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Zuiker, S. J., Anderson, K. T., Lee, J. L. H., & Chee, Y. S. (2008, June). Designing for the epistemological entailments of physics through game-centered dialogical activity cycles. Paper presented at the 8th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS) 2008, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
This study examines a secondary-level science curriculum centered on a multi-user, "serious game" called Escape from Centauri 7. The game engine depicts qualitative physics phenomena via dynamics tied to player actions. Players progressively engage the epistemological entailments of charged particles through new phenomena they encounter as the game unfolds. We engineered discretely bounded gaming episodes to arrange transitions between game play, small group, and whole class discussions. Together, these elements of game play and discussion constitute recurring, game-centered dialogic activity cycles. Through this design, we investigate how gaming fosters intuitive physics understandings, how activity structures and materials engage learners and enlist gaming experiences in discussion, and how both game play and discussion shape subsequent participation. Analyses of trajectories of participation in and across cycles underscore the plausibility of this approach while also illuminating emerging tensions that we discuss in terms of epistemic reflexivity.
This paper was presented at the 8th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS) 2008, held in Utrecht, The Netherlands from 23 - 28 Jun 2008
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