Wim Westera

Wim Westera
Open Universiteit Nederland | OU · Welten Institute

Professor doctor

About

136
Publications
69,602
Reads
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2,104
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 1992 - present
Open University of the Netherlands
Position
  • Media for learning
Description
  • Scenario-based learning, serious gaming and simulations

Publications

Publications (136)
Article
Stealth assessment is a methodology that utilizes machine learning for processing unobtrusively collected data from serious games to produce inferences regarding learners' mastery level. Although stealth assessment can produce valid and reliable assessments, its robustness over a wide a range of conditions has not been examined yet. The main reason...
Article
Full-text available
This article provides a comprehensive overview of artificial intelligence (AI) for serious games. Reporting about the work of a European flagship project on serious game technologies, it presents a set of advanced game AI components that enable pedagogical affordances and that can be easily reused across a wide diversity of game engines and game pl...
Chapter
Full-text available
Stealth assessment is a principled assessment methodology proposed for serious games that uses statistical models and machine learning technology to infer players’ mastery levels from logged gameplay data. Although stealth assessment has been proven to be valid and reliable, its application is complex, laborious, and time-consuming. A generic steal...
Chapter
Stealth assessment is an unobtrusive assessment methodology in serious games that use digital player traces to make inferences of players’ expertise level over competencies. Although various proofs of stealth assessment’s validity have been reported, its application is a complex, laborious, and time-consuming process. To bolster the applicability o...
Article
Full-text available
This paper investigates the usability of the RAGE component-based software architecture (RCSA). Thisarchitecture was designed to support serious game development by enabling cross-platform reuse of gamesoftware components. While the architecture has been technically validated elsewhere, this paper studies theperceived usefulness and ease of use of...
Article
Full-text available
This paper represents our newly developed software for emotion recognition from facial expressions. Besides allowing emotion recognition from image files and recorded video files, it uses webcam data to provide real-time, continuous, and unobtrusive facial emotional expressions. It uses FURIA algorithm for unordered fuzzy rule induction to offer ti...
Conference Paper
Stealth assessment could radically extend the scope and impact of learning analytics. Stealth assessment refers to the unobtrusive assessment of learners by exploiting emerging data from their digital traces in electronic learning environments through machine learning technologies. So far, stealth assessment has been studied extensively in serious...
Conference Paper
This paper presents the RAGE marketplace portal (gamecomponents.eu), which is intended as a hot spot and neutral single point of access for serious game technologies. The portal aims at fostering collaborations and the exchange of technical artefacts and associated knowledge and resources between different stakeholders in the field of serious gamin...
Chapter
We introduce the Adaptation and Assessment (TwoA) component, an open-source tool for serious games, capable of adjusting game difficulty to player skill level. Technically, TwoA is compliant with the RAGE (Horizon 2020) game component architecture, which offers seamless portability to a variety of popular game development platforms. Conceptually, T...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents the architecture of the RAGE repository, which is a unique and dedicated infrastructure that provides access to a wide variety of advanced technology components for applied game development. The RAGE project, which is the principal Horizon2020 research and innovation project on applied gaming, develops up to three dozens of soft...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents a computational model for simulating how people learn from serious games. While avoiding the combinatorial explosion of a games micro-states, the model offers a meso-level pathfinding approach, which is guided by cognitive flow theory and various concepts from learning sciences. It extends a basic, existing model by exposing dis...
Conference Paper
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Automated Essay Scoring has gained a wider applicability and usage with the integration of advanced Natural Language Processing techniques which enabled in-depth analyses of discourse in order capture the specificities of written texts. In this paper, we introduce a novel Automatic Essay Scoring method for Dutch language, built within the Readerben...
Conference Paper
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With the increasing amount of published scientific papers, it becomes paramount for learners and researchers alike to use tools that semantically annotate resources in order to facilitate the information retrieval process. Thus, we introduce a semantic annotation tool incorporated within our ReaderBench framework to provide recommendations regardin...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper describes the structural architecture of the RAGE repository, which is a unique and dedicated infrastructure that provides access to a wide variety of advanced technologies (RAGE software assets) for applied game development. These software assets are reusable across a wide diversity of game engines, game platforms and programming langua...
Article
Full-text available
This paper proposes a computational modelling approach for investigating the interplay of learning and playing in serious games. A formal model is introduced that allows for studying the details of playing a serious game under diverse conditions. The dynamics of player action and motivation is based on cognitive flow theory, which is expressed in q...
Article
Full-text available
The teaching of communication skills is a labour-intensive task because of the detailed feedback that should be given to learners during their prolonged practice. This study investigates to what extent our FILTWAM facial and vocal emotion recognition software can be used for improving a serious game (the Communication Advisor) that delivers a web-b...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The large upfront investments required for game development pose a severe barrier for the wider uptake of serious games in education and training. Also, there is a lack of well-established methods and tools that support game developers at preserving and enhancing the games’ pedagogical effectiveness. The RAGE project, which is a Horizon 2020 funded...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The large upfront investments required for game development pose a severe barrier for the wider uptake of serious games in education and training. Also, there is a lack of well-established methods and tools that support game developers at preserving and enhancing the games’ pedagogical effectiveness. The RAGE project, which is a Horizon 2020 funded...
Conference Paper
Software assets are key output of the RAGE project and they can be used by applied game developers to enhance the pedagogical and educational value of their games. These software assets cover a broad spectrum of functionalities – from player analytics including emotion detection to intelligent adaptation and social gamification. In order to facilit...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Although many scholars recognise the great potential of games for teaching and learning, the EU-based industry for such “serious games” is highly fragmented and its growth figures remain well behind those of the leisure game market. Serious gaming has been designated as a priority area by the European Commission in its Horizon 2020 Framework Progra...
Conference Paper
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This paper presents and validates a methodology for integrating reusable software components in diverse game engines. While conforming to the RAGE component-based architecture described elsewhere, the paper explains how the interactions and data exchange processes between a reusable software component and a game engine should be implemented for pro...
Article
Full-text available
For seizing the potential of serious games, the RAGE project—funded by the Horizon-2020 Programme of the European Commission—will make available an interoperable set of advanced technology components (software assets) that support game studios at serious game development. This paper describes the overall software architecture and design conditions...
Article
This paper describes the validation study of our software that uses combined webcam and microphone data for real-time, continuous, unobtrusive emotion recognition as part of our FILTWAM framework. FILTWAM aims at deploying a real time multimodal emotion recognition method for providing more adequate feedback to the learners through an online commun...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Although many scholars recognise the great potential of games for teaching and learning, the EU-based industry for such “serious” games” is highly fragmented and its growth figures remain well behind those of the leisure game market. Serious gaming has been designated as a priority area by the European Commission in its Horizon 2020 Framework Progr...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Digital games constitute a major emerging technology that is expected to enter mainstream educational use within a few years. The highly engaging and motivating character of such games bears great potential to support immersive, meaningful, and situated learning experiences. To seize this potential, meaningful quality and impact measurements are in...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The established (digital) leisure game industry is historically one dominated by large international hardware vendors (e.g. Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo), major publishers and supported by a complex network of development studios, distributors and retailers. New modes of digital distribution and development practice are challenging this business mo...
Conference Paper
This paper introduces the integration of the face emotion recognition part and the voice emotion recognition part of our FILTWAM framework that uses webcams and microphones. This framework enables real-time multimodal emotion recognition of learners during game-based learning for triggering feedback towards improved learning. The main goal of this...
Article
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Background. Despite the continuous and abundant growth of the game market the uptake of serious games in education has been limited. Games require complex technologies and are difficult to organise and to embed in the curriculum. Aim. This article explores to what extent game templates and game authoring processes can be designed so that they can e...
Article
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The growing popularity of game-based learning reflects the burning desire for exploiting the involving and motivating characteristics of games for serious purposes. A wide range of arguments for using games for teaching and learning can be encountered in scientific papers, policy reports, game reviews and advertisements. With contagious enthusiasm,...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The report describes outcomes of the activities carried out for the project “New Learning Opportunities in a Networked World: Developing a Research Agenda on Innovative uses of ICTs for Learning and Teaching”. The research consists of three main activities, namely desk research, written expert consultation and group concept mapping study involving...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents the voice emotion recognition part of the FILTWAM framework for real-time emotion recognition in affective e-learning settings. FILTWAM (Framework for Improving Learning Through Webcams And Microphones) intends to offer timely and appropriate online feedback based upon learner’s vocal intonations and facial expressions in order...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this article is to gain an insight into the effects of practicing short, frequent, and structured reflection breaks interspersed with the learning material in a computer-based course. To that end, the study sets up a standardized control trial with two groups of secondary school pupils. The study shows that while performance is not a...
Conference Paper
This paper introduces the voice emotion recognition part of our framework for improving learning through webcams and microphones (FILTWAM). This framework enables multimodal emotion recognition of learners during game-based learning. The main goal of this study is to validate the use of microphone data for a real-time and adequate interpretation of...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper presents an exploratory analysis of existing log files of the VIBOA environmental policy games at Utrecht University. For reasons of statistical power we have combined student cohorts 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011, which led to a sample size of 118 students. The VIBOA games are inquiry-based games, which offer a lot of freedom of movement....
Conference Paper
Many serious games include computational models that simulate dynamic systems. These models promote enhanced interaction and responsiveness. Under the social web paradigm more and more usable game authoring tools become available that enable prosumers to create their own games, but the inclusion of dynamic simulations remains a specialist’s job inv...
Conference Paper
This paper describes how our FILTWAM software artifacts for face and voice emotion recognition will be used for assessing learners' progress and providing adequate feedback in an online game-based communication skills training. This constitutes an example of in-game assessment for mainly formative purposes. During this training, learners are reques...
Article
Full-text available
This paper is about performance assessment in serious games. We conceive serious gaming as a process of player-lead decision taking. Starting from combinatorics and item-response theory we provide an analytical model that makes explicit to what extent observed player performances (decisions) are blurred by chance processes (guessing behaviors). We...
Article
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In this paper we explore existing log files of the VIBOA environmental policy game. Our aim is to identify relevant player behaviours and performance patterns. The VIBOA game is a 50 hours master level serious game that supports inquiry-based learning: students adopt the role of an environmental consultant in the (fictitious) consultancy agency VIB...
Article
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This paper describes how a short, repeated and structured opportunity to reflect was integrated in the storyline of a serious game in order to stimulate the development of a meta-cognitive skill: the ability to self-assess the degree of confidence in own answers. An empirical validation of the approach, conducted with 28 secondary school pupils, de...
Article
This paper presents a framework (FILTWAM (Framework for Improving Learning Through Webcams And Microphones)) for real-time emotion recognition in e-learning by using webcams. FILTWAM offers timely and relevant feedback based upon learner's facial expressions and verbalizations. FILTWAM's facial expression software module has been developed and test...
Conference Paper
The optimal structure in collaboration scripts for serious games has appeared to be a key success factor. In this study we compare a 'high- structured' and 'low-structured' version of a mastership game where teachers-in-training discuss solutions on classroom dilemmas. We collected data on the differences in learning effects and student appreciatio...
Article
The Playground Game is a web-based game that was developed for teaching research methods and statistics to nursing and social sciences students in higher education and vocational training. The complexity and abstract nature of research methods and statistics poses many challenges for students. The Playground Game aims to address this issue and brid...
Article
Serious games are seen to hold potential to facilitate workplace learning in a more dynamic and flexible way. This article describes an empirical study into the feasibility of an online collaboration game that facilitates teachers-in-training to deal with classroom management dilemmas. A script to support these students in carrying out such practic...
Article
This paper explores the cybernetic regulation of complex human learning and teaching. It provides a theoretical description of the arrangement of adaptive, machine-generated learner feedback which relies on cybernetic principles. Cybernetics—today often referred to as control theory, or feedback control theory—involves the incorporation of self-est...
Article
Full-text available
As an economical and feasible intervention, reflection demands learners using critical thinking to examine presented information, questioning its validity, and drawing conclusions based on the resulting ideas during a learning process. The aim of this study is to gain insight into the effects of practicing short, frequent and structured reflective...
Article
Full-text available
This paper introduces a Framework for Improving Learning Through Webcams And Microphones (FILTWAM). It proposes an overarching framework comprising conceptual and technical frameworks for enhancing the online communication skills of lifelong learners. Our approach interprets the emotional state of people using webcams and microphones and combines r...
Article
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The careful balance of education and play is essential for the development of effective Serious Games. It is necessary to develop a clear understanding of game mechanics (i.e. the tools of game-play) and how these relate to relevant educational strategies. In this paper, we raise conceptual questions regarding the nature of Serious Games and the re...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper provides an overarching framework embracing conceptual and technical frameworks for improving the online communication skills of lifelong learners. This overarching framework is called FILTWAM (Framework for Improving Learning Through Webcams And Microphones). We propose a novel web-based communication training approach, one which incorp...
Article
Full-text available
This paper is a reflection on the history and future of educational media. Over the last century various new media technologies were introduced in education. Most of these failed to meet the high expectations. The paper reviews the rise and fall of various “revolutionary” learning media and analyses what went wrong. Three main driving factors are i...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
During 2 school days and 2 days off, 37 college pupils were offered a daily re- flection and reporting exercise about how (intensity and channels) they learnt in the day. This pilot experiment had 2 purposes: a) to assess the extent to which the mobile phone can be used as an instrument to develop awareness about learning and b) to explore how youn...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the continuous and abundant growth of the game market the uptake of games in education has been hampered by the general impression that games require complex technologies and that games are difficult to organise and to embed in education curriculums. This paper explores to what extent a simple serious game scenario that can be easily adopte...
Article
Full-text available
Westera, W. (2012). Phenomenology of sprinting and edurance: toward a uniform performance assessment model. New Studies in Athletics, 26(1/2), 87-99.
Article
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Verpoorten, D., Westera, W., & Specht, M. (2011). Prompting reflection through annotations in formal online learning. In W. Reinhardt, T. D. Ullmann, P. Scott, V. Pammer, O. Conlan, & A. J. Berlanga (Eds.), Proceedings of the 1st European Workshop on Awareness and Reflection in Learning Networks (ARNets11). In conjunction with the 6th European Conf...
Article
Westera, W. (2012, 7 June). Hoger Onderwijs 3.0? Keynote presentation at EHON 2012 conference, Heerlen, The Netherlands.
Article
Westera, W. (2012). Streaming video is challenging the game consoles. Column at the Games and Learning Alliance website at www.galanoe.eu. April 14th.
Article
Full-text available
This paper reports on a controlled experiment on the effects of three types of reflection triggers in an online course. Fifty-four volunteers, distributed in five groups, used these structured opportunities for reflection during learning. Results show that reflection triggers were extensively employed by the test persons and were perceived as quite...
Article
Full-text available
This position paper introduces to “learning dashboards”, flagged as a new breed of eLearning interfaces. Following an observation of 3 instances of these structures for regulative support, it suggests possible effects on attention to the learning experience, reflective learning and sense of personalisation. The paper concludes with the identificati...
Article
Full-text available
Contextual learning starts from the premise that learning cannot take place in a vacuum, but should somehow be connected with real world attributes to make sense to learners. This notion is of great importance for workplace learning, professional development, lifelong learning and meaningful learning at schools. Today, digital media tend to bring a...
Article
Full-text available
Verpoorten, D., Glahn, C., Chatti, A., Westera, W., & Specht, M. (2011). Self-Reported Learning Effects of a Tagging Activity Carried out in a Personal Learning Environment (PLE) by Secondary-School Pupils. International Journal for Cross-Disciplinary Subjects in Education, 2(1), 276-284.
Article
Full-text available
Verpoorten, D., Westera, W., & Specht, M. (2009). Infusing reflective practice in eLearning courses – Can widgets help? In F. Wild, M. Kalz, M. Palmér & D. Müller (Eds.), Proceedings of 2nd Workshop Mash-Up Personal Learning Environments (MUPPLE'09). Workshop in conjunction with 4th European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning (EC-TEL 2009):...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Despite the continuous and abundant growth of the game market the uptake of serious games in education has been quite limited. The uptake of serious games is seriously hampered by the general impression that games require complex technologies and that games are difficult to organise and to embed in education curriculums. Moreover, the education of...
Article
Full-text available
This paper provides a theoretical framework for "reflection amplifiers" that are used in online courses. Such reflection amplifiers are intervention techniques that aim at provoking reflective practices in learning, in order to enhance the quality and effectiveness of learning and promote meta-cognition. A literature survey identified a sample of 3...
Article
Full-text available
This paper is a reflection on the history and future of technology-enhanced learning. Over the last century various new technologies were introduced in education. Often, educational revolutions were proclaimed. Unfortunately, most of these new technologies failed to meet the high ex-pectations. This paper reviews the rise and fall of various "revol...
Article
Westera, W. (2010). Open Educational Resources (1): Wat hebben we nodig? Electronic article on SURFspace. SURF foundation: Utrecht. Retrieved december 14 at http://www.surfspace.nl/nl/Artikelen/Pages/OpenEducationalResources(1)Wathebbenwenodig.aspx