Applications of Mixed-method Approaches: Game-based Research with Children and Older Adults

The session consists of lectures and hands-on practical exercises. First, basic concepts and principles of mixed-method approaches will be explored, followed by several case studies of serious games in which participants ranging from children to elderly adults were involved.  In some of these studies, games are used as an educational tool whereas in the others games are used as a research tool.  A battery of User-centred Design (UCD) qualitative and quantitative approaches has been employed in these case studies, including questionnaires, interviews, observations, eye-tracking, dialogical interaction analysis, and video analysis.  In addition, the methodological approaches are grounded in theoretical frameworks such as Activity Theory and Experience-centred Design.  Specifically, a multi-dimensional evaluation and validation framework (EVADEG), which has been developed for digital educational games, will be described.   Nonetheless, the dividing line between game-based research and gamified research is hard to draw.  Debates on the notion of gamification are growing and related arguments will be discussed.   For the practical work, analysis of qualitative data will be conducted in small groups.  Results of the analysis can illustrate the effect of inter-rater reliability – a critical but often overlooked issue for the validity of empirical findings.

Overall this session will cover the following topics:

  • Basic concepts and principles of mixed-method approaches
  • Applications of a battery of quantitative and qualitative methods to game-based research
  • Multiple views on the notion of gamification
  • Hands-on practice of data analysis to illustrate inter-rater reliability

Main resources:

  • Deterding, S. (2014). The Ambiguity of Games: Histories and Discourses of a Gameful World. In Walz, Steffen P. & Sebastian Deterding (eds.), The Gameful World. Approaches, Issues, Applications. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press
  • Hamari, J., Koivisto, J., & Sarsa, H. (2014, January). Does gamification work?–a literature review of empirical studies on gamification. In2014 47th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (pp. 3025-3034). IEEE.
  • Law, E. L-C (2012). Evaluation and validation methodologies for adaptive digital educational games. In Kickmeier-Rust, M.D., & Albert, D. (2012). An Alien’s Guide to Multi-adaptive Educational Computer games (pp.137-152). Santa Rosa, CA: Informing Science Press.
  • Law, E. L-C., & Sun, X. (2012). Evaluating user experience of adaptive digital educational games with Activity Theory.International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 70(7), 478-497.
  • Law, E. L-C., Watkins, D., Barwick, J. & Kirk, E. (2016). An Experiential Approach to the Design and Evaluation of a Gamified Research Tool for Law in Children’s Lives. In Proceedings of Interaction Design and Children (IDC) 2016, 21-24 June, Manchester, UK.

Additional resources:

  • Deterding, S. (2015). The lens of intrinsic skill atoms: A method for gameful design.Human–Computer Interaction, 30(3-4), 294-335.
  • Hassenzahl, M. (2010). Experience design: Technology for all the right reasons. Synthesis Lectures on Human-Centered Informatics, 3(1), 1-95.
  • Matthias Heintz, Law, E. L.-C. & Soleimani. S. (2015). Paper or Pixel? Comparing Paper- and Tool-Based Participatory Design Approaches. InHuman-Computer Interaction – INTERACT 2015, 501-517.
  • Mihajlov, M. Law, E. L-C, Mark Springett, S. (2015). Intuitive Learnability of Touch Gestures for Technology-Naïve Older Adults. Interacting with Computers 27(3): 344-356.
  • Wright, P., & McCarthy, J. (2010). Experience-centered design: designers, users, and communities in dialogue.Synthesis Lectures on Human-Centered Informatics, 3(1), 1-123.