Findings from this are being presented at a groundbreaking conference on December 5 bringing together cutting edge research and practice in the genre from education, charity, industry and the media, at Channel 4’s headquarters in London.
The use of Alternative Reality Games (ARGs) in higher education is a new and innovative field, with a growing number of researchers turning their eye to the engaging, communal and yet technically-light nature of the genre.
Alex Moseley, Principal Computer Officer in the University’s Faculty of Arts has conducted research into one of the most successful ARGs. This has led to the development of several key features which had potential to improve teaching, learning and engagement when applied to higher education.
He said: "A large first-year core module in Historical Studies which teaches key historical research skills was suffering from poor engagement levels, and unsatisfactory key skills development.
"I applied a number of the ARG key features to the problem, and working with subject specialists developed a four-week online activity, The Great History Conundrum, which puts the 200 students in the roles of Historical Detectives who have to solve a number of ‘real life’ research problems or puzzles individually and collaboratively, and reflect on their findings in small groups.
"Puzzles might send them to a particular shelf in the library to find a mystery picture, out and about in Leicester city centre with a camera, or find them working as a team to search through medieval documents online. Other innovative elements include visible continuous assessment of all aspects (allowing students to see their assessment scores as they go along, and specialise in areas of particular skill), 24-7 access to the activity (allowing truly flexible working on and off campus) and grand prizes for the winners in each of three categories."
Following pilots last year, the first year group has just completed the course. Professor Norman Housley, Head of the School of Historical Studies, notes: "Teaching study skills to incoming University students is a notoriously hard nut to crack, because it's so difficult to make the topic come alive and relate it to the academic discipline. Judging from what I saw when I gave out prizes this week to our HS1000 cohort, Alex Moseley and colleagues have succeeded brilliantly with The Great History Conundrum. Our students were engaged and enthusiastic to an extraordinary degree. I am looking forward to reading their module questionnaire returns, and to working with colleagues to embed this exercise within the module over the years to come."
Two History undergraduates who have just completed the course, Michael Wearn and Leanne Sowter, shared their experiences: " it was both incredibly challenging and entertaining... Indeed, without the GHC it would have been practically difficult to have applied the skills we were taught in other parts of the HS1000 module to historical research as a whole" (Leanne); Michael concurs: "it taught me a lot of skills that I probably wouldn't have learnt in lectures, for example the actual processes involved with research on a practical level, rather than being told about them. I also found it to be quite helpful in getting an overview of different historical periods that I hadn't encountered before through solving the puzzles."
In addition to presenting initial findings from this first cohort, Alex will also chair a cross-institutional panel discussing the role of this new genre within higher education. He will also be part of a panel discussing the use of Alternative Reality Games for charity, having been a voluntary member of the team behind Operation: Sleeper Cell (www.operationsleepercell.com) which recently raised money and awareness for Cancer Research UK using an immersive online game.
Cutting edge research for the industries of tomorrow – DFKI and NICT expand cooperation
21.03.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI
Molecular motor-powered biocomputers
20.03.2017 | Technische Universität Dresden
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy