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Project Columbia and Katie Salen on Assessment in Game-based Learning

An interesting article.  It covers Project Columbia, an attempt to apply Microsoft Kinect technology to transform digital storybooks into interactive learning experiences.  It ends with a fantastic interview of Katie Salen discussing the issue of assessment and game-based learning.  This is a topic near and dear to me as I believe that the deep learning enabled by game-based learning is poorly measured by traditional assessment measures, external mechanisms geared towards atomization of knowledge and rote memorization.  As James Gee is fond of saying, good games have built in assessment because you can’t level (or win, for that matter) until you’ve learned.  The problem when you marry standardized testing with game-based learning is that you get boring and ineffective “edutainment.”  Based on her experience running “Quest to Learn,” an NYC  public school entirely rebuilt around game-based learning, Salen offers alternatives to standard assessment, including self and peer assessment, which fit better with game-based learning assignments that involve students designing and playing their own games and simulations to teach content.  Read more:

Edutopia: How To Bring Serious Games Into The Classroom | SERIOUS GAMES MARKET.