Game-based learning in Design and Technology: an evaluation of a multi-media environment

2007-06-07T08:56:42Z (GMT) by Ester Ehiyazaryan
This paper reports on an evaluative study of an interactive learning environment entitled ecoWarrior. The learning environment, aimed at D&T A level students, aims to introduce learners to issues in eco-design and sustainability. The paper discusses the implications of using interactive media and game-based learning as a way of delivering the abstract concepts which constitute the area of ‘sustainability’ to learners. The benefits of the interactive medium in terms of stimulus and motivation to the learner are discussed. Through the evaluation of ecoWarrior, evidence is provided of the advantages of using game-based learning in the context of the D&T classroom. The implications which the interactive digital medium of delivery makes for learning theory are explored. The constructivist paradigm is taken as the basis for the pedagogical design of the learning environment. The specific roles of socio-cultural constructivism and cognitive constructivism are explored as making a distinct and necessary contribution to learning and teaching practices. The evolving roles of teacher and learner in a setting which includes an interactive learning environment are discussed. As interactive learning environments are a relatively new phenomenon in classroom teaching and learning practices, the degree of intervention which is necessary by the teacher and the nature of this intervention are currently unresolved. The findings of the ecoWarrior evaluative sessions make practical suggestions, based on evidence from observation data, on how this intervention can be resolved.