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Innovation project

Final Project Document


By Creative Solutions

Alvin Abraham Krystal Alexander Charleen Moore

Presented in Partial Fulfillment Of the Requirements of EDID6506 Issues, Trends, Innovations and Research in Instructional Design, Instructional Technology and Distance Education Trimester III, 2013

University: E-Tutor: Course Coordinator:

University of the West Indies Open Campus Camille Dickson-Deane Camille Dickson-Deane

Contents
Executive summary ..................................................................................................................... 3 Background of Unigame ............................................................................................................. 4 Problem ....................................................................................................................................... 4 Evidence for Innovation .............................................................................................................. 7 Introduction to innovation ........................................................................................................... 8 Innovation mockup and explanation ........................................................................................... 9 Feedback from audience............................................................................................................ 12 Conclusion/Further recommendations ...................................................................................... 13 References ................................................................................................................................. 15

Executive summary
Educators have always used games as a learning tool; however, with the advent of technology, game based learning is being increasingly used in todays classroom. This approach has proven to be effective in teaching skills and knowledge in situations where more traditional methods have failed. The purpose of this project is to design an online role playing game for educators who are having difficulty managing their time. It is hoped that the educators will: 1. Develop time management skills in the areas of prioritizing and scheduling. 2. Apply these skills to their day-to-day activities/lives.
Procedure:

Research was conducted on the Unigame in an attempt to understand the tool and use it as a foundation for our project. Developers of the game were interviewed and a report of the game was disseminated for analysis. A needs assessment was also conducted at the school to determine what the teachers concerns were and what could be done to address them.
Results/Findings:

Based on the analysis of the game and the needs assessment, it was decided that an innovative game on time management can be designed to effectively engage educators in developing and using time management skills. A mock up of this improved game was tested by a pilot group and corrections made accordingly.

Feedback from the audience included the following:- specific feedback, more unexpected tasks and more incentives as you progress from one level to the next. It was revealed that the game was indeed an effective tool to sensitize users on the importance of time management.

Background of Unigame

The project Unigame is a game-based learning tool that uses serious gaming principles to engage and foster learning in adult higher educational institutions and lifelong skills in learners. Some of skills learnt are problem-solving, effective communication, teamwork, creativity and responsibility.

Unigame is based on the constructivist approach and collaborative learning theories and incorporates a variety of social gaming forms (role-playing) and the best practices of learning social games in a group. It provides the opportunity for the instructor to provide game based learning in the classroom. The instructor is also able to decide on his/her own topics therefore modifying the game to suit his/her learning context. Unigames should be used with face to face sessions and online learning.

Problem
The St. Elizabeth Primary School has been in existence for over forty (40) years. It is well-known in Barbados for its high academic performances and standards of discipline. They have a population of 250 students and 30 teachers.

The Principal of St. Elizabeth Primary School held a mid-term review meeting with all teachers in which they were asked to identify personal and/or professional areas of improvement.

Based on multiple reports made by the teachers, it was found that most teachers had difficulties managing their time. They felt overwhelmed since they had to balance lesson planning and delivery, setting and marking examinations, supervising students along with personal and familial obligations. Furthermore, deadlines were seldom met. They requested assistance in effectively managing their time.

In response to this, the Principal brought in facilitators from the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) who held a half day session on time management. The teachers were also given website addresses on time management tips for them to peruse. However, at a recent year in review meeting, teachers still complain about having difficulties managing their time.

Therefore to address their concerns, this project entails game-based instructional materials on time management. Since the other instructional methods were not effective, it is hoped that the educators will see the value of games even in an educational setting and use them effectively to develop the necessary skills.

Description of audience The target audience comprises of educators of the St. Elizabeth Primary School who fall within the age groups of 25 to 55 years. They possess varying levels of educational certificates from Associate degrees to Master's degrees. Also, the audience has varied learning styles and work experience - younger educators have no teaching experience and older ones have been teaching for over ten (10) years. They are also very highly motivated.

List of ideas

Design a time management game specifically for educators. Develop individualized lessons on time management for educators. Design and deliver a series of workshops for 3 months or longer on time management.

Potential Challenges Resistance to change- Educators may not be techno-savvy and not see the educational value of playing these games. High costs- Educational institutions may not be willing or able to cover the costs of technology (equipment, software). Lack of game programmers- Educational institutions may not have the personnel to develop and design these game-based instructional materials. Using technology in the learning environment, one can expect inevitable problems with the software or hardware. This can be a hindrance to instruction and learning.

Solutions to Challenges

Facilitate stakeholder meetings with educators sell this new learning tool, highlighting its benefits. Form a pilot group and have some educators and other stakeholders test the games to highlight benefits and usability etc. Results from the pilot projects could inform the final product.

Allocate money in yearly budget for training and development opportunities for employees so that the university does not have to outsource game programmers Since the games accompany face-to-face instruction, instructors should have alternative activities which will serve as backup when technological glitches occur.

Evidence for Innovation


Games support the motivation and engagement of learners and assist in the learning of theoretical and abstract concepts. Games promote a more active role in learning Games develop social interaction and collaborative skills (Pevic et al (2004)

The development of a game relating to time management is important as time management skills are crucial for being an effective teacher. According to Sasson (2008) wise time management can help teachers make the correct decision regarding prioritizing of tasks. Sasson (2008) further explains that time management aids in the accomplishment of tasks. With this in mind the game was designed to complement the other instructional activities that were previously used. This new Unigame will therefore focus on the inclusion of various instructional design features which will make the game more effective. The added features, as cited by Cook et al (2012) will focus on feedback variation in tasks and range of difficulty promotion of mastery learning

repetitive practice curriculum integration

The new game will enable players to operate in an interactive, online environment where they can reshape their thinking and at the same time learn valuable lessons about time management. David (1997) as cited by Pivec et al. (2004) reported that there is an increasing demand for greater interactivity to be built into learning materials.

Introduction to innovation
Time2Educate is an online role playing game for educators. The game seeks to develop time management skills in educators at the St. Elizabeth Primary School. Although other methods of delivery were used (workshop and surfing the net), the educators still did not develop the necessary skills. Numerous online searches have revealed that there is no game designed to assist educators in developing time management skills. This game is unique since it was designed specifically for educators who are seeking to manage their busy schedules. This highlights the innovation of this game. As such, Time2Educate was developed with the understanding that games have educational value and are effective instructional tools in learning new skills (Pevic et al, 2004). Time2Educate is based on the situated learning theory. This enables the player to transfer the skills learnt into the actual environment. This time management game focuses on two primary skills:- prioritization and scheduling. It includes real situations that teachers face. The games goal is to teach prioritization and scheduling which are essential time management skills. The challenge within the game is to gain more time and obtain further capabilities such as taking on the role of a head of department, deputy principal or principal; this capability is conferred when the player has mastered level two.

Innovation mockup and explanation


The first screen the player sees is the welcome screen; it is here that the player chooses an avatar. Based on the avatar chosen, the player will be presented with scenarios based on the character. Fig 1: Screenshot of the welcome screen

Level one

The first level of the game - prioritization - seeks to instill in the player the difference between urgency and importance. The tasks will be in the form of short scenarios and players will be required to identify whether the scenario is one of urgency or importance. The level contains real scenarios that educators face. The players will select from a list of options and drag

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the correct option to a specified location on a matrix. If correct, the player will gain more time in the game and be provided with feedback such as well done or try again. This first level of the game must be mastered before moving on to level two.

Fig 2: Screenshot of prioritization level (level one)

Level Two - Scheduling Level

The second level of the game is the scheduling level; this level seeks to teach scheduling skills. Within this level, scenarios are given and the players challenge is to create an appropriate schedule for the person depicted in the scenario in a 60 second time frame. In the mockup below, the player will select the time frame that is appropriate for the task that is highlighted (the

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prepare dinner task is highlighted). Another task is automatically highlighted and the player is required to select an appropriate time for the task. In addition, unplanned tasks automatically appear and the player is expected to deal with this emergency within the 60 second time frame (the girl and telephone icons are unpalnned tasks). Failure to complete this aspect of the game within the 60 time frame, results in the player being confronted with more tasks and less time. This exercise continues until the player has exhausted all the tasks given successfully. If the player is successful at allocating appropriate time frame for each highlighted task, the players role is upgraded to another role, for example, the players avatar gains capabilities/responsibilities as a head of department, deputy principal or principal. The player, now taking on the new role is then confronted with more tasks, especially emergency ones to schedule in less time. This action is then repeated for the deputy and principal, that is more emergency tasks with less time.

Fig 3: Scheduling level (level 2)

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Screenshot of scheduling tasks - the girl icon and the telephone show unplanned tasks

Feedback from audience


Players were asked to critique the game in terms of engagement, relevance and design. Below are some of the comments received.

Player 1: Fantastic, relevant, appealing and likes the time challenge; should include the head of department role.

Player 2: Likes the correlation to real world, more to do with less time.

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Player 3: Useful, important, it is good way to learn how to prioritize.

Player 4: Useful, simple concept, easy to use, should include extra incentives for example, more points as you go up the levels.

Player 5: Handy, good for new teachers, should include some more tasks to make it more realistic.

Player 6: Interesting, like the real situations, makes you think about your decisions, should include more unexpected tasks especially when you go up the levels.

Player 7: More specific feedback in game so that I could apply to real life. Good or fair feedback not specific enough. Benefits can be found outside the game for example, game helped me to appreciate others in authority and be more cooperative with them.

Conclusion/Further recommendations
The project entails the designing of a game aimed at developing time management skills among teachers at a primary school. This was in response to the poor performance of teachers in managing time effectively and as a result not meeting deadlines. A mock up of the game was piloted so that the usefulness of the game could be improved. The feedback provided formed the basis for making the following recommendations:-

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A 3D version of the game should be developed specifically for teachers and educators. Similar games should be developed for administrators. The game should be made available to teachers in other schools.

Innovation project

References
Challenges of game based learning. Retrieved from https://designing21centurylearning.wikispaces.com/Challenges+of+Game+Based+Learni ng

Cook D. A., Hamstra S. J., Brydges R., Zendegas B., Szostek J. H., Wang A. T., Ervin P. J.,& Hatala R. web paper - Comparative effectiveness of instructional design features in simulation based education: Systematic review and meta-analysis. 2013 vol 35 pg e867e898

Foreman, J. (2004). Game-based learning: How to delight and instruct in the 21st century. Retrieved from http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm0454.pdf

How to teach using game based learning . Retrieved from http://serc.carleton.edu/introgeo/games/howtogbl.html

Pivec, M. & Dziabenko, O. (2004). Game-Based Learning in Universities and Lifelong Learning: UniGame: social skills and knowledge training Game Concept1. Retrieved from http://www.jucs.org/jucs_10_1/game_based_learning_in/Pivec_M.pdf

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Pivec, M,. Koubek, A., & Dondi, C (2004). Guidelines for Game-Based Learning PABST SCIENCE PUBLISHERS. Lengerich Germany

Sasson, R. (2008) Importance of Time Management - Success Consciousness retrieved from www.successconsciousness.com/blog/time-management/importance-of-time-management/