Last year's DML Competition included a Game Changer category, in which talented gamers were invited to design new, creative user-generated levels and adventures for either Sony's LittleBigPlanet, or EA's Spore: Galactic Adventures. Of the nine Game Changer winners, there were six LittleBigPlanet games, each one designed to create "highly engaging game play experiences that incorporate and leverage principles of science, technology, engineering, and math for learning."
We will see final versions of these games at the DML Competition Showcase on March 4, 2011, but as a preview, the applications are here online at HASTAC's YouTube channel. I wrote a few weeks ago about Josh Hughes (Discovery Pier) who was encouraged to apply for a US Department of Education Small Business Innovation Research grant. (Innovation in education, hello! Over here!) One of the things Josh had to do in his proposal was find someone to measure and assess his game's learning outcomes. (On Twitter, @mathiaspoulsen asked if there has been any research on the use of LittleBigPlanet in education, so let him know if you have heard of anything.)
If you plan on attending #DML2011, and have an interest in education assessment of the Game Changer LittleBigPlanet projects, stop by the DML Competition Showcase to talk to them. Researchers who worked with CellCraft, a 2009 DML Competition Winner, "found that those who played an early version of CellCraft for 30 minutes showed statistically significant improvement on a cellular biology quiz."
Assessing the learning outcomes of a Game Changer STEM-based level would add some interesting research to the conversation, especially since LittleBigPlanet is a popular, award-winning game with impressive distribution. So if you or someone you know working in this area, let them know about our Game Changers and the new STEM levels coming out soon.
Countdown to the 2010 DML Competition Showcase features Where Are They Now? updates on the 2008, 2009, and 2010 winners. The 2010 DML Competition winners will showcase their projects at the Designing Learning Futures DML Conference on March 4, 2011 in Long Beach, California.
Visit our DML Countdown page to view more updates from featured projects.