2.1 Define Your Research Questions

OUR METHODICAL APPROACH

We have been given the option of choosing between three different types of methods to analyse our previously done tasks (literature review, interview and cultural probes). The given methods being; affinity diagram, empathy map or content analysis.

We have decided to use the affinity diagram method. The reason behind our choice of affinity diagram is that we think it’s a good visual approach of handling our data, we’re able to categorize our former work into bigger topics and pull important information from them. We found this way to be more fun than the other ones as well, since we can make different shapes and systems out of post-its, plus all the materials are also available at the school’s MakerSpace.

The define phase is critical for our work going forward as it is the time where we are trying to address our problem. Based on our previous work we’re going to find out what we need to do in order to make our design work, and re-frame it based on our gained insight. Once we’ve analyzed our data, we can then try to find a solution for our problem. It is important that we, in this define phase, find out exactly who we are designing for; who is our user?

Our user for the tool we’ve mentioned previously in our cultural probe is both students and teachers, as we’re aiming to creating something similar to a learning platform but with engaging activities for our participants to take advantage of. Our focus group are primarily the students as it is their lectures and classes we wish become more engaging and fun, while the teacher will be the controller of said platform; monitoring and structuring tasks, etc. We want to integrate games and virtual learning more into the classroom than it already is. It could benefit us if we could get to use it more in colleges and universities, but it is, as Tina has talked about, rather hard to achieve and could prove to be very expensive due to how specific these games designed for learning need to be for each subject.

Our users has specific needs. Students need a way that requires more active participation in the classroom than what your average textbook school course gives. As we’ve tried to express in our blog we want to make the lectures more interesting and engaging for the students, and this will be done through the integration of games in learning situations. 

With the limits that comes with a problem statement, being how specific it can be to be feasible and that it should be focused on our users (how we’re supposed to help them). To articulate our problem statement that will define our work going forward, we need to focus on three things: user, their needs and our gained insight. Our problem statement going forward with our design work will be:

Students needs games integrated in learning because it allows for a more creative and engaging way for students to interact with topics in school.


HOW WE APPLIED OUR AFFINITY DIAGRAM

Affinity means relatedness or closeness. An affinity diagram is a tool based around finding relations among ideas and finding out what they have in common. It’s a good tool to use as it makes a visual representation of given ideas and is often good for brainstorming ideas based on previous work. In order to narrow down our previous work for the affinity diagram we need to immerse ourselves in our work and see what are the essential parts we want to include from each part of blog. We need to synthesize our data and figure out what we want to include in our diagram. What is important in our literature review, our interview and our probes? The point of our immersion process is to get meaning out of what we have done so far and gather information about it. We can’t write down everything we’ve done so far and use it for our affinity diagram, we need to split up the previous work. With all the data we have we need to specify things about it, and this will be done through the use of post-it notes. These notes will also be the physical part of our affinity diagram. The use of these notes help us make a model for our design project, and helps us gather and combine our previous thought in a system we can use as we develop our project.

We sat down in a group and split up the blog into separate parts for each group member to sample out words, sentences or data they thought to be essential in the blog. We will be using different types of post-its, all with different colors to represent the different categories, and sub-categories to help specify what relates to what in our former blog posts. This will be done with four colors, yellow, blue and red. Yellow here will be the more loosely based snip bits from our work, it is mainly our ideas or things we’ve taken out of our previous work (with the source of the material written down). While blue and red will be sub-categories about our work, what the smaller themes of the snip bits are about. Lastly green will be the bigger topics, the overarching themes of our task. We will have a post further down in this blog post which will showcase our affinity diagram’s topics, sub-topics, etc. It will also have a picture of our physical work (our physical affinity diagram). We will show pictures of our work process alongside the written process here.


PROCESS

1: We started writing down a piece of data on yellow post-its. Everyone placed their post-its on the blackboard in their own clusters. We combined our post-its in clusters for later filtering, each person’s notes in a cluster of its own. We did this on a blackboard in a group room we worked in. Down below will be everything that our yellow notes included for the sake of having it in a written space, as the pictures can’t show it super clearly. It will also include the source of the note, if you want to trace it back to our former work. We did do our notes in Norwegian as it was more practical, but have written in English for no apparent reason.

INNSIKT

– Spillbasert læring veldig kraftig medium (Interview)
– Elever plukker opp spillbasert læring raskt (Interview)
– De aller fleste ungdommer spiller spill daglig (Literature Review)

NEDSIDER

– Distraherende for flere (Literature Review)
– Spill har tregere informasjonsflyt enn bøker (Literature Review)
– Kun èn fra testgruppa som brukte spill på skolen (Probes)
– Bratt læringskurve (Interview)
– Dyrt å lage spill (Interview)

LÆRINGSUTBYTTE

– Spill på engelsk lærer folk engelsk. (Literature Review)
– Lære om historier til borg i Minecraft. (Interview)
– Spill kan lære forskjellige temaer. (Literature Review)
– Popsiclebokser for å kartlegge spillsjangere. (Cultural Probe)

METODE

– Ikke gi elever for frie tøyler. (Interview)
– Spill styrt av undervisningsmateriale. (Interview)
– Læreren må fokusere spillingen. (Literature Review)
– Lettere å be om hjelp fra studenter vi allerede kjenner. (Cultural Probes)
– Makerspace for kreativ inspirasjon. (Cultural Probes)

MOTIVASJON

– Karakterer kan fokusere elever (Literature Review)
– Elever må få kunne prøvd seg på spillet jevnlig (Literature Review)
– Aktiv lærer er nøkkelen (Literature Review)

ENGASJAMENT

– «Flow» hjelper engasjement (Literature Review)
– Spill er mer engasjerende enn andre medium (Literature Review)
– Annerledes hver «Playthrough» (Literature Review)
– Data spill er mer morsomt for barn en tradisjonell læring (Literature Review)

 

2: We singled out post-its we felt belonged together with similar focus or topic and put them in columns (finding patterns and groupings), this is the edge of our sword.

 

3: The columns we made, we then made categories for and separated them. The sub-categories we wrote down was: motivation, method, downsides, insight, learning outcome, engagement and irrelevant. This is the hilt of our swords.

 

4: On the top of it all we created the bigger topics, the main themes of our blog so far. Here we moved the columns we made together into the bigger themes of our task, being: interest, usage and result, pros and cons. The interest is related to the students’ interest in games in learning. Usage and result is about how we use games and what you get out of it. Lastly pros and cons are focused on the positive and negative sides when it comes to the use of games in learning. This is the base and grip of our sword.

 


REFLECTION

We’ve seen that our overarching themes in the work are students’ interest, usage and result, pros and cons are all about our focus group which are the students. The themes we wrote down are related to our user, besides one being the «irrelevant» one which we just decided to put on the side as we did not exactly know what to make of the column. The problem we want to take on going forward is integrating games in learning for the school system. Design something that can make this an easier task for teachers to integrate, through for example a sort of learning platform with various modules. An idea we have is to create an app/website that could provide lists of usable games for given courses, how to use them in a classroom and other relevant information for the teachers to start this up. This can be used by teachers to make games a larger part in the teaching of students.

After our supervision with Klaudia at October 15th we were told to try and «hyper specify» our problem statement with a single sentence. Not so short that it wouldn’t cover much, but not too big as that would make it harder to do. Our problem statement listed earlier in the blog is quite long and isn’t very specific (being the first one in cursive at the top of this post). What we want to do is integrate more games in school. In order to find a proper defined problem statement for this we’ll use the «Our user needs … because …» approach. This is to be based of our previous work and our previous findings from the interview, cultural probes, etc. We want to achieve more use of games in learning, through our probes we found out that sandbox games are the ones people find the most useful for learning; this also was talked about in the interview with Tina. This is the genre we should be focusing on: sandbox. We will be using our previous loose «definition» of what a sandbox game is, and in this case will give our teacher the «developer» role as he/she will be able to decide what types of games, reward structures and more are active in each given course. Based on our work in the literature review we found out that games in learning is a positive thing for the students as long as a good learning environment is present where the teacher plays an active role in the classroom. Down below is the updated and redefined version of our problem statement which has replaced our previous one (which is no longer in the blog):
Students needs games integrated in learning because it allows for a more creative and engaging way for students to interact with topics in school.

 

timek

 

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