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Location: Room 2.06, 2nd Floor, University College London, 66-72 Gower Street, London
Email: i.iacovides (@) ucl.ac.uk
My work in the area of technology and learning has explored the use of digital games in formal education; how digital games and tools support informal learning and how people learn to use technology in the workplace.
Researchers and academics have long been interested in how we can “harness the motivational power of games” to make learning more fun (Kirriemuir and McFarlane, 2004; p. 4). Yet reviews suggest mixed results concerning the effectiveness of games used for educational purposes (Randel et al., 1992; Connolly et al., 2012). My work in the area has investigated how Racing Academy, a game designed specifically to support learning of engineering and physics, was evaluated within a variety of educational contexts. This involved a large scale assessment of how the game was used within five different courses in three further and higher educational institutions (Joiner et al., 2007; Joiner et al, 2013); this included an evaluation of how the game was integrated as part of a tutorial activity and competition at undergraduate level (Darling et al., 2008). Gender differences were also examined, suggesting that female students actually found the game more motivating than male students (Joiner et al., 2011). This work adds to the growing evidence of the effectiveness of digital games used for educational purposes in and also provides guidelines based on Racing Academy’s successful implementation.
While there has been much interest in how games can be used within education and discussion of games as rich learning environments, there has been less empirical research investigating games and informal learning. Further, it is not always clear how learning actually relates to motivation and engagement. My MRes and PhD research (Iacovides, 2012) explored these issues in detail in order to consider how and what people learn through games (Iacovides et al., 2011b) and how involvement relates to learning (Iacovides et al., 2011a; Iacovides et al., 2011c; Iacovides et al., 2012). This culminated in the Gaming Involvement and Informal Learning model, which accounts for the relationship between learning, involvement and identity (Iacovides et al., in press). In addition, I won an award for best roundtable discussion on co-located play (Iacovides, 2009a) and an archival highlights award for research about how to investigate learning during game-play (Iacovides, 2009b). I have further contributed to the literature on methods for analysing game play (Iacovides et al., 2013a) in order to establish a theory of how game-play breakdowns (e.g. problems) and breakthroughs (e.g. solutions) occur in relation to player action, understanding and involvement (Iacovides et al., 2011c; Iacovides et al., 2015). I have continued my work on breakdowns and breakthroughs by exploring player strategies (Iacovides et al. 2014). Further, I have considered how embodiment relates to the experience of game-play involvement (Farrow & Iacovides, 2013).
My current research on the CHI+MED project investigates learning within a
healthcare context, focusing on training within the workplace
(Iacovides, Cox & Blandford, 2013; Blandford et al., 2014), as well understanding current nursing
practice (Back et al., 2013) and how devices are used and managed across contexts (Iacovides et al., 2014). My interests in game research continue within the CHI+MED
project, where I have contributed to work on developing a game for
crowdsourcing data on number entry (Oladameji et al 2012).
My interest in informal
learning research also continues; where I have worked with colleagues from UCLIC on engagement with citizen science (Iacovides et al., 2013b), as well as using Errordiary for data collection (Gould et al, 2014) and as a tool for discussing human error and resilience strategies (Furniss et al., 2014). In addition, after receiving funding for public engagement activities, I oragnised a game design competition to develop a game for the purposes of
general public to reflect on how errors occur and how they are
interpreted. The game can be played here, while our work on the methods we developed to evaluate the entries (Iacovides & Cox, 2015) recevied an honourable mention at CHI2015.
Page last modified on 18 dec 13 15:40 by Ioanna Iacovides