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VWN Product Reviews: Games and Simulations in Online Learning: Research and Development Frameworks

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In the natural world, the animal kingdom, and even in humans, almost all learning in the early years, and throughout life, occurs through play, it sticks if you have fun whilst doing it.

Computer based gaming, and simulated worlds offer ways to take this fun factor beyond the mundane, to throw in weird and wonderful, sometimes-fantastic elements which absorb and compel.

In modern life, computer mediated environments and games are ubiquitous: In the shops, on the Web, streamed to the desktop, on TV, on the mobile phone and PDA, on the blackberry. However, there is one technological place they are absent: The modern school classroom.

Games and Simulations in Online Learning: Research and Development Frameworks examines the potential of games and simulations in online learning, and how the future might look if education returns to its roots, and follows natural learning in embracing fun as a component of successful learning.

The book consists of an introduction and foreword, then dives into a series of papers and essays, each from a different field leader in digital education. Among the many topics covered, the following stand out:

Games and Simulations: A New approach to Education?
Gokmur Kaplan Akilli

Pedagogy in Commercial Video Games
Katrin Becker

Learning Sociology in a Massively Multiplayer Multistudent Learning Environment
Joel Foreman and Thomasina Borkman

Onlinee Games for 21st Century Skills
Lisa Galarneau

Rethinking Cognition, Representations, and Processes in 3D Online Social Learning Environments
James G Jones and Stephen C Bronack

E-Simulation in the Wild: Interdisciplinary Research, Design, and Implementation
Karen Barton and Paul Maharg

Perspectives from Multiplayer Video Gamers
Jonathan B Beedle and Vivian H Wright

Developing an Online Classroom Simulation to Support a Pre-Service Teacher Education Program
Lisa Kervin and Brian Ferry

Building Artificially Intelligent Learning Games
Richard Van Eck

Designing Online Games Assessment as "Information Trials"
Christian Sebastian Loh

Shaping the Research Agenda with Cyber Research Assistants
Lyn Henderson


The focus of the book is diffuse; it is intended to cover practically every viable area of education across the spectrum, and demonstrate how computer-based play in the form of educational gaming and instructive simulations can truly revolutionise learning, bringing an institutionalised system back towards natural order.

 

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