Focus of research: Radical Constructivism, Games, Game Design, New media

My diploma thesis „Konstruktivistisches Potenzial in Lernanwendungen mit spielerischen und narrativen Elementen“ deals with radical and moderate constructivistic approaches to epistemology, learning, gaming, and game design. The differentiation between moderate and radical constructivism is from my point of view necessary because the moderate ilk tends to dominate the eLearning discourse. While most moderate approaches try for the learner to re-construct meaning within a given frame, a radical approach goes for a – more risky – questioning of the given frames of (re)construction themselves.

The complete thesis (183 pages, about 2 MB in german) is downloadable here.

Taking a closer look at ‚New Media‘ – networked digital media – isn’t simply learning about new channels for educative content. It may be a change from a receptive, interpretative, centralised form of communication to a configurative, collaborative, decentralised one. Both its‘ predominant traits, digitality supporting its role as recursive media-simulating metamedium, and networking supporting its role as global social medium, may influence the way we perceive information, knowledge, learning – and playing.
A player is usually intrinsically motivated and angst-free to experience and practice new knowledge in a problem-oriented and highly contextualised manner, bound to fail and retry in a controlled artificial environment – and even has fun doing so.
The stunning visuals of contemporary computergames lead to a common fallacy in the understanding of play: We don’t play games because they resemble reality. We play them because they don’t.

This is a lecture which deals with the topic of (computer)games as medium for education, formation, aporia: “ ‚Challenge everything‘ – Das Computerspiel als Bildungsmedium“ (about 1 hour in german), you may download it or watch it online.

eLearning and its ilk are, like any of the former approaches promising to revolutionise learning, shaped by an utopic desideratum of what humanity, knowledge, cognisance and society may be. Behaviourism, cognitivism and constructivism, the ‚big three‘ learning paradigms, represent their respective epochs of conception: Industrialisation, cybernetic control, loss of an objective view. In what tradition can new approaches like Siemens‘ ‚Connectivism‘ be viewed?

There’s a lecture I held in Dresden about eLearning being one in a sequence of utopic promises made by educational technology (20 pages, 4.4 MB in German). You can download it here.

The MA thesis is finished, but it should be seen as a work in progress (61 pages, 0.7 MB, in English): Playing (with) Educational Games: First and Second Order Gaming. You can download it here.