4th International Conference

Digital Culture & AudioVisual Challenges

Interdisciplinary Creativity in Arts and Technology

Hybrid - Corfu/Online, May 13-14, 2022

Design and development of inclusive educational games: the significance of the transdisciplinary approach
Date and Time: 14/05/2022 (17:00-18:45)
Location: Ionian Academy
Polyxeni Kaimara, Ioannis Deliyannis, Andreas Oikonomou, George Miliotis

Interdisciplinarity in scientific research and applied pedagogy is an approach that aims to go beyond the limits set by each discipline and to create an eclectic perspective, so as to organize teaching and learning around the construction of meaning in the context of real-world problems or activities [1]. This paper showcases how technology, psychology, pedagogy and arts can work together harmoniously (and should also be combined by other developers) for the development of transmedia gamified applications. The case study described in this work focuses on teaching daily living skills to students with special educational needs, within an inclusive education setting.

Educational material that incorporates game elements, i.e., gamification, enhances social interaction, motivates students to engage in learning activities and improves their performance in a pleasant environment, whereas if taught traditionally, e.g., books, lectures and knowledge tests, can be tedious, demanding or even boring [5,7]. The use of games in education is based on research’s conclusion which emphasizes that games must be in line with the principles of pedagogy, educational methodology and educational technology. It turns out that the effectiveness of games depends on a balanced combination of "serious" learning and interactive entertainment [4]. This balance is ensured by a transdisciplinary design team, consisting of experts in both educational content and game development. The purpose of this paper is to describe the required specializations of the transdisciplinary team, the contribution of each expert to the collaborative content development and the dynamic teamwork.

Designing effective educational games requires in-depth knowledge of learning theories, game design and development models, games' fundamental structural elements, and the overall design of user experience. In addition, for games aimed at children with special educational needs (SEN/D), the participation of special educators and professionals, such as psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, etc. and primarily children with SEN/D is necessary. Participatory design and formative evaluation are methods that guarantee the achievement of games objectives [2–4,8–10]. During the design process, interactions and collaboration between experts from different fields of expertise and end-users contribute equally to the dissemination of information, results and methods [6]. The participatory design aims at the development of appropriate, applicable and user-friendly products through cycles of collection and analysis of requirements, prototype design, application and evaluation [11].

The balance between entertainment, fun, engagement, instructional design and learning is the key to developing successful educational games. The process of their designing and development aimed at children needs to meet additional requirements for their integration into formal learning environments, such as schools, but also to follow the Code of Ethics.

[1] IBE-UNESCO, Glossary of Curriculum Terminology, in: Gen. Educ. Qual. Anal. Framew., Geneva: © International Bureau of Education-UNESCO, 2012. http://www.ibe.unesco.org/en/glossary-curriculum-terminology/t/transdisciplinary-approach.
[2] P. Kaimara, I. Deliyannis, A. Oikonomou, and G. Miliotis, Transmedia storytelling meets Special Educational Needs students: a case of Daily Living Skills Training, in: T.H. Kotopoulos, and A.P. Vakali (Eds.), 4th Int. Conf. Creat. Writ. Conf. 12-15 Sept. 2019, Florina, Greece., 2021: pp. 542–561.
[3] P. Kaimara, A.C. Oikonomou, I. Deliyannis, A. Papadopoulou, G. Miliotis, E. Fokides, and A. Floros, Waking up in the morning (WUIM): A transmedia project for daily living skills training, Technol. Disabil. 33 (2021) 137–161. doi:10.3233/TAD-200326.
[4] P. Kaimara, E. Fokides, A. Oikonomou, and I. Deliyannis, Potential Barriers to the Implementation of Digital Game-Based Learning in the Classroom: Pre-service Teachers’ Views, Technol. Knowl. Learn. 26 (2021) 825–844. doi:10.1007/s10758-021-09512-7.
[5] B. Morschheuser, L. Hassan, K. Werder, and J. Hamari, How to design gamification? A method for engineering gamified software, Inf. Softw. Technol. 95 (2018) 219–237. doi:10.1016/j.infsof.2017.10.015.
[6] M. Pereira de Aguiar, B. Winn, M. Cezarotto, A.L. Battaiola, and P. Varella Gomes, Educational Digital Games: A Theoretical Framework About Design Models, Learning Theories and User Experience, in: 2018: pp. 165–184. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-91797-9_13.
[7] J.L. Plass, B.D. Homer, and C.K. Kinzer, Foundations of Game-Based Learning, Educ. Psychol. 50 (2015) 258–283. doi:10.1080/00461520.2015.1122533.
[8] R. Ramadan, and Y. Widyani, Game development life cycle guidelines, in: 2013 Int. Conf. Adv. Comput. Sci. Inf. Syst. ICACSIS 2013, 2013. doi:10.1109/ICACSIS.2013.6761558.
[9] M. Steinböck, N. Luckner, F. Kayali, M. Proyer, and G. Kremsner, Cologon, in: Proc. 14th Int. Conf. Found. Digit. Games - FDG ’19, ACM Press, New York, New York, USA, 2019: pp. 1–5. doi:10.1145/3337722.3341834.
[10] S. Tsikinas, and S. Xinogalos, Towards a serious games design framework for people with intellectual disability or autism spectrum disorder, Educ. Inf. Technol. 25 (2020) 3405–3423. doi:10.1007/s10639-020-10124-4.
[11] C. Wilkinson, Evaluating the role of prior experience in inclusive design, University of Cambridge, 2012. doi:10.17863/CAM.13819.

Polyxeni Kaimara
Polyxeni Kaimara, PhD in Educational Psychology & Educational Technoloy, MSc Developmental and School Psychology, MSc Public Health and BSc in Counseling and Guidance is Certified Trainer and Assessor of the Greek National Organization for the Certification of Qualifications & Vocational Guidance and Trainer of the National Centre for Public Administration and Local Government. She has teaching experience at the University of Western Macedonia and the Ionian University. She is currently working at the Psychiatric Clinic of the General Hospital of Corfu. She is a co-author of many papers and chapters and has presented research works at international conferences. Her research interests focus on the design and evaluation systems and games for special education and training and inclusive education.
Ioannis Deliyannis
Dr. Ioannis Deliyannis is an Associate Professor at Ionian University in Corfu. He is a member of the Faculty of the Department of Audio and Visual Arts and a founding member of the inArts research laboratory. He has created various interactive multimedia systems ranging from experimental television stations featuring multiple modes of delivery to educational and multi-sensory games. He is the author of a series of journal and conference publications in the above field and a series of books targeting the experimental and creative aspects of the technologies involved. He is involved in the design of user-centred software products and services, focusing on the use of mobile sensory systems to create intelligent interactive systems, entertainment education systems, games, gamified systems, educational applications for people with disabilities, multimedia adapters, holograms, interactive navigation narrative applications, augmented and virtual reality systems.
Andreas Oikonomou
Andreas Oikonomou holds a BSc in Mathematics and a BSc in Psychology, MSc in Pure Mathematics (University “Pierre and Marie Curie”, Paris VI, France), MSc in Didactic of Science (University “Denis Diderot”, Paris VII, France), MSc in Psychology, and PhD in Science of Education (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki). Andreas is an associate professor at the Department of Education (discipline: Developmental Psychology, Educational Psychology: Theory and Practice) at the Pedagogical and Technological School of Education, in Thessaloniki. During his 30-year academic career in the field of Psychology, Pedagogy, Didactic of Science and Environmental Education, he has been involved in many national and European projects and has published numerous papers in peer review journals and conferences.
George Miliotis
George Miliotis is a Special Technical Personnel at the department of Audiovisual Arts of the Ionian University in Corfu, Greece. He holds a MSc in Computer graphics & Visualization and a BSc in Computer Science. His experience includes software development for both the desktop and the web in commercial and academic environments as well as teaching in primary and higher education. His interests include interactive storytelling & VR/AR, computer graphics & visualization, systems administration, systems analysis and software development.

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