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Evaluation of Learning Rate in a Serious Game Based on Anatolian cultural heritage

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Cultural heritage conservation has two aspects, tangible and intangible, both of which contribute greatly to the understanding of ancient inheritances. Due to the role of education in the preservation process, and the strength of the new media in the current era, serious games can play a key role in conservancy by transmitting the target culture. There is a gap in the serious game field in relation to Turkey's cultural heritage on the Silk Roads, underlining the motivation of this research. Hence, this study proposes the Anatolian Journey serious game, which is developed in the Twine platform, designed to transmit Turkey's tangible and intangible cultural heritage, providing comprehensive information on the Seljuk caravanserais, located on the Silk Roads. Moreover, the research compares undergraduate and graduate students' gains in knowledge of heritage data while playing a serious game and encountering the same content in text form with an online survey.
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Evaluation of Learning Rate in a Serious Game
Based on Anatolian cultural heritage
Sepehr Vaez Afshar1, Sarvin Eshaghi2, Guzden Varinlioglu3,
Özgün Balaban4
1,2M.Sc. Landscape Architecture, Faculty of Architecture, Department of Land-
scape Architecture, Istanbul Technical University 3Associate Professor Dr., Izmir
University of Economics, Department of Architecture 4Delft University of Technol-
ogy, The Netherlands
1,2{Afshar19|Eshaghi18}@itu.edu.tr 3,4 {Guzdenv|ozgunbalaban}@gmail.com
Cultural heritage conservation has two aspects, tangible and intangible, both of
which contribute greatly to the understanding of ancient inheritances. Due to the
role of education in the preservation process, and the strength of the new media in
the current era, serious games can play a key role in conservancy by transmitting
the target culture. There is a gap in the serious game field in relation to Turkey's
cultural heritage on the Silk Roads, underlining the motivation of this research.
Hence, this study proposes the Anatolian Journey serious game, which is
developed in the Twine platform, designed to transmit Turkey's tangible and
intangible cultural heritage, providing comprehensive information on the Seljuk
caravanserais, located on the Silk Roads. Moreover, the research compares
undergraduate and graduate students' gains in knowledge of heritage data while
playing a serious game and encountering the same content in text form with an
online survey.
Keywords: Digital Heritage, Serious Game, The Silk Roads, Anatolian
Caravanserais, Learning Rate
INTRODUCTION
Cultural heritage demands a high level of preserva-
tion, due to its ability to allow assessment of an-
cient times through its relevant artifacts and records
of adventures (Tanselle 1998). The understanding of
this great value has been expanded in the last three
decades, from the appreciation of monuments and
sites to architectural constructions as the tangible
heritage to a society’s rituals, notions, mysteries, and
ethics as intangible heritage (Bouchenaki 2003). Ac-
cording to Goodarzparvari and Bueno Camejo (2018),
education plays a dominant role in cultural heritage
preservation. Furthermore, they propose that chil-
dren and youth are the most critical age group, due
to their influence on upcoming trends. In the current
era, digital preservation also seems to be a proper
way to gather these data, and conserve them for the
next generations (Ikeuchi et al. 2007). In this re-
Digital heritage - Volume 2 - eCAADe 39 |273
spect, as a type of new media, serious games, also
referred to as educational games, have more than
pure entertainment value, and have been of interest
since 2002 (Alvarez and Djaouti 2011; Mouaheb et al.
2012). These games deliver educational content, as
well as entertainment, in a less restrictive way com-
pared to purely educational ones (Stege et al. 2011).
Hence, we can use serious games, with their educa-
tional and digital aspects, as an educational tool to
increase awareness of the heritage issue for the next
generation. Moreover, according to Cui (2016), gen-
erally, digital games are influential on players‘ beliefs
and transmit culture as an art form for the internet
generation. One of the most well-known instances
in this field, World of Warcraft, delivers an encyclope-
dic range of culture (Cui 2016). Furthermore, accord-
ing to Hamdaoui et al. (2014), designing a serious
game is challenging, due to the balance that should
be maintained between the ludic aspects and the in-
formation intended to be transmitted. Hence, a seri-
ous game’s educational effectiveness is the dominant
factor in understanding the serious games’ advan-
tages over traditional textbooks in supporting the
learning process. (Stege et al. 2011). However, ac-
cording to Boom et al. (2020), being aware of the
types of historical games people play is the other
important step in developing serious games in this
domain. Additionally, taking into account the vio-
lence in the existing games is dominant in the cases
that the game is going to be used as an educational
tool. Considering the development part of the issue,
the game industry follows the strategy of the cinema
by involving large groups of multidisciplinary profes-
sions (Moulthrop 2020), using the leading game en-
gines in the market like Unity [1] and Unreal Engine [2]
(Barbara 2020). In contrast, with the existence of the
hypertext games generating interactive fictions, the
need for the varied range of professionals is usually
reduced to few authors letting express their individ-
ual perception with less restriction imposed from the
presumptions of the economy. This phenomenon
also overpasses the gap between programmers and
non-programmers (Moulthrop 2020). A wide range
of studies exists regarding the available text-based
platforms and their pros and cons. Twine [3] platform
as a free and open-source tool supported by a non-
commercial community is one of the samples of in-
teractive fiction tools with a helpful community and
tutorials. The outcomes of this platform are in the
form of web pages ranging from quite simple texts
to complicated designs enriched with images, audio,
and videos. The game on this platform is concluded
from passages producing the scenes of the story. It
can also be integrated with Twinemacros, HTML, CSS,
and JavaScript to generate more complex game me-
chanics. It has a branching system that forces the
designer to think about the varied stories and end-
ings, in contrast to the traditional linear writings. It
can also be combined with professional tools such as
Unity and DooM [4] to build the storytelling part of
a videogame (Alstergren et al. 2020; Anderson and
Smith 2021; Barbara 2020; Boom et al. 2020; Cruzeiro
2020; Hargood 2018; Moulthrop 2020; Not and Pe-
trelli 2019; Vrettakis et al. 2019). Strik ingly, it is taught
in several mostly few-hour workshops and Game
Jams, inspiring different participants to dig into the
capabilities of this platform to convey their field of
study through it (Boom et al. 2020). Various fields
are taking advantage of the Twine platform as an ac-
cessible and cost-effective tool; such as in pharmacy
in teaching clinical decision making (Morningstar-
Kywi and Kim 2021), developing the branching sto-
ryline in a conversation chatbot for teaching the En-
glish language (Muhammad 2020), in disseminating
the cultural heritage (Kaleja 2020; Not and Petrelli
2019; Vrettakis et al. 2019), and in developing other
educational storytelling tools namely, BEACONING
(Cruzeiro 2020), StoryPlaces (Hargood 2018), Dream-
Scape (Alstergren et al. 2020), Narralive (Vrettakis
et al. 2019). Other available commercial text-based
tools can be named as Inform 7 [5] using English syn-
tax to generate virtual worlds (Moulthrop 2020) and
Padlet [6], which is somehow similar to Twine but
more education-oriented (Cruzeiro 2020).This paper
investigates the role of serious games in the conser-
vation of cultural heritage, and evaluates their edu-
274 |eCAADe 39 - Digital heritage - Volume 2
cational efficiency in comparison to the traditional
education systems, via developing and testing the
Anatolian Journey game, which transmits the tangi-
ble and intangible cultural heritage of the silk roads
of Anatolia during the Seljuk period. There follows a
comprehensive literature review of the previous seri-
ous games and earlier assessments comparing edu-
cation of the traditional and novel types.
LITERATURE REVIEW
Many studies are investigating the existing serious
games both commercially and academically (Eshaghi
and Örnek 2020; Forte et al. 2012; Johnson and Va-
lente 2009; Lercari et al. 2015; Örnek and Seçkin
2016; Poplin 2011; Varinlioglu 2017); The Oregon Trail
is considered to exemplify this genre. This game has
been played for approximately twenty years by ele-
mentary school students, targeting the 1990s’ pio-
neer life on the Oregon Trail (Becker 2007; Bigelow
1997; Caftori and Paprzycki 1997; Kane 2020; Regal-
ado 2017; Slater 2017). Addressing specifically the
rate of learning, Stege et al. (2011) compared the abil-
ity of a group playing a serious game named E and
Eve’s Electrical Endeavors and another group, reading
a textbook about the same issue of electrical engi-
neering in a high school. They concluded that seri-
ous games led to a remarkably better result, although
it is not possible to conclude with certainty that they
were more motivated than they would have been if
reading the same content as a text. Regalado (2017)
and Kane (2020), both in Trinity College, ran a study
assessing students’ learning ability using games. The
first is based on The Oregon Trail game, and the sec-
ond is designed for a course curriculum, using a game
developed in 2019 by Aldrich, Kane, and Ky, named
The Silk Road, following the rules of The Oregon Trail
game (Kane 2020). Hamdaoui et al. (2014) proposed
using the e-learning standard to generate more ef-
fective serious games and thus standardize the ed-
ucation process, by facilitating communication be-
tween the instructor and game designer. As a sam-
ple of commercial games about the Silk Roads, Silk
Roads: Caravan Kings is a newly released game in
2020, in which players follow the route of Marco Polo
in the 1270s, journeying from Venice to China, with
choices of routes leading to different endings, re-
sembling The Oregon Trail game [7]. Other examples
include Silk Road Match 3, Silkroad Online, Caravan,
and Caravanserail. Regarding the literature review,
despite some available serious games related to the
Silk Roads, we diagnosed a global gap about the Silk
Roads and, specifically, its Anatolian caravanserais in
the Seljuk period. Hence, the issue needs a more
comprehensive study to address the gap, with the es-
sential surveys to test its value in education.
METHODOLOGY
History
As a cultural heritage game, the first step before start-
ing the game process is to investigate the history of
the game’s target period. Hence, understanding the
history of the Silk Roads, caravanserais, and Anato-
lian Seljukid period is of great importance in this re-
search. Now known as the Silk Roads, this network of
trade routes was in addition to the route of merchan-
dise, also the route of culture, beliefs, and knowl-
edge transmission. The exchange of the caravans’ lo-
cal products for domestic goods from the cities they
passed through enhanced cultural conveyance, in
addition to the merchants’ material and wealth. The
caravans’ stopping points were the caravanserais,
constructed from the 10th until the 19th century, and
became vital in facilitating journeys [8]. For the cur-
rent study, we chose the Seljuk caravanserais, a rel-
atively under-researched period of Turkey’s history
compared to the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman
periods. However, there is doubt over the exact loca-
tion of the Seljuk caravanserais. After their establish-
ment in the 12th century, the Anatolian Seljuks be-
came important traders and built many caravanserais
leading to the development of the area (Önge 2007).
Data Management
In terms of the data gathered for this study, the as-
sembled Seljukid Anatolian Caravanserais’ data are
roughly the most comprehensive available dataset
Digital heritage - Volume 2 - eCAADe 39 |275
promoting the study’s background. This dataset was
generated during a data digitization process in a
Ph.D. course, using a high accuracy method. Initially,
the researchers in the course consulted the available
books (Acun 2007; Erdmann 1961; İlter 1969), an ex-
isting article (Özergin 1965), a map named Silk Road
- Culture Road [9], a website [10], and the OWTRAD
project [11], covering the whole caravanserais of
Anatolia. The essential data from these sources were
digitalized. To locate the gathered caravanserais on
a Google Earth Project, first, the known caravanserais
were found on Google Earth, and second, we tried to
locate the others using the naked eye on the satel-
lite images, through the information provided in the
researches. Third, where this was not possible, we
determined an estimated location. In the next stage,
we classified the gathered information via a four-level
classification. We defined the levels as follows: level
1, the registered historical buildings by the Ministry
of Culture and Tourism, state museums or their web-
sites, and the local authorities [12, 13]; level 2, re-
searched historical buildings determined by local au-
thorities and academic institutions; level 3, informa-
tion from travelers and locals; and level 4, Çekül’s
map (2012). We entered all the information into the
PostGIS online database to generate a caravanserai
map in the QGIS. However, to ensure the reliability
of the information, we used only the level 1 cara-
vanserais in the current research (Figure 1). Finally, to
identify the connections between the caravanserais,
based on the Silk Roads’ routes in the target period,
we superimposed the tourism route Anatolia by Car-
avanserai, proposed by Bektaş (1999, p.53). However,
we reduced the number of caravanserais to improve
the game map’s readability.
Game Design
According to the literature review, regarding archeol-
ogy and history, non-linear storytelling seems to be
significantly fitted due to its capability in engaging
the player with the past in a multi-perspective man-
ner. Additionally, the individuals or groups develop-
ing their story in such a branching system will be in-
volved in deep research of the intended topic and
gain the knowledge meanwhile (Boom et al. 2020).
Hence, we developed the game on the Twine plat-
form as an alpha version. This research is an exten-
sion of our recent study in the ASCAAD2021 confer-
ence based on Iran’s Safavid caravanserais named,
The Sericum Via: A Serious Game for Preserving Tan-
gible and Intangible Heritage of Iran (Eshaghi et al.
2021), following the similar methodology of The Ore-
gon Trail in the context of Anatolia. As mentioned in
the future work of the previous research, the Anato-
lian Journey game uses the gathered information of
the Anatolian caravanserais and the intangible her-
Figure 1
Data Management
Process
276 |eCAADe 39 - Digital heritage - Volume 2
Figure 2
Gameplay Screen
itage of the map’s each area in the game’s related
chapters. The player takes on a merchant’s role, trad-
ing among cities, based on the assigned duties. Un-
like the Sericum Via, this time, the player is not lim-
ited by time or health, and instead, the final score
is based on the duties completed and the number
of coins gained by answering questions. This game
mechanic allows the game to have more educational
impact in an entertaining way. As the learning ob-
jectives, the game engages the player in the realm
of living as a Seljuk era trader, who encounters pass-
ing caravanserais. Additionally, in contrast to the Ser-
icum Via, whose survey described the target player as
in the 11-20-year-old range, we designed the Anato-
lian Journey game specifically for our target, under-
graduate and graduate students. Moreover, as we
noticed that the players tended to ignore the pro-
vided data, we designed the game in a more engag-
ing style, with questions and fill-in-the-blanks during
the gameplay. To select the content that we want to
convey throughout the game, we looked for a strik-
ing point throughout the history of Anatolia in the
Seljuk Period to start the journey. During that time,
Konya was the capital of Anatolia and a critical ac-
commodation and trade center located on the Silk
Roads. It was also an important location in terms
of intangible heritage [14]. Considering the selected
caravanserais to be included in the game’s map, we
decided to start the journey from Antalya to reach
Konya city. Hence, as the representative section of
the whole game, the first chapter takes place in the
surroundings of Antalya, giving valuable information
about the city in the Seljuk period, obtained via a lit-
erature review, as the player talks with locals (Demir
2018; Dinç 2017)(Figure 2).
Digital heritage - Volume 2 - eCAADe 39 |277
The images we used in the game are under the Cre-
ative Commons license, including some from the
SALT Research online website, Ali Saim Archive [15],
which we made some modifications to them (Figure
3).
Figure 3
Gameplay Screen /
Image Source: SALT
Research, Ali Saim
Ülgen Archive [15]
Figure 4
Survey Results
PLAYTESTING AND EVALUATION SURVEY
Same as the previous study, we conducted an open
alpha playtest. While in the Sericum Via game, we
sought player feedback in terms of the game inter-
face, content, and target audience; in this research
we evaluated the students‘ learning rate while play-
ing the Anatolian Journey game compared to their
comprehension of observing the same content in a
traditional textbook. We designed our survey for
two groups; group A played the game, and group B
read the provided text file containing the same con-
tent as texts and images. We prepared two Google
Form questionnaires, one for each group, containing
the same ten questions, with links at the end of the
game and the text file. The questionnaires tested the
conductors’ comprehension rate. The survey pop-
ulation was Graduate and Undergraduate students
of the Izmir University of Economics (IEU). The ques-
tionnaire was delivered online due to the Covid-19
pandemic and consent was sought before participa-
tion in the survey; we also applied for a Scientific Re-
search and Publication Ethics Form of the IEU. 22 par-
ticipants were equally separated into groups A and
B. The results show that group A, which played the
game, scored on average 8 out of 10, and group B’s
average was 5 out of 10. Additionally, 5 of the game
players’ correct answers were among the identical
questions in the game (Figure 4). Hence, the results
indicate that providing cultural heritage educational
data, in the form of a serious game, raises the degree
of data retention. This implies that the players can
better memorize the data encountered in the form of
in-game questions rather than in readings.
CONCLUSION
The focus point of this paper is the preservation of
cultural heritage via serious games. Through these
games’ transitional and educational nature, the tar-
geted tangible and intangible heritage can be con-
served. Serious games such as the Anatolian Jour-
ney game, proposed here, can replace the traditional
educational tools, such as textbooks. This game en-
gages players with Turkey’s heritage in the Seljuk pe-
riod, and assists the retention of data via a recre-
ational activity. Also, the conducted surveys high-
light the game’s teaching potential. However, the full
version of the game may show even greater improve-
ments due to continuous gameplay. As a further
study, we can merge the Sericum Via game and the
Anatolian Journey game, enabling the players to un-
dertake a cross-cultural journey along the Silk Roads,
passing through various countries. An advantage of
the platform used for game development is the abil-
ity to extend the game as desired. We are aware of
the limitations of the game we developed due to the
278 |eCAADe 39 - Digital heritage - Volume 2
lack of time and labor as a small group; however, one
of the main goals of the study is to demonstrate the
capabilities of the Twine tool as a game development
platform in a cost and time-efficient manner with no
need for a considerable amount of effort to learn it
and any big multidisciplinary group. It means that
everyone can be a Twiner and generate his/her do-
main’s game to disseminate it joyfully and effortlessly
to the broadest possible community. Furthermore,
the final game exported as an HTML file is able to
be played in any browser and any device. It means,
it can be available for masses in any socioeconomic
range as educational content. Meanwhile, thanks to
its possibilities to be integrated into other engines,
enhanced by using more complicated codings, and
adding professionally designed graphics or videos,
any developed game, can be turned into a commer-
cially perfect video game.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT
We prepared this paper with the dataset assembled
in a doctorate course held by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Güzden
Varinlioğlu and Dr. Özgün Balaban, at Istanbul Tech-
nical University, the Architectural Design Computing
Graduate Program. Hence, we would like to espe-
cially thank all the student researchers on the course
for their valuable contribution to this study.
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[4] http://www.doombuilder.com/
[5] http://inform7.com/
[6] https://padlet.com/
[7] https://store.steampowered.com/app/1401840/Silk
_Roads_Caravan_Kings/
[8] https://en.unesco.org/silkroad/about-silk-roads
[9] https://www.cekulvakfi.org.tr/files/dosyalar-haber/i
pekyolu_harita_min.pdf
[10] http://www.turkishhan.org/
[11] http://www.ciolek.com/owtrad.html
[12] https://muze.gov.tr/muzeler
[13] https://www.kulturportali.gov.tr/
[14] https://konyakultur.gov.tr/index.php?route=pages
/pages&page_id=1
[15] https://archives.saltresearch.org/handle/12345678
9/46
280 |eCAADe 39 - Digital heritage - Volume 2
... For this purpose, serious games serving educational content besides entertainment are a remarkable sample of educational medium for the young generations regarding a more sustainable future (Alvarez and Djaouti, 2011). Currently, serious games encompass a broad spectrum of topics, including health (Clochesy et al., 2015), military (DeFalco et al., 2018), ecology (Ameerbakhsh et al., 2019), heritage (Vaez Afshar et al., 2021), language learning (Johnson, 2007) and many other fields for both youngsters and higher education students. ...
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Life is getting digital more than ever as technology improves. While the Internet is responsible for two percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, it is underestimated as a pollutant. Since public awareness is one of the most important preservation methods, it can contribute to protecting the environment from carbon emissions by raising people's understanding. In this regard, serious games, as a type of gamification transmitting educational content besides entertainment, immerse the player in enjoyment while teaching them a specific topic or enhancing their skills in a field. This study proposes a serious game, taking the digital unseen carbon footprint and its effects on the landscape into the topic. The game considers SDG goals provided by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. In this regard, the research uses SDGs 4 and 7 by providing quality education for all and access to sustainable energy by changing people's everyday habits.
... This paper is a combined effort incorporating two text-based games designed and implemented by the authors: one on Iranian caravanserais and another on Anatolian caravanserais (Vaez Afshar et al., 2021). Also, further research has been published covering other heritage sites: a mobile platform game (Varinlioglu et al., 2017), a virtual reality application (Varinlioglu and Kasali, 2018), and an augmented reality application (Varinlioglu and Halici, 2019). ...
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The pandemic brought new norms and techniques of pedagogical strategies in formal education. The synchronous/ asynchronous video streaming brought an emphasis on virtual and augmented realities, which are rapidly replacing textbooks as the main medium for learning and teaching. This transformation requires more extensive online and interactive content with simpler user interfaces. The aim of this study is to report on the design, implementation, and testing of a game based on low-cost and user-friendly content for digital cultural heritage. In this project, a game aimed at inclusive and equitable education was developed using 360° images of the targeted architectural heritage geographically distributed in a pilot site. We promote lifelong learning opportunities for all, following the SDG4, aiming for quality education with the easy-to-use online platform and easy access to immersive education through mobile platforms. Towards a post-carbon future without the need for travel, computational design methods such as using 360° videos and images in combination with virtual reality (VR) headsets allow a low-cost approach to remotely experiencing cultural heritage. We propose developing and testing a GIS-based educational game using a low-cost 360° virtual tour of architectural heritage, more specifically, caravanserais of Anatolia.
... This paper is a combined effort incorporating two text-based games designed and implemented by the authors: one on Iranian caravanserais and another on Anatolian caravanserais (Vaez Afshar et al., 2021). Also, further research has been published covering other heritage sites: a mobile platform game (Varinlioglu et al., 2017), a virtual reality application (Varinlioglu and Kasali, 2018), and an augmented reality application (Varinlioglu and Halici, 2019). ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The pandemic brought new norms and techniques of pedagogical strategies in formal education. The synchronous/ asynchronous video streaming brought an emphasis on virtual and augmented realities, which are rapidly replacing textbooks as the main medium for learning and teaching. This transformation requires more extensive online and interactive content with simpler user interfaces. The aim of this study is to report on the design, implementation, and testing of a game based on low-cost and user-friendly content for digital cultural heritage. In this project, a game aimed at inclusive and equitable education was developed using 360° images of the targeted architectural heritage geographically distributed in a pilot site. We promote lifelong learning opportunities for all, following the SDG4, aiming for quality education with the easy-to-use online platform and easy access to immersive education through mobile platforms. Towards a post-carbon future without the need for travel, computational design methods such as using 360° videos and images in combination with virtual reality (VR) headsets allow a low-cost approach to remotely experiencing cultural heritage. We propose developing and testing a GIS-based educational game using a low-cost 360° virtual tour of architectural heritage, more specifically, caravanserais of Anatolia.
Article
Full-text available
Virtual landscape has a prominent role in digital games' virtual environment design. Since the attributes of the virtual landscape directly affect a game's characteristics, it is crucial to be explored as a design domain, apart from just being a tool for other domains' development. This study traces the gradual change of the virtual landscape in educational games and the chronological change of their carrying content, till now a gap in the literature. To examine the effect of the virtual landscape evolution and the invention of the virtual reality (VR) technology on the intended topic of the education transmitted by the games, we classified all Steam games with the education tag based on KIM'S (2016) methodology. To do so, we transmitted their introductory information, whether they support VR and are simulation games or not, to an Excel database. Then we sorted them from 1992 till 2020. The virtual landscape classification methodology revealed a significant relationship between the content, VR technology, and the virtual landscape transformation. The study anticipates a future revolution in the landscape architecture domain by jumping into the digital game industry to enhance the virtual landscape for the sake of itself, not other disciplines.
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Water is the source of life for our planet, guided the ancient civilizations, and formed its current footprint on the earth. Water has always been a crucial element of our biological survival; consequently, humankind has permanently settled around it while carrying the responsibility of protecting it. To understand the water pattern in various cities throughout history and analyze how the emerging problems were overcome, Istanbul Technical University Landscape Architecture Department Graduate Level Design Studio was held under the theme of "Around Water". Despite the adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on education, international researchers contribute to the studio in a beneficial and diversified manner with the effective use of online tools. As a result of the literature review and the online, multidisciplinary education, and research-based design requirements, a new studio method was developed. Water-based case studies worldwide produced enriched outputs. While creating new discussion environments, the diversified outcomes of the studio "Around Water" contributed to the creation of cumulative studio knowledge.
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Efforts to preserve cultural heritage have continued throughout history, and currently use game technology. Serious games, with their audio-visual features make it possible for players to absorb and retain the often rather arid data of heritage. Furthermore, such technology facilitates the transmission of heritage globally amongst remote people, without the need to commute personally. Exploring the literature, we noted a lack of local game culture in Iran, and in the Middle East more broadly. This region is limited in terms of the existing global game industry, and the introduction of its culture to the world depends on the global market. This ascertains the paper's research problem: the need for more local games in the field to promote local historical culture. Hence, the paper aims to preserve and disseminate the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of its focus area, Iran’s Silk Roads and its caravanserais, by developing and testing a serious game named The Sericum Via. It has a non-linear narrative, engaging the player in a long journey visiting the Safavid caravanserais on the Silk Roads, using their detailed information. The game's text-based and strategic environment demands decision-making skills throughout the game and is challenging enough to make the player revisit the game frequently.
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Landscape grading is a highly critical topic in the landscape architecture curriculum, which provides crucial skills for students, such as three dimensional visual imagination, critical thinking, management and problem solving. This research aims to develop an educational video game as a learning support tool that helps undergraduate landscape architecture students to acquire the essential knowledge and skills for the basics of landscape grading. In addition, this research focuses on supporting the conventional education system by assisting students to gain essential knowledge and skills through achieving the given well-designed learning tasks. In order to enhance motivation and increase learning rate, this educational video game helps students to practice: (1) understanding of the contour map and its rules, (2) identifying the signature landforms and slope shapes, and (3) preparing landscape grading projects to solve storm water drainage problems. This research aims to facilitate the learning of landscape grading topics by visualizing the textual curriculum with three-dimensional models, instructional images and animations. This research also aims to engage students in the learning of landscape grading topics by employing the game mechanics by blending the conventional teaching tools with the opportunities of the gaming technologies. Moreover, the proposed video game presents an immersive self-oriented learning environment that allows students to learn actively by accessing information in a hyperlinked network rather than being listeners of streaming information. The importance of this research lies in the use of existing digital technologies to enhance the learning rate for landscape architecture education as a response of literature deficiency in landscape architecture. In this research, three problem-based learning scenarios were created based on the curriculum and divided into instructional and training tasks. The instructional tasks refer to the tutorial tasks, which focus on increasing the understanding and learning of content and encouraging students to engage themselves in the learning process by explaining through the clearly and well-defined instructions. The training tasks allow students to exercise in curricular topics by achieving the given tasks. In addition, the difficulty level of training tasks steps up gradually and mentoring support is reduced to help students to increase expertise on given topics. Afterwards, a three-dimensional educational video game was created based on the learning scenarios by reprogramming the OpenSimulator software using the LSL scripting language. A three-phased experimental study was conducted in order to overcome the deficiencies identified through evaluations of the prior study; the authors have improved the software. The new improved version was tested on two randomly selected groups (n=32) (control and experiment) of undergraduate landscape architecture students at Istanbul Technical University in order to evaluate the pedagogical and instructional effects of the proposed video game. As a result of the gathered qualitative and quantitative data, two-tailed paired samples t-test revealed that the experimental group scored 15.42 % higher points (m = 47.1800, s = 9.17499) compared to the control group (m = 31.7667, s = 4.62667), t(2) = 2.030, p≤.05.
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While games have been used throughout human history mainly for pure entertainment, they are now entering serious areas such as education. Serious games may serve as excellent tools to engage and motivate their players/learners. However, the number of serious games that have emerged in the industry is still low. To design a good serious electronic game, a balance between the pedagogical aspects of the educational content and its fun part has to be struck. In this article we will focus on educational effectiveness of serious games and how to standardize the learning process to create effective serious games. We will describe the use and the integration of IMS learning design specification in the design process of serious games to facilitate the communication between educators and game designers and to create adaptive learning experiences.
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This work lies in the educational opportunities of a learning tool: the serious game. The serious game was investigated using an American example: Virtual University. We first highlight the main features of this media, namely that it can be used as: a teaching tool, a means of entertainment, and as a technology of information and communication. It aims for multiple learning objectives, it finds application in many areas and it targets all age groups. Then, we show that learning through the serious game has educational values that are based on learning concepts advocated by constructivist psycho-cognitive theories; it guarantees intrinsic motivation, generates cognitive conflicts and provides situated learning.
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In March 2011, California State Parks entered an agreement with University of California Merced (UCM) to create an interactive, learning game able to educate students, schools and visitors about Fort Ross: the “Fort Ross Virtual Warehouse Project” (FRVWP). It is a web-based 3D game platform developed in Unity 3D that currently supports single player use, and in the near future will be developed for multiplayer functionality. This pilot program indeed demonstrates the value of an educational pre-learning tool for parents and students along with the teachers that come to the Fort to re-enact history. Through the use of this game, students have the opportunity to experience educational content and “role-play” in an environment that is immersive and highly interactive. The narrative, digital storytelling, and virtual reconstructions of buildings and environment, all count an accuracy based on scientific, historical and archaeological data. Ultimately, through user interaction, PCs and NPCs (non player characters) create an interesting dialogue between the site (real) and the experience of place (virtual and real).
Article
Teaching of clinical decision-making is an important component of health professions education. Patient case examples are widely used in didactic coursework to teach this material, but engaging all learners in large, lecture-based courses remains a challenge. Interactive fiction (IF), a digital choose-your-own-adventure media, provides an accessible way for students to individually explore the narrative of a patient-case in a safe environment. Here, we report the development of interactive, digital patient-cases (eCases) using Twine, a free IF development platform. Fourteen eCases were developed in collaboration with 11 faculty members and were used in seven different PharmD courses over three semesters. eCase content was developed by faculty members for their respective instructional topics and accessed via Web browsers on students' personal electronic devices. eCases were received positively by students, with > 90% of students reporting that eCases were easy to use, helped them learn the material at their own pace, and gave them an opportunity to learn from mistakes. Student self-perceived confidence also increased significantly after eCase use. Faculty reported that eCases took more time to develop than conventional cases, but were easier to deliver and provided better student engagement. IF is an accessible media for creating and delivering low-fidelity interactive patient cases that can engage all students in a large class. eCases allow students to apply their knowledge, practice clinical decision-making, and safely learn from their mistakes. eCases are versatile and well suited for both in-person and virtual teaching across a variety of health professions programs to teach clinical decision-making. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s40670-021-01245-7.
Article
Storytelling has the potential to revolutionize the way we engage with cultural heritage and has been widely recognized as an important direction for attracting and satisfying the audience of museums and other cultural heritage sites. This approach has been investigated in various research projects, but its adoption outside research remains limited due to the challenges inherent in its creation. In this work, we present the web-based Narralive Storyboard Editor and the Narralive Mobile Player app, developed with the objective to assist the creative process and promote research on different aspects of the application of mobile digital storytelling in cultural heritage settings. The tools have been applied and evaluated in a variety of contexts and sites, and the main findings of this process are presented and discussed, concluding in general findings about the authoring of digital storytelling experiences in cultural heritage.
Conference Paper
Locative narrative systems have been a popular area of research for nearly two decades, but they are often bespoke systems, developed for particular deployments, or to demonstrate novel technologies. This has meant that they are short-lived, the narratives have been constructed by the creators of the system, and that the barrier to creating locative experiences has remained high due to a lack of common tools. We set out to create a platform based on the commonalities of these historic systems, with a focus on hypertext structure, and designed to enable locative based narratives to be created, deployed, and experienced in-the-wild. The result is StoryPlaces, an open source locative hypertext platform and authoring tool designed around a sculptural hypertext engine and built with existing Web technologies. As well as providing an open platform for future development, StoryPlaces also offers novelty in its management of location, including the separation of location and nodes, of descriptions from locations, and of content from pages, as well as being designed to have run-time caching and disconnection resilience. It also advances the state of the art in sculptural hypertext systems delivery through conditional functions, and nested, geographic and temporal conditions. The StoryPlaces platform has been used for the public deployment of over twenty locative narratives, and demonstrates the effectiveness of a general platform for delivering complex locative narrative experiences. In this paper we describe the process of creating the platform and our insights on the design of locative hypertext platforms.
Article
This study investigates to what extent serious games support learning processes. We compared the abilities of two groups of high school students to answer questions on a subject that they were recently instructed on. The first group received its instructions by means of a serious game, the second group by means of a text. We discovered that the group that received its instructions via a serious game performed significantly better than the text group in solving the assignments. Surprisingly, the group that received its instructions via a text indicated that they were better motivated. Further analysis showed that clear gender differences were underlying these results: males benefitted most from instruction via a serious game, while females were better motivated by a text. From our results we conclude that serious games can be more effective in learning processes than written texts, but that they do not necessarily motivate students better than a textbook.