"Uncertainty may be an important component of the motivation provided by learning games, especially when associated with gaming rather than learning. Three studies are reported that explore the influence of gaming uncertainty on engagement with computer– based learning games. In the first study, children (10–11 years) played a simple maths quiz. Participants chose their preferred reward for a correct answer prior to seeing each question. They could either receive a single point or toss an animated coin to receive 2 points for heads or none for tails. A preference for the uncertain option was revealed and this increased during the quiz. The second study explored the discourse around learning when pairs of participants (13–14 years) competed against the computer in a science quiz. Progress depended on the acquisition of facts but also on the outcomes of throwing dice. Discourse was characterised by a close intermingling of learning and gaming talk without salient problematic constructions regarding fairness when losing points due to gaming uncertainty. A final experiment explored whether, in this type of game, the uncertainty provided by the gaming component could influence players' affective response to the learning component. Electrodermal activity (EDA) of 16 adults was measured while they played the quiz with and without the element of chance provided by the dice. Results showed EDA when answering questions was increased by inclusion of gaming uncertainty. Findings are discussed in terms of the potential benefits of combining gaming uncertainty with learning and directions for further research in this area are outlined."
(Howard–Jones, P. A. and S. Demetriou, 2009)
1). Howard–Jones, P. A. and S. Demetriou (2009). "Uncertainty and Engagement with Learning Games." Instructional Science: An International Journal of the Learning Sciences 37(6): 519–536.
2). Paul Howard–Jones, 2014, radio programme, BBC Radio 4 – The Educators, episode 5 of 8, first broadcast: 10 September 2014.
"Becky Cooper, a 24–year–old cartographer and writer... asked New Yorkers–and visitors–to map their own versions of Manhattan. She took to the streets, distributing 3,000 copies of a hand–printed outline of the island and encouraged participants to "map who you are or where you are; the invisible or the obvious". All copies were self–addressed and stamped so they could be mailed back to her.
Cooper says around 10% of the maps were mailed back and Mapping Manhattan features 75 of the best contributions. Some are heartbreaking (one person mapped key places in his life, from the first apartment he shared with his wife to where she later died); many invoke humour (a map of lost gloves, pictured above); some are confessions (a student who shows how she funded her studies with work at various strip joints). Some are handscrawled in biro, others are collages, and a few use watercolours."
(Vicky Baker, 15 May 2013, The Guardian)
"Metamedia ia a studio and lab that pursues research and pedagogy in design history and media materialities.
It is located online, in Stanford Archaeology Center, and has worldwide affiliates.
Metamedia combines archaeology and media, with an archaeological and long–term focus on how people get on with things, with media(works) treated as modes of engagement between people and things. Media as artifacts and prostheses as well as systems to convey meaning: we emphasize the materialities of mediation at the heart of design – the way the steel was burnished, the clay was turned, how the vessel connects makers and materials, users and contents in genealogies of containment, portage, representation ... whatever work gets done."
"Dara traces the brain's journey from a useless organ once ditched by Egyptian embalmers to the centre of everything that makes us human. Science journalist Alok Jha asks whether smart drugs really make you brainier, oceanographer Helen Czerski explores cutting edge therapies allowing the brain to control limbs remotely and materials scientist Mark Miodownik takes apart a smart phone."
(BBC Two, UK)
Fig.1 this animation is from Episode 5 of 6 of Dara Ó Briain's Science Club, Tuesday 04 Dec 2012 at 9pm on BBC Two, voiced by Dara Ó Briain, animated by 12Foot6, Published on YouTube on 5 Dec 2012 by BBC.