Shree Durga is a graduate student in the Educational Communications and Technology program at UW Madison. Her background is in computer science. Before joining the graduate program she worked as a software developer in IT industry in India. She has also worked as a content developer for an online learning club for management and banking professionals.
Shree is interested in socio-cultural aspects of learning in video games and game-based learning environments. She works with Prof. Kurt Squire, Ben and Levi in an after-school program (which they call the CivCamp), where middle school aged kids play history simulation game Civilization III. She studies how Civilization III as a history simulation tool mediates players' perceptions about global history and geography. She also focuses on players' interactions in and around the game and how collaborative multiplayer game spaces shape and reshape players' understandings about different game strategies and help construct their perceptions about different historic civilizations. Her future goal for the research is to study the long-term consequences of participation in these kinds of after-school game clubs and work towards building and establishing archetypes for learning in these environments.
Videogames as Designed Experiences
Over the past few years, an increasing number of educators have turned their attention to video games noting the strong learning principles that exist in successful video games and the contrasts between students' engagement in games and in schooling. Models of game-based learning environments have begun to emerge, but thusfar, we have lacked a coherent theoretical underpinning for how they work. This talk provides both a theoretical model for the design of game-based learning environments and a theoretical model for the design and development of game-based learning environments. This presentation ties together naturalistic studies of games and gaming cultures with examples of games designed for learning that span across commercially available games, research-developed games, and emerging prototypes. This model argues for the design of game-based learning environments that emphasize trajectories of participation for players from novice users of systems, to designers, and eventually, to proactive participants in (aspects of) society.