Playing facilitators: Care and Tough Love in Gamebased Learning Contexts

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Abstract: This paper presents reflections on the role of teachers as facilitators, in a context of role-play targeting learning of design thinking skills.
Our study was conducted according to the method of visual ethnography. We acted as facilitators for 50 students through the yearly six-day competitive event called InnoEvent, addressed to students in the fields of multimedia and healthcare. Being interested in studying games and role-play as tools to support independent learning in the field of design thinking and team-building, following Dewey’s (1938) theory of learning experience, we ran two workshops based on two classic role-play games: The Silent Game (Brandt, 2006) and The Six Thinking Hats (de Bono, 1985). These games were created to support students in learning design thinking in groups and are assigned positive values in litterature, hence we expected a smooth process. However, our experience was rather characterized by conflictual negotiations with the students. Data from our observations and from interviews with group representatives show that the students took a discontinuous learning path, characterised by a false start, failure, and a thorough reconsideration of their work, succeeding in the end to produced original concepts. At the same time our role as facilitators shifted from instructional carers to challenging, and to group leaders.
Based on our evidence we propose a new perspective, in which conflicts are an integral part of games based learning and can deepen the dialogue between students and facilitators, setting the conditions for independent forms of learning.
Publikationsdato7 okt. 2015
Antal sider8
StatusUdgivet - 7 okt. 2015