sg 18: e2

Research Article

Games in Learning: Shedding Light on a Problematic Taxonomy

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  • @ARTICLE{10.4108/eai.13-9-2018.156151,
        author={T. R. Beatman and R. J. Duff},
        title={Games in Learning: Shedding Light on a Problematic Taxonomy},
        journal={EAI Endorsed Transactions on Serious Games: Online First},
        volume={},
        number={},
        publisher={EAI},
        journal_a={SG},
        year={2019},
        month={1},
        keywords={Serious Games, Gamification, Game-based Learning, Semantic analysis, Card Sort, Semantic Taxonomy},
        doi={10.4108/eai.13-9-2018.156151}
    }
    
  • T. R. Beatman
    R. J. Duff
    Year: 2019
    Games in Learning: Shedding Light on a Problematic Taxonomy
    SG
    EAI
    DOI: 10.4108/eai.13-9-2018.156151
T. R. Beatman1,*, R. J. Duff2
  • 1: Department of Biology, University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325-3908, U.S.A.
  • 2: Integrated Bioscience Program, University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325-3908, U.S.A.
*Contact email: trb66@zips.uakron.edu

Abstract

The use of games as tools for learning has been a paradigm of great interest for over fifty years. Several terms have emerged to describe disciplines that study and apply this paradigm. Many of these terms may be synonymous or have overlapping uses or have multiple definitions within different disciplines. The literature was surveyed for the definitions terms relating to this paradigm. Their working definitions and relationships are discussed. Through both a survey of the literature and a novel variant of sorting activity, the Item Definition Semantic Sort (IDSS). It is shown that individual item definitions do not semantically cluster together by corresponding term. This indicates both a lack of consensus on terms’ definitions, and of clarity between terms. The umbrella term Games in Learning (GiL) is coined to integrate the disciplines and products within this design paradigm. Games in Learning is defined, “Research and work involving the use of games, in whole or in part, as tools to improve motivation, engagement, and/or understanding in learning”. The rationale for the term is elaborated, and the major functional divisions found within.