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The Design of Disciplinarily-Integrated Games as Multirepresentational Systems

The Design of Disciplinarily-Integrated Games as Multirepresentational Systems
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Author(s): Satyugjit S. Virk (Vanderbilt University, United State, Nashville, TN, USA), Douglas B. Clark (Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada) and Pratim Sengupta (Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada)
Copyright: 2017
Volume: 9
Issue: 3
Pages: 29
Source title: International Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations (IJGCMS)
Editor(s)-in-Chief: William Bart (University of Minnesota, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/IJGCMS.2017070103

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Abstract

Disciplinarily-integrated games represent a generalizable genre and template for designing games to support science learning with a focus on bridging across formal and phenomenological representations of core science relationships (Clark, Sengupta, Brady, Martinez-Garza, and Killingsworth, 2015; Clark, Sengupta, & Virk, 2016; Sengupta & Clark, 2016). By definition, disciplinarily-integrated games (DIGs) are therefore multirepresentational systems with the affordances and challenges associated with that medium. The current paper analyzes the DIG structure through the focal parameters framed by the DeFT framework (Ainsworth, 2006) to synthesize effective design considerations for DIGs in terms of the specific design and intended functions of the representations themselves as well as the overarching environment and activity structures. The authors leverage the literatures on embodied cognition, adaptive scaffolding, representations in science education, and learning from dynamic visualizations to address the challenges, tradeoffs, and questions highlighted by the framework. They apply these research-derived design considerations to an existing DIG (SURGE Symbolic) and to hypothetical examples of other DIGs in other domains to explore generalizability of the design considerations and the genre.

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