ArticlePDF Available

Students as Game Designers: Transdisciplinary Approach to STEAM Education

Authors:
A preview of the PDF is not available
... Instead of having complete freedom to design games from scratch, we engaged learners in the activities of redesigning, i.e. creating new games based on existing board games, through playing, creating new rules, playtesting, and producing games. Our approach aimed to limit the vast creative design possibilities that we observed in previous studies on students' board game designs (Civil, 2002;Kim & Bastani, 2017). While engaging learners in design practices can create opportunities for meaningful disciplinary discourse and identity expression (Kim et al., 2015), learners could be deflected from the discipline of mathematics (Civil, 2002). ...
... dice, boards, pawns) in playing the original game and brainstorming for their new games (Bastani & Kim, 2020). Importantly, game redesign can position learners as individuals who engage creatively with disciplinary ideas (Jaques et al., 2019;Kim & Bastani, 2017;Kim & Gupta, 2017;Kim & Ho, 2018;Kim et al., 2019). ...
... In tabletop games (i.e. board games, card games, or other games with physical objects), players' experiences are directly embodied: their movements of game pieces serve as part of the discourse in physical settings. Capitalizing on how embodied discourse enables the imagining of possible actions, researchers showed that board game play or design can support learning of diverse disciplines, such as computational thinking (Berland & Lee, 2011;Kafai & Vasudevan, 2015), and creating and connecting meanings across multiple disciplines (Kim & Bastani, 2017). ...
Article
In this article, we discuss embodied mathematical practices in the context of learners’ board game (re)design activities. By focusing on redesigning a board game as a pedagogical approach, rather than designing one from scratch, we intended to limit the vast creative design possibilities and engage learners more deeply with the discipline of mathematics. We conducted a design-based research project in a culturally and linguistically diverse Canadian school. Our video analysis identified embodied discourses wherein a student with limited English language proficiency came to be a designer of a board game, while meaningfully engaging in mathematics learning. Our findings demonstrate how the conversations between a newly arrived immigrant student and the teacher in the process of redesigning an existing board game helped the student fully participate in the classroom practice, maximizing the available cultural and linguistic resources.
... In the integrated STEAM approach (Psycharis, 2018), the different STEAM disciplines are taught jointly (B. Kim & Bastani, 2017), often with real-world problems (Kelley & Knowles, 2016). Recent research findings included Arts in the STEM disciplines due its positive impact on students' motivation, engagement and effective disciplinary learning (Kang, 2019) when solving STEM tasks. ...
... Moreover, we observed, most pre-service teachers, conceived their lesson plans in an isolated skills approach (e.g., teaching geometry, without technology and without connection to real-world), rather than using an integrated STEAM approach. Thus, in an integrated STEAM approach (Psycharis, 2018), methods and contents from the different STEAM domains are connected through transdisciplinarity (Kim & Bastani, 2017), similar to real-world situations, objects or problems (e.g., architecture needs mathematics, engineering, art, science and technology). It seemed more meaningful to teach through an integrated STEAM approach instead of creating learning and teaching settings for each domain separately. ...
... Throughout the first reviews, we identified possible added values (e.g., creativity, presence of arts in myriad outdoor objects) to add Arts in the STEM. Hence, in completion, we investigated the extension to STEAM (Conradty & Bogner, 2018;Kim & Bastani, 2017;Land, 2013). Furthermore, students learn their first skills in the design process in arts, similar to engineering through problembased learning with real design projects (Cook et al., 2017). ...
Thesis
Full-text available
This cumulative thesis presents a PhD research on mathematical modelling with real world information, objects, places, and situations in the classroom, remote teaching, and outdoor learning in Luxembourg. We investigated different technology-enhanced tasks, learning, and teaching settings that could likely engage students in understanding and transferring mathematical modelling to their living environments through design-based explanatory studies. The selected design-based research methodology and its characteristics allowed us to adapt task designs, settings, and methods throughout the research process. Hence, firstly, we investigated process skills learning (e.g., mathematical modelling) with an automated tutoring system (i.e., the educational technology software MathemaTIC) based on real-world information from arithmetic word problems within an international project. Although findings were promising, we redesigned interventions to connect mathematical modelling with real-world objects. Thus, secondly, we performed mathematical modelling tasks with augmented reality applications, CAD software, and 3D printing on real-world objects in remote teaching and special needs education with elementary school students. Thirdly, we undertook our final study utilising findings of these studies and redesigned an intervention that was based on outdoor mathematical trails. We explored outdoor mathematical modelling with an integrated STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) approach. Through such a holistic approach, we collected data on education-related perceptions of different elementary school education stakeholders (i.e., students, parents, inservice teachers, and pre-service teachers) and developed conceptual frameworks on task creation, mathematical modelling, and stakeholders’ roles. In this cumulative thesis, we aspired to contribute sample contexts and to explain how in-class learning and teaching could be connected and transferred to mathematical modelling within students’ living environments. There are mnumerous crucial moments, method choices, and findings within these studies, highlighted through a selection of peer-reviewed journal articles. Moreover, we will discuss limitations, delimitations, and opportunities relating to different stakeholders' perspectives on technologybased learning, mathematical modelling, and the use of real-world information.
... Game design can also be interpreted as a managerial task in which designers have to deal with real constraints such as time and resources in a project environment that requires skills such as communication and teamwork (Fullerton, 2008). A pedagogy based on game design requires both creativity and management, which engage students' interests in the design process (Kim & Bastani, 2017). Whilst engaging in game design, students "build relationships in special ways, not only with their games but also with the subject matters involved" (Kafai, 1994, p. 17). ...
... Within the limited body of literature on board game design in classroom settings, most of the reported studies are related to teachers' adaptation or modification of commercial games or custom-built games applied in their courses (Castronova & Knowles, 2015;Hoy, 2018;Sánchez et al., 2017). As an educational intervention, Kim and Bastani (2017)'s study showed that grade eight students were able to design their own board and card games to integrate multiple sources of knowledge in science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) education. In the section below, we describe the game and the teaching and learning approach to promote the integrative design thinking process. ...
Chapter
In this chapter, we conceptualize design thinking by examining two dominant discourses, which we call descriptive and prescriptive perspectives. The descriptive perspective aims to understand the way designers think and work but has been criticized for its absence of a clear definition of design thinking. On the other hand, the prescriptive perspective considers design thinking as a method to innovate and create value. The prescriptive design thinking perspective has been criticized for presenting a simplistic vision of design, which people without any previous training, knowledge, and skills in relevant disciplines may use out of context. This chapter attempts to provide a look “inside the box” by re-conceptualizing design thinking, not as a “doer method” but a cognitive process with a long research tradition. We argue for a synthesis of both perspectives in teaching and learning practices. In doing so, we present a pedagogical approach grounded in game-based learning to mediate an integrative perspective to design thinking, using an example from a higher education business class.KeywordsDesign-thinkingDesign cognitionGame-based learningIntegrative design-thinkingBusiness studies
... Games have the potential for embodying disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge. Some studies have explored how designing board games, as models of systems, could support students' engagement with mathematics and science (Kim & Bastani, 2017;Ke, 2014). The present study was a design iteration of a previous learning design for supporting mathematics learning through collaborative re-design of a board game (Kim et al., 2021). ...
... The groups had the opportunity of modifying the existing components, i.e., using what already existed in a way that would fit their game (e.g., Reverse Pandemic's use of a similar map as Pandemic), while creating what they needed for their unique game (e.g., changing the cities' grouping to have a 6-player game). This signifies an enabling aspect of redesign and its involved constraints, compared to designing from scratch where the broad scope might hinder the groups' focus and translating their ideas into sharable artifacts (Kim & Bastani, 2017). ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper discusses a study on students’ exploring and creating emergent systems using mathematics and science while redesigning the cooperative board game, Pandemic. Grade seven students participated in the game redesign project co-developed with a teacher in an art immersion school in Western Canada. Their work was collected through video recordings, photos, and interviews. The analysis shows how the game redesign activities supported the divergence and convergence of ideas and group decision making. It highlights how learners’ interests and choices acted as frames that enabled their ongoing inquiry and expanding their use of learning topics in creating a working system.
... en vista de una transformación educativa, con una metodología y tecnología en entornos escolares reales al currículo formal(Kim y Bastani, 2017: Hawkins, Ratan, Blair, y Fordham, 2019. Nuestro mundo avanza tecnológicamente a pasos agigantados, por lo que es necesario fortalecer las habilidades matemáticas y científicos(Martin-Hansen, 2018). ...
Article
Full-text available
Aula en un ambiente STEM: una oportunidad para la innovación CRISTIAN FERRADA, Universidad de Los Lagos, cristian.ferrada@ulagos.cl DANILO DÍAZ-LEVICOY, Universidad Católica del Maule, ddiazl@ucm.cl EDUARDO PURAIVAN, Universidad de Viña del Mar, epuraivan@uvm.cl Resumen La clase STEAM (ciencias, tecnología, ingeniería, artes y matemática) ofrece un espacio adecuado para apoyar la inclusión y participación de los estudiantes mediante el uso de la tecnología. Esta área no solo facilita el trabajo docente para la presentación de contenidos, sino que también proporciona al alumno múltiples herramientas de implementación relacionadas con la tecnología para el desarrollo de diversos programas enfocados en la metodología STEAM. Se busca establecer un entorno de aprendizaje vanguardistas, demostrativos, basados en la simulación de la realidad virtual mediante el acondicionamiento de ambientes de aprendizaje que promuevan el desarrollo de habilidades en las nuevas generaciones, con el fin de retomar el conocimiento científico y carreras enmarcadas en los avances tecnológicos. Esta iniciativa tiene como objetivo fomentar y estimular espacios de enseñanza y de aprendizaje que se desarrollen en un espacio físico, según un modelo educativo colaborativo y flexible incentivando nuevos modelos y competencias de aprendizaje a través de tecnologías en un ambiente STEAM. Además, de fomentar la creatividad en la búsqueda de expresión sobre las artes, innovando y afrontando las necesidades del futuro a través del desarrollo de proyectos para trabajar en y para los mismos estudiantes, explorando y resolviendo problemas a través del pensamiento crítico, la comunicación efectiva, la gestión eficiente del tiempo. Palabras clave: Aula STEAM, Innovación, Ciencia, Experimentación. Classroom in a STEM environment: an opportunity for innovation Abstract The STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) class provides an appropriate space to support student inclusion and participation through the use of technology. This area not only facilitates the teaching work for the presentation of content, but also provides the student with multiple implementation tools related to
... Systemic perspectives describe it as continuously developing through the interactions of designers and design conditions. Designing board games, as models of systems, could engage students in developing and shaping the design space with mathematics and science (Kim & Bastani, 2017;Saxe, 1992). Kim et al. (2020) showed structuring game design projects as re-designing board games, in which learners play a common board game and change its elements to create their own games, enabled learners to creatively engage with disciplinary ideas. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We discuss a study on students' exploring emergent systems while redesigning the board game Pandemic using mathematics and science topics. This project was conducted with grade seven students in a middle school in Western Canada, in 2018-2019. We evaluated students' developing ideas and the unfolding learning possibilities through the redesign process. Our findings show how game redesign supported learners' decision making and their evolving conceptions of problems.
... Recent research shows that game design approach supports students' interest-driven learning while engaging them in systems thinking (Baradaran Rahimi & Kim, 2019). Games indeed require a system of various meanings, such as game pieces that represent the system elements, the rules that govern the relationships among them, numbers or points that represent the values of their actions (Kim & Bastani, 2017). Players make progress by managing resources, determining moves, and responding to the consequences of their decisions (Salen & Zimmerman, 2006). ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Recent research shows that game design approach supports students' interestdriven learning while engaging them in systems thinking. On the other hand, there is very little research on how the materiality of tabletop games engage learners differently. In this study, grade 3 and 4 learners went through the process of playing and redesigning an existing tabletop game called, Triominos. It was conducted in a STEM learning classroom in a western Canadian school. Each group considered what they could change in the original game, and created a unique game that explored various shapes mathematically. We collected ethnographic data, including video recordings of the classroom, photos of students' in-progress and final games. We discuss three groups' materializing their ideas into playable game pieces, using different shapes (i.e., triangles, squares, and rhombuses). The findings demonstrate how learners encounter mathematics and pursue their own mathematical problems, forming assemblages of mathematical and game-making practices.
Article
Full-text available
In response to a desire to strengthen the economy, educational settings are emphasizing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) curriculum and programs. Yet, because of the narrow approach to STEM, educational leaders continue to call for a more balanced approach to teaching and learning, which includes the arts, design, and humanities. This desire created space for science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) education, a transdisciplinary approach that focuses on problem-solving. STEAM-based curricula and STEAM-themed schools are appearing all over the globe. This growing national and global attention to STEAM provides an opportunity for teacher education to explore the ways in which teachers implement STEAM practices, examining the successes and challenges, and how teachers are beginning to make sense of this innovative teaching practice. The purpose of this paper is to examine the implementation of STEAM teaching practices in science and math middle school classrooms, in hopes to provide research-based evidence on this emerging topic to guide teacher educators.
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we argue that a democratic approach to children's computing education in a science class must focus on the aesthetics of children's experience. In Democracy and Education, Dewey links "democracy" with a distinctive understanding of "experience". For Dewey, the value of educational experiences lies in "the unity or integrity of experience" (DE, 248). In Art as Experience, Dewey presents aesthetic experience as the fundamental form of human experience that undergirds all other forms of experiences, and can also bring together multiple forms of experiences, locating this form of experience in the work of artists. Particularly relevant to our current concern (computational literacy), Dewey calls the process through which a person transforms a material into an expressive medium an aesthetic experience (AE, 68-69). We argue here that the kind of experience that is appropriate for a democratic education in the context of children's computational science is essentially aesthetic in nature. Given that aesthetics has received relatively little attention in STEM education research, our purpose here is to highlight the power of Deweyan aesthetic experience in making computational thinking available to and attractive to all children, including those who are disinterested in computing, and especially those who are likely to be discounted by virtue of location, gender or race.
Article
Full-text available
Gaps between Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education and required workplace skills have been identified in industry, academia, and government. Educators acknowledge the need to reform STEM education to better prepare students for their future careers. We pursue this growing interest in the skills needed for STEM disciplines and ask whether frameworks for 21st century skills and engineering education cover all of important STEM competencies. In this study, we identify important STEM competencies and evaluate the relevance of current frameworks applied in education using the standardized job-specific database operated and maintained by the United States Department of Labor. Our analysis of the importance of 109 skills, types of knowledge and work activities, revealed 18 skills, seven categories of knowledge, and 27 work activities important for STEM workers. We investigate the perspectives of STEM and non-STEM job incumbents, comparing the importance of each skill, knowledge, and work activity for the two groups. We aimed to condense dimensions of the 52 key areas by categorizing them according to the Katz and Kahn (1978) framework and testing for inter-rater reliability. Our findings show frameworks for 21st century skills and engineering education do not encompass all important STEM competencies. Implications for STEM education programs are discussed, including how they can bridge gaps between education and important workplace competencies.
Article
Full-text available
This paper discusses the special issue on learner-generated designs in participatory culture. We suggest that learner-generated designs represented as artifacts in the making, identity negotiation, and mediated discourse point strongly to social identification. People learn tacitly not only from their environment across different contexts of learning, but also from the social interactions that support learning and are shaped by the practices in which they are situated in. The individual and collectives transform each other in the interactions they participate in.
Article
Full-text available
This paper sets out to challenge the common pedagogies found in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education with a particular focus on engineering. The dominant engineering pedagogy remains “chalk and talk”; despite research evidence that demonstrates its ineffectiveness. Such pedagogical approaches do not embrace the possibilities provided by more student-centric approaches and more active learning. The paper argues that there is a potential confusion in engineering education around the role of active learning approaches, and that the adoption of these approaches may be limited as a result of this confusion, combined with a degree of disciplinary egocentrism. The paper presents examples of design, engineering and technology projects that demonstrate the effectiveness of adopting pedagogies and delivery methods more usually attributed to the liberal arts such as studio based learning. The paper concludes with some suggestions about how best to create a fertile environment from which inquiry based learning can emerge as well as a reflection on whether the only real limitation on cultivating such approaches is the disciplinary egocentrism of traditional engineering educators.
Article
Full-text available
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education in the U.S. has been identified as a significant national reform in K-16 education and curriculum in order to prepare students for the global economy of the 21st century. Korea has been facing very similar challenges to improve science, technology and mathematics education, in particular, the affective aspect of learning science and mathematics. Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) education has become a crucial issue in Korean education system. The major purpose of this exploratory study is to inform the exemplary framework of STEAM education in the U.S. for Korea and to provide descriptive and analytical accounts on STEAM teaching and learning as an innovative integrated convergence education. This study integrates the outcomes of research papers on STEM education and recent literature. It employs content analysis methodology qualitatively by analyzing and synthesizing the findings, conclusions, discussions, and recommendations of accumulated research works related to STEM/STEAM education. This study will help gain a stronger sense of the STEAM framework and will guide to develop the educational programs for Korea.
Article
The term "design experiments" was introduced in 1992, in articles by Ann Brown (1992) and Allan Collins (1992). Design experiments were developed as a way to carry out formative research to test and refine educational designs based on principles derived from prior research. More recently the term design research has been applied to this kind of work. In this article, we outline the goals of design research and how it is related to other methodologies. We illustrate how design research is carried out with two very different examples. And we provide guidelines for how design research can best be carried out in the future.
Article
Educators and education advocates have recently acknowl- edged that the ability to think systemically is one of the nec- essary skills for success in the 21st century. Game-making is especially well-suited to encouraging meta-level refl ection on the skills and processes that designer-players use in building such systems. Membership in a community of game produc- ers means sharing thoughts and experiences with fellow play- ers. This ability to gain fl uency in specialist language and to translate thinking and talking about games into making and critiquing them (and vice versa) suggests that games not only teach literacy skills but support their ongoing use. Rather than imagining that education can be transformed by bring- ing games into the classroom, researchers should consider not only the effects of the thinking engendered by those who play, but also by those who design the play. This article of- fers an overview of the pedagogy and development process of Gamestar Mechanic, an RPG (Role Playing Game) style online game designed to teach players the fundamentals of game design. It will discuss some of the early results of the project, with an emphasis on the conceptual framework guid- ing the work, as well as the kinds of literacies and knowledge structures it is intended to support. (abstract ends)