"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.
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"Presenter Duranga Manika (Michelle Torres) describes her fascination with white people and their customs and explains how she spent six months living with a 'typical white family' (Tony Barry, Cecily Polson, Kelan Angel, Margeurita Haynes). She also asks members of the general public for their opinions on white people and speaks to the Minister for White Affairs (Bob Maza).
[Geoffrey] Atherden's script takes stereotypes of Australian culture and, with tongue–in–cheek humour, views them as though for the first time, as mysterious, alien and strange. Here, the barbecue is singled out. Elsewhere Manika describes the football match as ritualised violence and betting at the TAB as a religion, while a police commissioner calls the Anzac Day March a ritual where white people 'honour their warrior ancestors' but wonders why it can't be done at home.
Presenter Duranga Manika's ethnographic study of white people simplifies, patronises and mystifies her subjects. Every mundane detail of this one family's everyday life is invested with serious cultural significance. Bob Maza's Minister for White Affairs compresses a history of government treatment of Indigenous Australians into one self–satisfied, authoritative figure. It is interesting that while these characters treat 'white' culture with such fascination, they treat 'black' culture as such a given that the audience does not find out much about it."
(Kate Matthews, Australian Screen)