Thursday, January 28, 2010

Learning aboot learning

So, while flitting to and fro between the various elements of my lit review, I am drawn back to the basic issue of which learning theory best suits my potential model. As I previously surmised, a mix of behaviourism and constructivism makes the most sense (or made the most sense) but I am yet to properly explore cognitivism.

It seems the best way to do this is to cover the theory behind each of the 3 major approaches (there are subsets and subsets of subsets whose warts have warts but if I don't draw the line somewhere this thing will ballon to such grotesque proportions that I'll have to enlist some sort of educational theorem pest control company to douse it in opposing viewpoints until it is nullified, conceptually), then summarize the appropriateness of each. I imagine there will be cherry picking aplenty as I build my own little customized learning theory that is suited exclusively to game design and development.

That's the goal then; take what I produced in 08 an add cognitivism to it, then summarize a theory for 'best practice' according to the desired learning outcomes.

In the meantime, I need to summarize each of the main roles within game design and development (programming, art and design) without restating the obvious. Let's see... I need to avoid expanding on the topic from an industry perspective, as the roles are too specialized to specifically cater for in a curriculum. Therefore, I need to nail the underlying principles of each so that a student who is exposed to said principles and equipped with a particular skill-set (let's say programming) can adapt to a more specialized role once out of the kiddy pool and into the Atlantic.

I'd like to cover the type of personality a budding programmer would typically possess, but I'm not entirely sure how I would do it.

Some common elements to each:

1) No matter the role, quality of soft skills is paramount. I should investigate methods for enhancing soft skill development that can be integrated into a game development course.

2) The application of skills outside of the more behaviourist skill acquisition should be wholly constructivist and subsequently collaborative.

3) Whatever a student's specialization, he or she needs a reasonably developed understanding of the entire development process; that is, not only of disciplines that are not their own but also of the publishing and marketing process. If the rumblings prove true and Australia's chief gaming export in the future is delivered via Wonkavision, a well rounded skill set supportive of a core skill will allow graduates the wherewithal to develop their own projects.

I'll get back to this tomorrow. In the meantime, have a manatee.

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