Video Game Engagement and Intelligent Tutors
See Intelligent Tutors. [] See Engagement in Video Games. []
Help the student solve problems. Solving problems is still the ultimate form of learning.
Progression—a tech tree of knowledge
Intelligent tutors are expected to keep track of student competence in solving problems. They are also expected to be up front with the student about their competence and where skills fit in the grade scheme of things. Individual problem solving skills are supposed to build towards an ultimate goal, and the student is encouraged to engage with the journey, possibly even to lead that journey to an extent. In games this comes in the form of explicit tech trees of abilities. God of War, Spiderman, and Skyrim all included a tree of abilities for the player to unlock. A tech tree of knowledge would be similar, but the skills that a student would unlock would be different problem solving skills, and they would be structured based on the relative necessity of understanding. If conservation of momentum is a necessary prerequisite to understanding collisions, then collisions would show up later in the tech tree, and would not be available until the pupil showed competence with momentum.
Difficulty—competence is met with challenge
Problems should start small, only consisting of a few new ideas, but these ideas should build into higher level concepts over time. Guasses law depends on the idea of flux, conservation of charge, coulombs, electric fields, and field lines. That's way too many items to hold in ones working memory. Once higher level ideas are refined, however, they may be used as individual units. The idea of electric flux is not so complex once it has been thoroughly explored, and electric flux can replace the idea of electric fields and flux, at least momentarily. In order to work toward competence in solving real world problems. The system should ensure than any particular problem only includes three or four concepts at a time, but problems should frequently strive to build higher level conceptions that allow for more complex problems to be solved. Eventually, complex enough chunks will have been made that the student will be able to solve real-world problems, which is the ultimate goal of such a system.
The student should eventually attain an abstract understanding of problems so that they can use their knowledge to solve new and interesting problems.
Game Feel and the Loop
The process of learning is a cycle of encountering new problems, solving those problems, and then receiving feedback on those solutions. The system should get a student up and running with a new problem as fast as possible. If a
Provide clear and concise instruction about the current problem. Provide immediate feedback on errors.
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