Reimagine Learning

Game-Based Assessment

Ben Paris

by Ben Paris on Nov 8, 2018 11:00:00 AM

What can you learn about someone from their play? Quite a bit, we think. Games can be platforms that illustrate the relevance of many of the skills that are taught in school. Even better, they can be effective tests of many of the higher-order skills that are the most difficult to measure with traditional assessments. To top it all off, they can be highly engaging, which encourages learners to put in the time required to realize this potential.

Topics: game-based assessment, Learning Design, Assessments

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What Would You Want to Measure Using Games?

Ben Paris

by Ben Paris on Apr 3, 2018 11:00:00 AM

Recently, I joined our CEO, Tory VanVoorhis, on a panel to discuss the potential of games in the world of assessment. We explained what games can do, how to build them, and key questions to get you started. To motivate the discussion, we asked the attendees to identify the skills that they might like to measure with games.

Here are the skills that were mentioned most often:

Topics: game-based assessment, Game-based learning, Learning Design, Assessments

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Creating Future Rock Stars: Inclusion, STEM, and Games

Victoria Van Voorhis & Anne Snyder, Ph.D.

by Victoria Van Voorhis & Anne Snyder, Ph.D. on Dec 31, 2015 11:51:47 AM

Women, a little while ago, I found myself feeling a bit like a high-schooler who has just spied a favorite lead singer at a concert…except instead of a concert I was in the executive offices of the White House. During our meeting on educational technology, I thought I caught a glimpse of someone really incredible in the hallway just outside the door.

“Was that Megan Smith?! She is a rock star!!!!!” I whispered. Indeed it was. The Chief Technology Officer of the United States and previous VP of Google was right in the hallway, waiting to talk to our group about inclusion as well as game-based assessment. I was over the moon – this remarkable woman has helped transform the world of technology, while also supporting the inclusion of women in minorities in both education and the workplace.

This topic, inclusion, was one of the themes of her discussion with our group. Referencing Grace Hopper, one of the first American computer scientists and inventor of the first programming compiler, Ms. Smith reminded us of the great potential talent in STEM among our women, and minority groups. She asked us to focus our efforts on repairing the wide representation gap between these groups and majority groups in the STEM fields. The under-representation problem has persisted for far too long, and Ms. Smith suggested that educational games and access to low-cost maker technology such as Raspberry Pi offer partial solutions to this complex problem.

Topics: STEM, game-based assessment

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Ed Games Expo

Victoria Van Voorhis & Anne Snyder, Ph.D.

by Victoria Van Voorhis & Anne Snyder, Ph.D. on Dec 17, 2015 3:35:56 PM

The ED Games Expo - A game night extravaganza!

Second Avenue was delighted to participate in this year’s ED Games Expo, sponsored by 1776 and the Entertainment Software Association! After all, everyone loves a good “game night” from time to time, right? (In our office, when we finish our writing, designing, coding, and testing for the day, many of us play Super Mash Brothers, a vintage game like Street Fighter, or even old school board games – they help us think about our own designs). The ED Games Expo was like a game night extravaganza, with attendees not only playing games, but also meeting the developers.

This year’s event featured 30 developers, funded by Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants from U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, the National Science Foundation and four other Federal agencies. The Expo also showcased commercial learning games developers, including Minecraft EDU, Ubisoft, and PBS Kids ScratchJr.

Topics: game-based assessment

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The Big "Duh!" in Education: Game-based Assessment

Victoria Van Voorhis & Anne Snyder, Ph.D.

by Victoria Van Voorhis & Anne Snyder, Ph.D. on Dec 15, 2015 2:11:58 PM

When the Deputy Assistant to the President for Education walks into the room, followed shortly by the United States Chief Technology Officer, you know the conversation is about to get really interesting.

Game-Based Assessment (GBA)

Of course, in our case, the conversation was already interesting. Sitting in the beautiful and historically remarkable Indian Treaty Room at the White House complex, we were part of an incredible discussion on a relatively new development in education; game-based assessment. Our program officer and a champion of serious and learning games, Dr. Ed Metz, led the charge by bringing together representatives from educational technology and serious games companies throughout the country. 

The White House is interested in exploring game-based assessment as part our country’s testing solutions of the future.

Together with our colleagues in the field of game-based learning, we explored the challenges and opportunities offered by measuring learning, not through paper and pencil or computer-based tests, but by asking students to play games. Like so many of the others in the room, we believe that games have the potential to offer both teaching and learning opportunities, as well as the ability to provide deep and comprehensive evidence of teaching and learning. With the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act, the door has been opened for other types of assessment, including game-based assessments (GBA).

Topics: game-based assessment

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