The development of autonomous student learning networks: Patterns of interactions in an open world learning environment for teachers exploring teaching with and through computer science

Gerald Ardito, Betül Czerkawski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

This pilot case study sought to investigate patterns of interactions between learners and their instructor in a teacher education course called “Computer Science for Teachers”. This course was constructed to leverage aspects of open world game design elements in order to investigate the effects of degrees of autonomy in gameplay/learning. This course was conducted in a specially built social learning platform based on Elgg software. Student interactions with the instructor and other students in this course were analyzed to determine the learning networks students constructed during each key learning activity as well as the epistemic spaces defined by these interactions. Descriptive statistics along with social network analysis (SNA) and epistemic network analysis (ENA) were used to investigate these data. The findings indicate that more traditional/less open world gaming type learning activities were associated with learning networks and epistemic spaces that were teacher-centered and narrower, while more open world gaming/high levels of autonomy (student-centric) learning activities were associated with learning networks that were highly decentralized and epistemic spaces that featured students asking and answering questions of/for one another. These findings were consistent with existing research into player behavior in open world type games and learner behavior in settings with high levels of autonomy support. Implications for further research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8696
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Volume13
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2 2021

Keywords

  • Computer science education
  • Game design
  • Game-based learning
  • Instructional design
  • Learner autonomy
  • Learning design
  • Open world gaming
  • Serious games
  • Teacher education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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