fredag 11 september 2009

Computer Games: Learning with Feedback

Feedback is most essential in learning. A child learns to speak around the age of two with the help of massive parent feedback. A child cannot learn to speak by listening to a record player, because the communication is one-way without feedback. 

Traditional school education is largely one-way with little feedback and accordingly is inefficient. On the other hand, our modern IT society offers a flood of feed-back on the web, which is attractive to young minds. Computer games offer so exciting feed-back that many young minds get too engaged and even addicted. The risk of getting addicted to reading school books is much smaller. 

It is natural to ask if pedagogics can learn something from computer games? Yes, I believe so. In particular, the Body&Soul reformed mathematics education combining analytical and computational mathematics discussed in previous blogs, can be structured like a computer game including the essential aspects of successively acquiring skills to meet new challenges, with a lot of feed-back. Since computer game technology largely is computational mathematics, it can be fruitful to teach computational mathematics as a form of computer game, or more generally mathematics as a form of IT.

A goal of Icarus Simulation is to develop an interactive web-based version of the Body&Soul program, with features of computer games, to be used in the new Bachelors program in Simulation Technology at KTH. 

If we view interactive simulation as a form of computer game, then we can describe Simulation Technology as an education in the design and construction of computer games based on realistic simulation of physical phenomena, compactly described as 
  • an interactive computer game about how to construct interactive computer games
which includes mathematics, computation, programming, visualization, physics, mechanics...

More generally, theoretical science can be seen as a game against Nature with the goal of revealing, describing and simulating the secrets of Nature using the language of mathematics...
an addicitive for scientists...

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