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ALF framework – A framework for evaluating accelerated learning 

Developers of game-based learning solutions claim that games contribute to accelerated learning and that learning by experience may be a better way of learning. In this blog, we focus on the ALF framework, a framework for evaluating accelerated learning and cognitive skills development through games. The framework was developed in the Accelerated Learning Through Technology (ALTT) project. The vision of this research-based project is to accelerate learning and the development of cognitive skills for the operators to make better cognitive decisions at the workplace.

ALF framework

There is a research gap in evaluating what contributes to accelerating the learning process. This is precisely what the AFL framework addresses.

  • The paper “ALF – a Framework for Evaluating Accelerated Learning and Cognitive Skills Development in Industry through Games”, was authored by SINTEF researchers Sobah Petersen, Manuel Oliveira and Anette Sørensen and Kristin Hestetun from Hydro Primary Metal Technologies.

Ingredients for good game design must include cognitive, motivational, emotional and social components. Add the appropriate work context to that and we get a concoction hotter than the contents within the aluminium smelters.

The ALF framework for evaluating accelerated learning identifies three perspectives central for supporting accelerated learning:

  • The cognitive perspective: Looks at learning and meta cognitive skills such as deep understanding and reflection.
  • The affective perspective: Looks at the learner’s emotions, interests, motivations and attitudes.
  • The context of learning so that the learners can practice in a relevant virtual environment that has the potential to easily transfer what is learnt through the game to the workplace.

The synergies among these three perspectives can lead to good and relevant learning and game design, which are important for accelerating learning. The paper also presented an overview of the evaluation studies conducted with Hydro operators and the promising results.

Too few games for industry presented at GALA 2018

The Heat Balance game, developed in the ALTT project, was presented at the GALA (Gaming and Learning Alliance) Serious Games Conference 2018, which took place 5-7 December in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Palermo, Italy.

The GALA conference had a number of interesting presentations. The interest in promoting and teaching computational thinking, particularly among primary and middle schools have increased. Games are seen as a wonderful way to engage young people and get them to learn coding in a variety of ways. Games for social issues such as dealing with doorstep scams, particularly for the elderly, were presented.

Sadly, too few games from industrial situations were presented. One of the few that were presented was for the maintenance workers with the Dutch rail company to understand the frustrations among train commuters when trains get delayed due to maintenance problems.

Can the ALTT Heat Balance game inspire others?

As the digitisation wave builds up, the interest in games for industry and the workplace is likely to increase in the near future. Let’s hope our contribution with the ALTT Heat Balance game stimulates more research and industry collaborations for real world problems and lifelong learning.

Acknowledgement

The Accelerate Learning Through Technology (ALTT) is a collaborative project on games in learning funded by the NFR BIA program. The partners are Hydro Primary Metal Technologies, Attensi who develops games, Cybernetica who develops dynamic process models and SINTEF as the research partner.

 

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