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Article of Volume 7, Issue 1, March 2012

The multivoicedness of game play: Exploring the unfolding of a student’s learning trajectory in a gaming context at school

Author: Kenneth Silseth

Abstract: The purpose of this article is to gain knowledge about how interactions in a gaming context become constituted as effective resources for a student’s learning trajectory. In addition, this detailed study of a learning trajectory documents how a computer game becomes a learning resource for working on a specific topic in school. The article reports on a qualitative study of students at an upper secondary school who have played the computer game Global Conflicts: Palestine to learn about the complexity of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A sociocultural and dialogic approach to learning and meaning-making is employed as an analytical framework. Analyzing different interactional episodes, in which important orientations and reorientations are located, documents how the student’s learning trajectory developed and changed during the project. When engaged in game play in educational settings, experiences with playing computer games outside of school can relevantly be invoked and become part of the collaborative project of finding out how to play the game. However, these ways of engaging with a computer game might not necessarily facilitate a subtle understanding of the specific topic that is addressed in the game. The findings suggest that the constitution of a computer game as a learning resource is a collaborative project, in which multiple resources for meaning-making are in play, and for which the teacher has an important role in facilitating student’s adoption of a multiperspective on the conflict. Furthermore, the findings shed light on what characterizes student-teacher interactions that contribute to a subtle understanding, and offer a framework for important issues upon which to reflect in game-based learning (GBL).

Keywords: Classroom interaction, Computer games, Dialogic, Game-based learning, Learning resources, Learning trajectory, Student-teacher interaction, Voice

Citation: Silseth, K. (2012) The multivoicedness of game play: Exploring the unfolding of a student’s learning trajectory in a gaming context at school. ijcscl 7 (1), pp. 63-84

DOI: 10.1007/s11412-011-9132-x

Preprint: Acrobat-PDF silseth_7_1.pdf

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