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.
Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified
05.12.2016 | University of Sussex
UT professor develops algorithm to improve online mapping of disaster areas
29.11.2016 | University of Tennessee at Knoxville
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
07.12.2016 | Earth Sciences
07.12.2016 | Earth Sciences
07.12.2016 | Materials Sciences