Wolmet Barendregt, from The University of Gothenburg, conducts research on children's game playing, how we can support learning with design and include the children in the design process.
And Wolmet Barendregt certainly involves the children very much in her research. During the Science Festival's school program in April this year, over a hundred preschool children attended a creative game workshop to evaluate the game Fingu. Fingu is a mathematical game for iPad where players use their fingers to get a feel for the numbers and thus a better understanding of them.
– Working with children is both fun and challenging because you never know what will happen, says Wolmet. It is difficult to find suitable methods to use for children when evaluating. Children cannot verbalize, but they can draw. At the Science Festival, we tested a method of evaluation, Drawing Intervention, which some researchers advocate for children because they do not have to verbalize.
Wolmet Barendregt however recognizes that it is problematic to know how much you influence yourself in what you say during the instructions and how much the different groups affect each other when they are in the same room. The children's past experiences, what other games they have played, certainly affects the outcome as well.
– There were two main things that we learned about Fingu while testing this method. Curiosity and imagination could be improved, she explains.
– Well, the kids think that some are funny, Wolmet answers. Many games are about solving tasks, and then the developers have added stuff around it so that it resembles a game. Sometimes the kids see through that.
Wolmet says that in Fingu focus is more on how children learn basic arithmetic using their fingers. She admits that there are some things to develop in order to create a really fun game and that the risk of so-called educational games in general is that they are either too educational and boring, or fun-filled but without any learning opportunities.
– It's a fairly limited game and therefore may not encourage a lot of playing, but many children still play it several times. I have noticed that the interest in the game sometimes returns when the children realize that they have become better at certain things and therefore can reach higher levels, Wolmet says.
At a recent conference, "Interaction Design and Children", a conference focusing on children's needs and how to design for them, Wolmet Barendregt presented another study of Fingu and children playing the game where the analysis was of their development in the game. At the same conference Wolmet also presented a research project that studies how parents and children are playing so-called cooperative video games together where collaboration is necessary to get ahead in the game.– We have seen that game design affects the interaction between children and parents, especially when there is a difference in skills, something which is not uncommon. In some games, the player who is the best can help the other player who is not as good. In other cases, the player who is not so good restrains the more skilled player, and there are also games where both can explore things even if they are not euqally skilled, says Wolmet. We seek a deeper understanding of how different game design affects how you play together and what mechanisms can and cannot be used for educational games.
Helena Aaberg | idw
Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions
21.10.2016 | Stanford University
New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality
19.10.2016 | University of Waterloo
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences