Cultureplex Lab: Authoring Educational Games using Dr. Glearning

Post-Conference Workshop

Javier de la Rosa, Juan Luis Suárez, and Elika Ortega
CulturePlex Lab
University of Western Ontario

Abstract

Recently the issue of digital pedagogy has become ubiquitous. Ways of incorporating true digital literacy into teaching/learning are at the forefront of the discussion. The challenges of this are many and varied for both educators and students alike. To this, the element of game learning has been added in the context of smartphones and tablets. Mobile learning based on these devices has gained momentum and a myriad of educational/game applications have emerged. As a general rule they tend to be content applications where a given set of knowledge is presented. Fewer focus on skill development. Still, frequently apps fail to provide the content/skill combination much sought after in the real classroom, especially in HE. Dr. Glearning addresses the need for higher education level apps presenting learning lessons through gamification. The main objective of the project has been the creation of flexible mobile educational games by means of developing a three part platform composed of editor, app, and content. The editor offers a set of activities ready for the instructor to arrange with their desired content. The content-filled activities feed the students’ smartphone app where they can learn it, practice it and even get tested on it. Our three part platform combines the specificity of the content covered in courses, with the set of skills students already have for mobile and game dynamics.

This half-day workshop is a hands-on exercise on the preparation of courses and activities for smartphones using Dr. Glearning. There will be time devoted to surveying and learning how to use, first, the editor in which the featured activities as well as the preparation of the content going into them will be discussed. During this part of the workshop, attendants will be able to experiment with the preparation of their own activities. Later on, we will move on to test the mobile app using the content previously entered in the editor’s activities. Score viewing and handling will be the last part of the session.

This workshop requires no previous knowledge whatsoever and is open to anybody interested in games learning.

Biographies

Javier is a 2nd year PhD student at Western University in London, Ontario, where is also a member of the CulturePlex Lab for Cultural Complexity and Digital Humanities. He has completed both his Master in Logic and Artificial Intelligence and his Engineering in Computer Science at the University of Seville in Spain. Western gave me an opportunity to combine the fields of humanities and Computer Science. My general research interests are in graphs, graph databases, query languages, complex networks and temporal ontologies and my main research interest is in Network Theory. The best thing about being a CulturePlex member is having the opportunity to work in a multidisciplinary environment.

Elika is a 4th year PhD student at the culturePlex Lab. She holds a BA and an MA in Modern Languages from the National Autonomous University of Mexico and an MA in English from the University of Toronto. She is currently working on her dissertation research focusing on metafiction reading from diverse proaches such as narrative theory, media and online community studies, and biocultural criticism. My main interest is to get an understanding of why it has been so easy (not to use the world “natural”) adapting to narrative in new digital media without leaving analogue ones behind. The ways in which digital media have revitalized the sociality of narrative and, in many ways, reading in general is also part of her work.

Juan Luis is a Professor of Hispanic Studies in the Modern Languages and Literatures Department as well as the Director of the CulturePlex Lab at Western U. His research deals with cultural complexity and complexity theory, digital humanities, technologies of humanism, Hispanic Baroque, as well as globalization and new literatures. Some of his books are “Tecnologías del Humanismo”, “Herederos de Proteo”, and “Calderón: El escenario de la imaginación”. Very recently, he also spearheaded a successful IDI proposal at Western U. in the field of Digital Humanities on which he is collaborating with participants from a broad spectrum of fields of study.