s) is identified, I would use Toyoda’s Why Tree for root cause analysis; this technique keeps asking why for each response given until the root(s) is identified. Then I would use Sanders and Thiagarajan’s 6-box model to see which areas of an organization are affected by these performance problems: knowledge, information, motives, process, resources, wellness. I also learned from Jonassen’s (2004) work that we should collect our problems in a fault database.  This is something I have been doing to improve our turnaround in resolving learning management system (LMS) issues at my workplace to increase our ROI for cost, labor, and learning outcomes.

For interventions at my workplace, I use job aids, embedded performance systems, and the aforementioned idea for a fault database. I purchased Rossett and Gautier-Down’s (1991) HPI resource book, A Handbook of Job Aids.  This book provides matrices (Frames Type II) for the user to discern which job aid should be used with which type of task. I also create job aids for the workplace to facilitate teaching and learning.  For example, I create how-to guides for instructional technology software (e.g., Camtasia Studio) for instructors who are unable to attend trainings and must learn on their own.  Job aids are useful HPI tools for infrequent tasks like the occasional instructional video one might need to create for class. I have also been focusing on providing performance support mechanisms for right-time needs for students and instructors.  I noticed an overreliance on the instructional designer to answer all LMS related questions.  To provide an embedded support system, I added a webpage on our LMS to answer frequently asked questions. This has greatly reduced my cue of email requests, all the while improving the performance of those affected. In closing, for my HPI general framework, I rely on Beresford and Stolovich’s HPI perspectives of vision, concept, and end.  To put my framework into action, I rely on the works of Gilbert, Autschuld, Jonassen, Harless, Ishikawa, Sanders, Thiagarajan, and Toyoda.

References

Altschuld, J. W., & Kumar, D. D. (2010). Needs assessment. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

Beresford B., & Stolovitch, H. D. (2012). The development and evolution of human performance improvement. In R. A. Reiser & J. V. Dempsey (Eds.) Trends and issues in instructional design & technology (3rd ed.) (pp. 135-146). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon Pearson Education.

Harless, J. H. (1974). An analysis of front-end analysis. Improving Human Performance, 2(4), 229-244.

Jonassen, D. H. (2004). Learning to solve problems: An instructional design guide. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.

Rossett, A., & Gautier-Downes, J. (1991). A handbook of job aids. San Francisco: CA. Pfeiffer & Company.

Collection of My Best e-Learning Blog Posts

How participants can prepare for a webinar & understand how to interact
A Pathway for Participants to Understand How to Prepare & Attend a Webinar

 

I’ve been blogging since 2011.  I noticed I had 61 blogs listed in the category for e-Learning.  Here’s a collection of my best effort to help others understand how to improve online learning and your professional online image as an eLeader.

Face-to-Face to Online Course Development Checklist

From Face-to-Face Teaching to Blended Format

How to Make Your Online Course Accessible

Personalizing Distance Education

Effective Online Communication

Online Cognitive Activities that Engender a Community of Inquiry

 WebQuest for Creating Critical Thinking Job Aids

Scoop.IT! The Critical Reader

Use of SecondLife for Educational Purposes

SecondLife: Advantages and Disadvantages for Education

 Process Map for Participants to Attend a Webinar

 Another Basic Tool for Online Teachers: The World Clock

Personal Branding for the 21st Century Educator

Follow my e-newspaper, The Online Educator, to learn from leaders in the industry.

Face-to-Face to Online Course Development Checklist

 

I created this list for instructional designers working with faculty in higher education who are moving their courses online for the first time.  This is not a comprehensive list but rather a checklist for talking points.  I hope you find it helpful!

  • Will the course shell be shared with others in your department?
  • What are the course learning goals and objectives? What are the objectives for each unit?  Review syllabus, lecture notes, and assignments.
  • What do you want your students to achieve through online activities and interactions?  Discuss reuse/redesign of existing activities such as a pen-and-paper vocabulary log conversion to an electronic glossary/flashcards.
  • What is your ability to develop multimedia presentations? Discuss training and helpful resources.
  • How familiar are you with the online learning management system? Discuss training and helpful resources.
  • Share sources of support for pedagogical assistance for faculty.
  • Share sources of online technological and academic support for students (e.g., Smarthinking, TurnitIn, Orientation tutorials, LMS 24/7 Support Desk, learning strategies, or job aids).
  • What are the departmental timelines, constraints, testing requirements, and online resources?
  • Share samples of monitoring tools: weekly activity checklists for students and teachers, tracking sheet for teacher’s response to students in forums, and LMS site statistics and test item analysis.
  • Share sample rubrics for collaborative projects, forums, and individual assignments, as well as resources for creating rubrics (e.g. Rubistar).
  • Share copy of Netiquette, sample rubric for forums, and effective set-up of threaded discussion to engender a community of inquiry.
  • Share your university’s  accessibility guidelines for e-learning.
  • Invite faculty to view your model course as a student (teacher-as-learner role).
  • Share sample semestrial course checklist for design/redesign.

 

Sandra Annette Rogers,

Instructional Designer

Are you interested in selling educational products on TPT?

Cover page of story titled, A Chance To Grow
I sell children’s stories, activities, and other K-12 educational products online.

 

TeachersPayTeachers.com is a great way for educators to sell their own material.  They’re an open marketplace for educators to buy, sell, and share their self-made educational products.   Here’s my store on TPThttp://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Teacherrogers. I currently have 50 educational products for sale.  Examples include a podcast project, learning center signs, language prompts with photos from American life, and literature studies.  The majority of my products are available in English and Spanish editions.

You have to become a member to make a purchase.  Membership is free. Additionally, you will have access to thousands of free downloads from each teacher—that’s the sharing component of TPT.  If you’re interested in selling products on TPT, then please use my referral link.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Signup/referral:Teacherrogers

Read my WordPress page about being a materials writer for TeachersPayTeachers. I’m selling products on TPT to help pay for graduate school and to get hands-on experience as an instructional designer of educational products. This activity is also helping me learn about the Common Core State Standards, as I try to align my products.  For example, check out the fictional story I wrote about the life cycle of various animals and plants a young chick encounters on a walk around the farm.

Also, some teachers (not me) make a substantial income on TPT. Read about TPT’s number one seller, Deanna Jump. Thank you for visiting my store! If you purchase something, please leave feedback.

Google Drive, Maps, and Google+: Basic Tech Tool #5 Blog Series

Visual Resume for Sandra Rogers
I used Google Drawings to create this visual resume

Google, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways: Google Drive (cloud storage for all types of media and word processing documents including access to your Google Apps such as Docs,  Drawings, Slides, and Forms. For example, Google Docs is a great word processing app for collaboration with colleagues or for use on student projects. Google Drawings are a fun way to create a resume or poster. Google Slides are like PowerPoint presentations except you can’t add voice, you’ll need an app for that. The advantage of Google Slides is that you can update them virtually with those persons or websites with the link.  Google Forms are a way to conduct surveys and otherwise get feedback. Google recently added quizzing capability to Forms.

I love Google Drive for the following reasons: ease of access from anywhere via my Gmail account, ability to share links or HTML code for embed, and I can correct errors quickly.  The days of putting something out on the web with an error and then spending hours trying to retrace your steps to make corrections on each website is over. With Google Drive products, you only need to log in to the original creation via your Gmail and correct it. Instantly, it’s  corrected on the Web—of course, the viewer would need to refresh the page to see the update.

Additionally, if you don’t see what you need, you can add an app to your Google Drive that integrates nicely (many of which are free): https://chrome.google.com/webstore/category/collection/drive_apps. For instance, I just added the SlideRocket app to make better presentations. I’ll let you know how it works out.

Next, Google Maps, I know they’ve been around for a while, but I really like them. I’m collaborating on a community project of mapping various service providers listed in a printed guide for persons re-entering society after incarceration.  Navigating the myriad of starting fresh and obtaining the necessary resources at the right time will help the previously incarcerated and also reduce recidivism. This Re-entry Google Map can also be printed as a PDF and shared with those who do not have access to the Internet.  Additionally, you can keep the map private, if necessary, and share the link with identified participants.

Lastly, Google+ provides Hangouts, Events, an online profile, and the opportunity to provide updates akin to a Facebook status. Now that Google+ Hangouts has the ability to use live air streaming of your Hangout, many educators are using them. For example, the group of teachers I mentor during the professional development session for the Electronic Village Online will use a Hangout as part of their kick-off party this January. Moreover, the recording will serve as a way to meet the needs of participants who were unable to attend. The Google Events would be a great way to promote it.  Google Events provides an invitation platform and reminder.

How do you use Google? Do you love it or hate it?  Leave a comment and let me know.

P. S. I  just thought of one more.  Many of you are familiar with Google Translation, but have you tried it lately? If you type a complete sentence, it does a fairly good job in translating now. This is much better than word-for-word. The software can determine the context of the words in a sentence.  Moreover, it will pronounce it for you!  Just click on the microphone icon.

Process Map for Participants to Attend a Webinar

How participants can prepare for a webinar & understand how to interact

Another Basic Tech Tool for Online Teachers: The World Clock

This blog is a follow-up of my 3 Basic Tech Tools for Beginning Online Teachers.

IV. How do you set the time for a worldwide event online? After all of your pedagogical considerations in planning your online session, don’t let the international settings throw you for a time warp! The tool that we use for conducting TESOL’s Electronic Village Online (EVO) is the World Clock at timeanddate.com. To be clear, don’t just slap up this link to your site and ask your participants to figure it out.

First, determine the time for the event in your local area, then convert your time according to the World Clock, which runs on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) aka Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).

http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html

Next, schedule your event according to GMT. This will be more culturally acceptable, especially if you strive for a multicultural approach. Besides, if you give the time of the event in your country, say Argentina, and ask others to convert that time according to their country’s time zone, it may lead to confusion because their country may not be listed on the converter chart.   If you provide the time in GMT, then they can still convert their time at the link above by searching for neighboring countries with similar time zones.  Furthermore, central Europeans use CET which is one hour later than GMT.  Hence, if they set up the time to CET, participants will have to convert to GMT, and then their own country’s time zone.  Then there’s daylight savings times.  You can understand how things can become complicated!

Use this event planner to provide the time and date in GMT along with the name of your event.  Then post this link to your session with an invitation:

http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedform.html

Finally, don’t forget all the important details related to your online event. Here’s a list to include in your announcement that I created as part of a job aid:

Name of Event:
Presenters:
Host:
Main Location (Online Platform):
Backchannel: (For Technical Assistance)
Time & Date:
Mode of Delivery:(Text-based chat, audio, video, or combination)
Special Instructions for Participants: (websites to join, software to download, browser compatibility, necessary equipment, i.e., headset with mic or w/o, and how-to RSVP)
Invitation to Participants:
Recording available afterwards at this link: (TBA or N/A)

Best Wishes,

Sandra Rogers