The use of computer games to support the learning and assessment of 21st century competencies will be the focus of a keynote by Professor Valerie Shute at next week’s World Conference on Computers in Education (WCCE) 2017.
The largest conference focused on the use of technology in education, WCCE2017 is expected to attract hundreds of educators, researchers, policy-makers and technology experts to Dublin Ireland for the four-day event.
Professor Valerie Shute will draw on her extensive research as the Mack and Eddie Campbell Tyner endowed professor of education at Florida State University where she focuses primarily on the design, development and evaluation of advanced systems to support competencies.
“There’s no limit to what you can measure with games,” said Professor Shute, who uses stealth assessment models in games to operationalise and measure competencies like creativity, problem-solving, systems thinking and conscientiousness.
“Unlike the cycle of learned helplessness students sometimes display with traditional educational methods, games can reverse that by giving students some early successes, which encourages them to try harder. Success begets success, leading to an increase in persistence and problem-solving, both which are important for success in the 21st century,” she explained.
At WCCE2017, Professor Shute will demonstrate her own gaming platform called Physics Playground, which has delivered measurable improvements in children’s understanding and application of physics principles and problem-solving skills during laboratory testing.
Although still in Beta and yet to be commercially released, the game has attracted significant interest from teachers and students alike whenever it has been shown. It has been the subject of grants from the Gates Foundation and the US Government.
Professor Shute is one of five keynote speakers heading an impressive line-up at WCCE2017. Other keynotes include:
– Lord David Puttnam, Digital Champion for Ireland
– Francesco Avvisati, Senior Analyst of the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)
– Davide Storti, Coordinator of UNESCO’s YouthMobile Initiative
– Dr Indrajit Banerjee, Director of UNESCO’s Knowledge Societies Division, which promotes the use of technology to improve access to education.
WCCE 2017 will be held from 3-6 July at the Printworks Conference Centre in Dublin Castle. For more information or to register to attend, visit www.wcce2017.com