Project - Educational Game in Virtual Reality

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Michi Gau

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Jan vom Brocke

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Bernd Schenk

Description

In this DSR project, we aim to design and implement a prototypical digital card game for teaching and learning research methods and activities in higher education. The digital card game is implemented using virtual reality (VR) technologies and played with VR glasses. We used Oculus Quest (first edition) to demonstrate and test the prototype in two different courses at the University of Liechtenstein.

Design Canvas

Problem

In times of homeschooling or distributed study setup, it is difficult for students to meet and learn with each other.
Furthermore, new innovative learning methods should engage students to learn in a fun and interactive way.

Research Process

Design Science Research:
(i) Design and implement a prototype
(ii) Demonstrate the prototype in class

Solution

Implementation of a digital card game in virtual reality.

Input Knowledge

Educational games
Digital card games
Design science research

Concepts

Concept of educational games in order to support social and constructivist learning.

Output Knowledge

Report on the prototypical implementation of an educational game and the usefulness based on two cases using the game in class.

Problem Awareness

In the field of digital games there exist one specific genre called Digital Card Games (DCGs). This is the modern approach to traditional Card Games.  Most card games are designed to play in groups and face to face. However, this is not always possible due to social restrictions because of COVID19 or distributed teams.

Immersive virtual environments can enable the feeling of forget about the real world and make the users feel and behave as if they are actually part of the virtual world (Sanches and Salter, 2005). VR offers a variety of promising applications and is also used in many different fields in research and industry. Especially in the area of education there exist platforms like Virtual Reality for Education that provide information and tools for using virtual reality in education.

Overview of different types of card games based on a literature review provided by Kordaki et al.

Source: M. Kordaki and A. Gousiou, “Digital card games in education: A ten year systematic review,” Computers & Education, vol. 109, Feb. 2017, doi: 10.1016/j.compedu.2017.02.011.

  • ProblemSpace
  • Virtual Reality
  • Educational Game
Research Question

How to design educational games in virtual reality to study course content? 

  • Research Question
Implementation

In the following activity, we describe the rules of the game and the implementation itself. The rules are derived from an existing game and were slightly adapted so that the game can be played in VR.

Rules of the game

The rules of the game are simple and are derived from the game ‘Who/What am I’. A group of students meets in a virtual room where the game is placed and each of them can pick a card to participate in the game. The cards provide randomly picked topics that are then assigned to the players. The topic is shown above the players' avatar and can only be seen by the other players in the room but not by the player itself. By asking questions the player has to identify the assigned topic. The other players may answer the question only by responding yes or no. If a question is answered with no by the group, the next player may ask a question about his topic to the group. This continues until one has enough knowledge about his topic to guess what’s the assigned topic and presents the correct solution.


Implementation