Transposition of Domain Knowledge into Educational Games

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Starting from Rogoff’s (1990) theory of apprenticeship in thinking and Apter’s (1987) reversal theory, this paper discusses the formulation of PlayDT (Playful Domain Transposition), a new approach to support the transposition of complex concepts, from different knowledge domains, into playful interactions, through the design of interactive media. PlayDT aims at facilitating the creation of a creative and easy understandable mapping between knowledge and interaction within the game. Multiple representations are encouraged, so to allow learners to express their own preferences, regarding their play experience.
This study is based on reflections on three design-oriented research projects. The first one is MicroCulture (μC), a mixed-reality game, aimed at supporting learning of historical processes during guided tours in museums; it is targeted to primary school children. μC was developed through a participatory design process, involving task-supported interviews and co-design workshops with children between 9 and 12. Among the findings, a strategy to map knowledge into interactions emerged, together with rich insights about children’s different approaches to play.
In an attempt to evaluate the knowledge mapping, we designed PrimeSlaughter, a computer game aimed at supporting learning of prime numbers and factorization, for later primary and early secondary school pupils; the same domain concepts were mapped into two play styles in the game.
In this study, we intend to go further in our formulation of the PlayDT approach, through another design study, aimed at creating a game to support learning of the Fourier Transform. In order to generalize further the mapping approach, a participatory workshop was conducted with university students, who provided inspirations to map the Fourier Transform into different games and various play styles.
Reflections on these studies provide a solid grounding to define the PlayDT approach, its different stages, and implications for learning practice.
TidsskriftInternational Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)273-288
Antal sider16
StatusUdgivet - 26. jun. 2014


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