Assessing serious games: The GRAND assessment framework

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  • The videogame industry is a considerable market: in 2012, the industry was worth over $86 billion USD and about seventy-two percent of American households play videogames. It is unsurprising, then, that commercial and educational developers and/or researchers have sought to capitalise on videogames. Games and simulation technologies have been used for educational purposes for thousands of years prior to the digital era (Gee 2007). Digital games, however, offer many new affordances including increased accessibility, reinforced automation (i.e., fair and consistent application of rules), embedded data-gathering for assessment, dynamic adaptation to student needs, the ability to simulate complex situations for student inquiry in a safe context, and reduced overall costs (Jin and Low 2011). However, it is difficult to assess the process of serious game development and effectiveness of educational play. Many serious games retrofit assessment late into the project, creating a gap between original intents and the game's current uses, limiting effectiveness of measuring and meeting the project's goals. As such, we propose an assessment framework that synthesises work from various fields (educational assessment, game design, usability, project management) that aims to guide researchers and game developers through a project from its inception to the end by presenting specific topics to address and questions to answer throughout the game design phase of the project. By building assessment into the game development from the get-go, original intents and a game's current uses can more closely align, allowing for stronger, purposeful games.

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  • Type of Item
    Conference/Workshop Presentation
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  • License
    Attribution 4.0 International
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  • Citation for previous publication
    • Gee, D., Chu, M., Blimke, S., Rockwell, G., Gouglas, S., Holmes, D., and Lucky, S. (2014). Assessing serious games: The GRAND assessment framework. Digital Studies / Le champ numérique, (), .
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