Co-designing a game as research reflexivity

Sarah Ann Hayes, Ana Lucia braz Dias

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


<br>The context of the experience shared in this presentation is that of a doctoral course in which Ph.D. students were given sixteen weeks to develop a pre-dissertation study in mathematics education. Those involved in the experience were the instructor and four doctoral students with diverse research interests. While students worked on their research projects outside of class — reading scholarly articles relevant to their area of research, writing literature reviews, delineating research questions, and choosing appropriate methodologies to investigate them — three weekly meetings were held where they could share their processes and collectively reflect about them. The challenge taken up by the participants and described in this presentation was to design a game that would be a conducive medium for sharing and reflecting upon their research projects. The motivation for this task was two-fold: a gap in literature and a belief in the potential of games as learning tools. While the literature about training educational researchers include articles about crafting discipline-relevant pedagogies to prepare students for their journeys through new research paradigms and unconventional methodologies, none of them reported designing or modifying games specifically for those experiences. A few used existing games and argued that they provided opportunities for, among other things: building associations and creating themes; patterning, unifying, and making interpretive sense of data by constructing plausible interrelationships; and constructing narratives from raw data. Games reported in this literature were used in their original designs, without modifications for these aims. Drawing from cognitive scientist and gamer James Paul Gee’s principles of learning by design, we wanted to use co-design as an opportunity for learning. Designing or modifying games requires knowledge and reflexivity about the concepts involved in the game scenario. It also allows for examining game mechanics as metaphors for activities in other contexts — in this case, making sense of a myriad of different studies, results, and methodologies, and crafting relevant questions and an appropriate study to investigate them. This experience included playing a variety of games, selecting one for modifying, and creating new materials for the mod. Games played included Balderdash, Fluxx, and Codenames. As a result of this experience, participants created and playtested a mod of Codenames with elements of their own research areas.
Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - Dec 6 2019
Event5o. Seminário sobre Currículo, Cultura e Identidade -
Duration: Dec 6 2019Dec 6 2019


Conference5o. Seminário sobre Currículo, Cultura e Identidade


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