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Matt Barr: Education and computer games

By Steve Draper,   Department of Psychology,   University of Glasgow.

MBarr MBarr This will be a page about a) Matt Barr; b) education, learning, video games
His website. (His blog.)

He has achieved his chief thesis aim of showing significant, objective, and evidenced educational benefits from playing video games.

My own way of summarising this is that the centre of this is a randomised controlled experiment that shows that it is possible to use video games to increase students' scores on certain graduate attributes (adaptability, resourcefulness, and communication skill). This is a rare success in the field at showing that sustained play of some commercial games can lead to achieving valued educational outcomes. (The statistics are impressive: p<0.013 for one measure, and for two others p<0.005 i.e. less than 1 in 200 chance of the effects being accidental; and effect sizes (Cohen's d) in the range 0.95 - 1.15.)

This work has now been published, where you can read his own way of putting it:
Barr, M. (2017) "Video games can develop graduate skills in higher education students: A randomised trial" Computers & Education vol.113 pp.86-97. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2017.05.016 (or via this link). [Presents the quantitative data and the large effect size.]

Barr, M. (2018) "Student attitudes to games-based skills development: Learning from video games in higher education" Computers in Human Behavior vol.80 pp.283-294 doi:10.1016/j.chb.2017.11.030   Another direct link [Presents the qualitative data from the same experiment].

Various collected links

  • Matt Barr's site   blog   geek
  • staff page. His office is in HATII, 11 University Gardens.
  • HATII link to video games

  • Matt's press outputs about VGames
  • Matt's Bartle test on what kind of player you are
  • Matt's student journal for game studies
  • Matt's bibliography
  • Matt's list of links
  • June 2013 conference
  • wikiGeeks: a small grant
  • Paul Howard-Jones, UofBristol; neuro-education

  • Student-authored wiki page on games and education
  • Facts and figures about video game industry

  • Drill and practice
  • king-about-gamers
  • Langlois (2011) "Reset: Video Games & Psychotherapy"
  • Megagames (article in May 2015)     Group of Megagame enthusiasts     A key video.

    The next two are both about VGames; but also examples of a different style of talk + slides (simple pics; little text; each slide about 1 second). [PechaKucha does 20 secs per slide, and seems mainly about rigidly limiting talking time relative to standard academic talks, with the automatic slide advance driving the speaking. And a talk length of 7 mins.]

  • Youtube (search for "tangential learning") titled "Video games and learning", it is a lecture on getting game players to learn "tangentially", by Daniel Floyd: a student project. (A student of David Kaufman.)
  • About women and video gaming.
  • Not about gaming, but another example of rapid-slide use: PBS ideas channel. 12 minute videos; rapid lecture speech. Typically 1 second per, not slide but, video/shot. Visually busy, but sometimes in static backdrop or animations or ....

    HATII, George Service House 11 University Gardens Glasgow G12 8QQ.

    Game think 2.0 conference

  • Game think 2.0
  • Programme for Game think 2.0
  • Gamethink 1

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