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A framework for developing serious games to meet learner needs

de Freitas, S. and Jarvis, S. (2006) A framework for developing serious games to meet learner needs. In: The Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation & Education Conference (I/ITSEC), 4 - 7 December, Orlando, Florida

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This paper will communicate preliminary findings from applied research exploring how to ensure that serious games are cost effective and engaging components of future training solutions. The applied research is part of a multi-million pound program for the Department of Trade and Industry, and involves a partnership between UK industry and academia to determine how bespoke serious games should be used to best satisfy learning needs in a range of contexts. The main objective of this project is to produce a minimum of three serious games prototypes for clients from different sectors (e.g., military, medical and business) each prototype addressing a learning need or learning outcome that helps solve a priority business problem or fulfil a specific training need.

This paper will describe a development process that aims to encompass learner specifics and targeted learning outcomes in order to ensure that the serious game is successful. A framework for describing game-based learning scenarios is introduced, and an approach to the analysis that effectively profiles the learner within the learner group with respect to game-based learning is outlined. The proposed solution also takes account of relevant findings from serious games research on particular learner groups that might support the selection and specification of a game. A case study on infection control will be used to show how this approach to the analysis is being applied for a healthcare issue.

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