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Building apostrophe power: lessons learnt for serious games development

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Abstract

There is increasing interest in the application of serious games for learning. Growth in the take-up of digital devices, e.g. smartphones and tablets, and their use for gaming provides new opportunities for mobile learning (m-learning). A serious game m-learning app for improving adult learners' apostrophe usage, called Apostrophe Power, has been developed. The research team, which consisted of software engineers and educationalists, encountered a number of discipline spanning issues while designing and developing this m-learning app. This paper overviews the issues encountered, the recommendations from recent literature and how the issues were ultimately addressed, exemplified in a case study. These lessons learnt offer insight for serious game development and highlight practical solutions for m-learning apps involving interdisciplinary teams.

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... This involved a stream of research that has focused on the use of digital resources for teaching students, with examples on the use of videos (e.g., Zhang et al., 2006) and the implementation of digital resources for computers in classrooms (Santiago et al., 2009;Lopez-Rosenfeld et al., 2013;Goldin et al., 2014;Mateos et al., 2016). Today, with the increase in the number and use of electronic devices (computers, smartphones, and tablets), the market for digital educational material is constantly growing (Blumberg and Fisch, 2013;Hirsh-Pasek et al., 2015;Hickmott et al., 2016). This growth has led to a greater use of technologies in the classroom (Lieberman et al., 2009). ...
... As already stressed, many of the applications available on the market today may help in the training and improvement of executive functions, as well as in the possibility of extrapolating the skills acquired to other tasks (Jaeggi et al., 2011;Lopez-Rosenfeld et al., 2013;Oei and Patterson, 2013;Hirsh-Pasek et al., 2015;Hickmott et al., 2016). Nevertheless, for this to happen, the instructions and design of the digital materials (games, videos, activities, etc.) need to include the students' requirements in terms of cognitive and emotional development (Tan et al., 2007;Diamond, 2012). ...
... This stream of research could focus on exploring the relationship and interaction between the gaming elements for learning, in the same way that there are established patterns based on the mechanics of games for prompting actions in players. Furthermore, there is a need to consider the effort and time required when designing and developing digital materials, involving a proper gathering of data through Learning Analytics Systems through intrinsic assessment of games, among other matters (Hickmott et al., 2016). This requires interdisciplinary teams of researchers, educators, designers, and developers of educational applications that should work together to continue improving materials on the market, proposing solutions to limitations in terms of development which involve common vocabulary and more flexible approaches extending beyond each area's disciplinary perspectives (Cf. ...
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... Hickmott et al. [24] present a set of lessons learnt from developing a mobile game for adult literacy. Hickmott et al. [24] discuss the complexity in communication between team members from different disciplines. ...
... Hickmott et al. [24] present a set of lessons learnt from developing a mobile game for adult literacy. Hickmott et al. [24] discuss the complexity in communication between team members from different disciplines. These differences also pertain to experiences with gaming, where non-experienced (of games) members of the team, found it difficult to visualize what the different game elements would look like in the finished game. ...
... art and sound) to develop a game. Hickmott et al. [24] also discuss time consumption for both content development and iterative work practices to develop ideas as issues to take into account. Finally, they also address two issues specific to serious games. ...
... The communication among these actors is an important aspect as well as a challenge to tackle in every project, especially for the different backgrounds and often the different languages. As reported in Hickmott et al. (2016), these interdisciplinary teams are likely to have communication barriers. For instance, domain or pedagogical experts, who are usually unfamiliar with the software development, during the design, need to communicate with software developers (Hickmott et al. 2016), who conversely have limited knowledge or experience about learning. ...
... As reported in Hickmott et al. (2016), these interdisciplinary teams are likely to have communication barriers. For instance, domain or pedagogical experts, who are usually unfamiliar with the software development, during the design, need to communicate with software developers (Hickmott et al. 2016), who conversely have limited knowledge or experience about learning. Ideas and design is discussed in traditional face-to-face meetings or computer-mediated discussions (e.g., e-mail, videocalls, folder sharing). ...
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The dramatic growth in student numbersassociated with the shift from elite to masssystems across virtually all developedcountries is central to current transformationsin terms of structure, purpose, social andeconomic role of higher education. As a part ofthis process of expansion and heterogenization,new groups of students who, for a complex rangeof social, economic and cultural reasons weretraditionally excluded from orunder-represented in higher education, mightbe expected to participate in increasingnumbers. The paper develops the concept ofnon-traditional learners and demonstrateshow an examination of ways in which highereducation systems respond to such learners canprovide a fruitful basis for a comparativeanalysis of change in higher education acrossten countries – Austria, Australia, Canada,Germany, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden,United Kingdom, and the United States. Theprimary emphasis in the study was on theinstitutional and policy issues which appearedto either inhibit or support participation bynon-traditional learners. On this basis sixfactors were identified which seemed to beparticularly influential with regard to theparticipation of non-traditional students andthe associated moves towards a lifelonglearning mode of higher education. The evidence suggests that, while progress canbe reported on a number of dimensions incomparison with a similar analysis ofparticipation by adults students in the samecountries undertaken just over a decadeearlier, high participation rates do notautomatically imply that the functions ofhigher education in social selection andreproduction are obsolete, or that issues ofaccess and equity can be regarded as featuresof the past.
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This paper identifies and analyzes the emergence of a new paradigm in software engineering, called separation of concerns, which tries to formally separate the basic algorithm from special purpose concerns such as synchronization, real-time constraints, and location control. This separation allows for the locality of different kinds of information in the programs, making them easier to write, understand, reuse, and modify. We identify the major concerns existing in today's software applications, and analyze recent proposals in the literature that address separation of single concerns. Furthermore, we study the commonalities of these proposals and discuss how they can be used to achieve separation of concerns in general. Finally, we address the problem of composition of several separated concerns. Keywords: reflection, composition filters, adaptive software, software engineering practises, reuse, components and frameworks 1 1 Introduction The increasing complexity of today'...
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