Skattjakt (Treasure Hunt) is a mobile game designed to encourage young people to get physical by solving a mystery surrounding a castle built on the university’s campus. The game is inspired by treasure hunts and the sport of orienteering. Up to 6 teams can compete currently. The game starts with a video detailing the mystery of why the ghost of Anna Koskull has come back and now the players need to help her solve the mystery of her late husband Frederick Bonde in order to free her spirit from limbo. After the players get briefed they are split into teams. The game starts and each team gets a different location on the campus to find. The locations are shown on the phone via the Flash Lite Application and they can zoom and pan the area to find the spot. They receive a clue to find a 4-digit code, for example look for lion’s feet at the castle. When they arrive to the castle the can see 2 large lions at the feet of the right lion is sticker with a code, they enter the code into the phone and then they get the question what is on the family shield of the castle. They go up the steps of the castle to look at the shield, if they answer correctly they get a clue to the next location, if not they get a detour location. Of course they don’t know it is a detour until they get to the location. The teams need to solve the mysteries at each of the 6 locations and at the 7th final location the first team to arrive wins.
Mobile games can promote children getting involved in different tasks such as exploration, content generation, collaboration, problem solving and navigation in space; all these activities can be seen as important components that support a wide variety of cognitive and social skills. It is our belief that the active involvement of young people in co-design and human centric design practices regarding the development of mobile learning offer new dimensions and opportunities to promote novel ways of learning. User and learner centered design practices have been the focus of much research in educational technologies in recent years. However, far less efforts and discussions are available on the process of designing innovative educational activities using mobile games. As mobile technologies are already an integral part of young people, homes and social places, we face new problems and issues that pertain to the optimal use of these technologies to support learning.
This work has been partially supported by the Swedish KK-foundation and V�xj� University under the ICT and Teacher Training program, project Young Communication. Additional funding has been provided by the Internet Infrastructure Foundation of Sweden, project MeMiMo.
The outcome of our activities has provided us with valuable results that can help us to bridge the gap between learning in informal and formal settings. Moreover, we believe that involving children in the design process of mobile games may give us new insights regarding the nature of their learning practices while learning with games.
Spikol, D. (Forthcoming). Designing Mobile Games that Explore Novel Learning Practices with Co-Design. Research methods in informal and mobile learning: How to get the data we really want. WLE Centre, Institute of Education, London, UK to be held December 14th. Conference proceedings will be published either in the WLE Occasional Papers Series (ISSN: 1753-3385) or as special issue of the Centre’s online journal Reflecting Education (ISSN 1746-9082)
Co-design and human centric design practices have been the focus of current research efforts in the field of educational technologies but not as prevalent in mobile games to support learning. In our current research we are exploring which design methods are appropriate for developing innovative ways of learning supported by mobile games.
Currently collaborating with Mapping V�xj� and 11 students from Norregaardskolan to co-create a new mobile game to be premiered in January 2008 for local schools.
Spikol, D. and Milrad, M. (2008). Combining Physical Activities and Mobile Games to Promote Novel Learning Practices. In Proceedings of the Fifth IEEE International Conference on Wireless, Mobile and Ubiquitous Technologies in Education (WMUTE 2008)", held in Beijing, China, March 23-26, 2008. IEEE Computer Society, Washington, DC, pp 31-38.
Spikol, D., & Milrad, M. (2008). Physical Activities and Playful Learning Using Mobile Games. Research and Practice in Technology Enhanced Learning. Special issue on Mobile and Ubiquitous Learning Environments. Vol:3 No: 3 pp.275- 295.
Spikol, D. (2009). Exploring Novel Learning Practices through Co-Designing Mobile Games. Book chapter in Researching Mobile Learning: Frameworks, Methods, and Research Designs. G. Vavoula, N. Paschler and A. Kukulska-Humle. Oxford, Peter Lang.