Title: The play's the thing: designing e-learning games

Dr Clark Quinn
CEO, Quinnovation
Email: clark@quinnovation.com
Website: http://www.quinnovation.com/about.html

Clark N Quinn leads learning system design through Quinnovation, providing strategic solutions to Fortune 500, education, government, and not-for-profit organizations. He has held management positions at Knowledge Universe Interactive Studio, Open Net, and Access CMC, and academic positions at the University of New South Wales, the University of Pittsburgh's Learning Research and Development Center, and San Diego State University's Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education. He earned his PhD in Cognitive Psychology from the University of California, San Diego, and has developed mobile, performance support, and intelligent systems. In addition to his recent book, Engaging Learning: Designing e-Learning Simulation Games, and numerous journal articles and chapters, he has led the design of award-winning online content, educational computer games, and websites.

Keynote address

You know that simulations, properly supported, are powerful learning environments. What you may not know is that ramping up the experience to make it engaging, turning it into a game, makes it more powerful. Putting learners in contexts where they can perform the target tasks provides rich practice. Adding the emotional component to learning makes it more effective by bringing in motivation. But is it an art? Or is there a systematic design process that will let us reliably design the learning experiences that will deliver the outcomes we need?

In this session, the author of Engaging Learning: Designing e-Learning Simulation Games takes you through the rationale of why simulation games are the most effective practice environments, and a design process that will
guide you to design them as needed, reliably and repeatedly. By enhancing your existing design process (not having to adopt a new one), you can create learning that really works. Grounded in theory and honed in practice, this is the tried and true design process that has yielded dozens of designs for scenarios that compellingly create meaningful learning experiences.

In this session you will see: the framework that assures us that engagement and effectiveness converge at simulation games, the key elements that create a scenario, the design process modifications to generate these elements, tools to capture your designs, and the tips you need to make it work.

Title: Engaging and supporting problem solving online

Prof. David Jonassen
Distinguished Professor
Learning Technologies and Educational Psychology
University of Missouri
Email: Jonassen@missouri.edu
Website: www.coe.missouri.edu/~jonassen/

David Jonassen is Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Missouri, where he teaches in the areas of Learning Technologies and Educational Psychology.ÊSince earning his doctorate in Educational Media and Experimental Educational Psychology from Temple University, Dr Jonassen has taught at the Pennsylvania State University, the University of Colorado, the University of Twente in the Netherlands, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and Syracuse University.ÊHe has published 28 books and numerous articles, papers, and reports on text design, task analysis, instructional design, computer-based learning, hypermedia, constructivist learning, cognitive tools, and technology in learning. He has consulted with businesses, universities, public schools, and other institutions around the world. His current research focuses on problem solving.

Keynote address

In order to change the culture of learning throughout the world, we must engage and support more meaningful learning outcomes. The most meaningful learning outcome is problem solving. Why? Because problems are authentic (that's what people get paid to do); and they engage intentional learning that is anchored in a meaningful context. Most online learning systems cannot support learning to solve problems. What kinds of problems do people solve? In schools, students learn to solve story and rule-using problems. In the everyday and professional world, people solve decision-making problems, troubleshooting and diagnosis-solution
problems, strategic performance problems, policy analysis, and design problems.

So, how do we design and implement online problem-based learning environments? I will demonstrate examples of learning environments that support different kinds of problem solving as well as presenting architectures for designing story, troubleshooting, and policy analysis problems. I will also highlight the use of several strategies for supporting problem-solving learning, including modelling problem-solving performance with cognitive flexibility hypertexts, worked examples, and case libraries (case-based reasoning); coaching problem solving with questioning using animated pedagogical agents, feedback-driven simulations, microworlds, and direct manipulation environments; and scaffolding causal reasoning, argumentation, and Mindtools for knowledge representation.

I will also discuss methods for assessing problem solving using performance assessment, component cognitive skills, and argumentation.

Title: Implementing e-learning as a strategic initiative in higher education

Dr Jerry T Yu
Chief Information Officer
City University of Hong Kong

Dr Jerry T Yu is the Chief Information Officer of City University of Hong Kong. He is a member of the senior management team of the University and has line management responsibilities for the University Library, the Computing Services Centre and the Enterprise Solutions Unit.

Dr Yu joined City University in 1994 as Registrar. From 1998 to 2000, he was appointed concurrently as Associate Vice-President for Education. In December 2000, the University established the post of Chief Information Officer and appointed Dr Yu to this new position.

Dr Yu has more than 30 years of experience in higher education and information technology. Prior to joining CityU, he worked for three years as MIS Special Projects Director at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. Before that he spent 20 years at the University of Hong Kong, the first three as a Lecturer in Computer Science and the last 17 as Director of the Computer Centre.

He has a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the University of Michigan (1964) and a PhD from Princeton University (1968). He was made a fellow of the Hong Kong Computer Society in 1990.

Keynote address

Modern information technology (IT) is making an immense impact on our lives. E-learning is a generic term that encompasses all aspects of the use of IT to support the educational process. To name some of the key applications, e-learning provides enhancements for:

  • course management
  • teacher/student and student/student interactions
  • in-class and out-of-class student learning activities
  • outcome assessment
  • collaboration, both inside and outside the university
  • student e-portfolios
  • institutional repositories.

The fact that IT is transforming the learning process is now well-accepted worldwide. At the City University of Hong Kong, we are committed to using IT to fully support the most important part of our core function -- student learning. This paper will also describe the process adopted at CityU to implement e-learning as an institutional strategic initiative.

Title: Synergistic learning technology, theoretical framework and toolkits

Prof. Zhu Zhiting
Director of Educational Information Center
East China Normal University
Email: ztzhu@dec.ecnu.edu.cn, ztzhu@hotmail.com

With an educational background in mathematics and substantial working experience in computer sciences, Prof. Zhu Zhiting switched to the field of educational technology at the beginning of the 1980s. Between 1991 and 1996, he worked on the cross-cultural influences of networked learning at the University of Twente, Netherlands, where he received his PhD.

He is now professor of educational technology at the School of Educational Sciences, senior researcher of the National Institute of Curriculum and Instruction, director of the Educational Information Center and vice dean of the Cyber-Education College, and vice director of the UNESCO-APEID Association Center at East China Normal University.

He is also the director of the China E-Learning Technology Standardization Committee, consultant for the National Project of Educational Resources, a member of the National Steering Committee for Teachers'
e-Education, and adjunctive professor of Beijing Normal University.

His research interests include e-Education theories and models, system architecture and standardization of
e-learning technology, knowledge management technology in education, and technology philosophy.

Keynote address

Synergistic learning, which is considered to be a new learning paradigm in the information age, is conceptually different from cooperative learning and collaborative learning. As illustrated by Figure-1, the proposed framework of synergistic learning (Zhu, Wang & Gu, 2006) emphasizes interactions among five fields: information field (I-field), knowledge field (K-field), activity field (A-field), emotional field (E-field) and value field (V-field). The information field is divided into PSTM (Personal Short Term Memory) and GSTM (Group Short Term Memory), while the knowledge field is divided into PLTM (Personal Long Term Memory) and GLTM (Group Long Term Memory).

Figure-1 A conceptual framework of synergistic learning

Five principles for designing synergistic learning are suggested:

  • Deep interactions: Learners are asked to make comments/annotations on the contents being studied.

  • Information aggregation: All comments from individual learners are assembled into a common space visible for all learners, which is considered as a GSTM for a group or a whole class of learners.

  • Collective thinking: guided by their teacher, learners carry out higher order thinking activities about information present in the GSTM. This process usually leads to a list of items (ideas, questions, issues).

  • Cooperative construction: The group/class of learners works out solutions aligned with the generated list of items through collaborative effort. This process contributes to turning information in the I-field into knowledge in PLTM and GLTM in the K-field.

  • Systematic coordination: Learning activities should be designed by taking into account the balance along multiple dimensions, such as individual-collective, informational-experiential, and behavioral-emotional within a given frame of value field.

To explore the usability of the aforementioned framework, Prof. Zhu is leading a group to develop a set of toolkits, which will be used to build a technology-rich environment for synergistic learning. Two prototypical toolkits are now available. One is called ClassCT (standing for Collective Thinking tool or Computed Tomography in class (as a metaphor), see Figure-2) and the other is ClassKA (standing for Knowledge Architect in class).

Figure-2 A sample view of using ClassCT in studying IT course

This presentation will report their progress in developing synergistic learning technology which will stimulate responses from international colleagues.


Zhu, Z T, Wang Y M and Gu X Q (2006) 'Synergistic Learning: A Framework of Learning Technology System for the Knowledge Age', Chinese AV Education, No.4.

Title: IT in education -- a Hong Kong perspective

Mr She Mang
Chief Curriculum Development Officer
(IT in Education)
Education and Manpower Bureau (HKSAR)
Email: mshe@emb.gov.hk

Mr She Mang joined the Advisory Inspectorate of the then Education Department as a Chemistry Subject Inspector in 1982. In 1995, Mr She became the head of curriculum development for Sciences, Mathematics and Computer Education in the Curriculum Development Institute of the Education Department. He became fully committed to IT in Education in 1999 when he was posted to the position of Principal Inspector (Regional Support). That was the time when the five-year Strategy on IT in Education for Hong Kong kick-started and his team of Seconded Teachers was charged with the responsibility of providing professional support to teachers on implementing IT in Education. Mr She has been involved in the formulation and implementation of the second IT in Education Strategy.

Keynote address

Hong Kong launched its first IT in Education Strategy and invested some HK$3 billion in 1998. As the capital investment suggested, this was the stage of building up infrastructure to prepare our teachers to face the challenge of using IT to enhance the learning of our students. In 2004, the second IT in Education Strategy was launched, aiming to focus on the further integration of IT into the learning and teaching process. A series of measures such as renewal of our infrastructure, further professional development of teachers in IT in education, promotion of e-Learning, enhancing digital resources, etc. were implemented in the last two years. We are now looking ahead to work out a long-term and sustainable development plan for the total immersion of IT in the learning life of our students.

Title: The potential of computer gaming and its survival in education institutions

Dr Lim Cher Ping
Associate Professor
School of Education
Edith Cowan University
Email: cplim@nie.edu.sg

Dr Lim Cher Ping is an associate professor of teaching and learning in the School of Education at Edith Cowan University, Australia. He has been the chief investigator of four major research projects: (1) 'Effective integration of IT in Singapore schools: Pedagogical and policy implications' (Ministry of Education/Singapore); (2) 'Supporting e-discussions and e-sharing with new technologies in learning communities' (MobileOne/Singapore); (3) 'Digital curricular literacies' (Centre for Research in Pedagogy and Practice/National Institute of Education); and (4) '3D multi-user virtual environments in schools' (CRPP/NIE). He has published widely internationally in different areas of educational technology, namely online learning and other ICT-based learning environments in schools and corporations. Dr Lim has also provided consultancy services to the Singapore Armed Forces Training Institute, APEC, UNESCO, Inter-American Development Bank, schools and the governments of Barbados and Oman.

Keynote address

The gaming industry has engaged students and motivated them to invest huge amounts of time in tasks which relate to effective game play but not the tasks on which they are typically assessed. This revolution began with the simple two-dimensional arcade games and have progressed to what we have today -- the virtual reality three-dimensional (3-D) multi-user role-playing game. With the advancement of broadband technology, local area network (LAN) gaming has become more accessible than before. It is common to see game players (many of school age) gathering in LAN gaming centres till late at night. Harnessing the excitement and engagement among students playing computer games bears considerable potential for schools to capture the long-term engagement of students (Hogle 1996; Prensky 2001; Squire 2002). In his book What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy, Gee (2003, 5) remarks about this potential: 'Wouldn't it be great if kids were willing to put in this much time on task on such challenging material in school and enjoy it so much?'

Over the last three years, the author has worked with teachers and students in the use of educational multi-user virtual environments (MUVE) and mainstream computer games to investigate a range of issues which support engagement in academic learning settings. These works are grounded in learning engagement theory, a framework that guides the study at the intersection of education, entertainment, and social commitments (Barab, Thomas, Dodge, Carteaux and Tuzun 2005). The main objective of this paper is to examine how communities of learners are sustained in such learning environments, and in particular, how the games are situated in the school curriculum and after-school programmes to enhance learning engagement among students.


Barab, S A, Thomas, M, Dodge, T, Carteaux, R, and Tuzun, H (2005) 'Making learning fun: Quest Atlantis, a game without guns', Educational Technology Research and Development.

Gee, J P (2003) Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy, Palgrave: Macmillan.

Hogle, J (1996) 'Considering games as cognitive tools: In search of effective ''edutainment'''. Available:
http://twinpinefarm.com/pdfs/games.pdf (Accessed 31 December 2004).

Prensky, M (2001) Digital Game-Based Learning, New York: McGraw-Hill.

Squire, K D (2002) 'Rethinking the role of games in Education', Game Studies, 2(1).

Title: Academic play spaces: designing games for learning 

Dr Sasha Barab
Associate Professor
Learning Sciences
IST and Cognitive Science
Indiana University
Email: sbarab@indiana.edu
Website: http://inkido.indiana.edu/barab/index.html

Sasha Barab is an Associate Professor in Learning Sciences, IST and Cognitive Science at Indiana University and is the Barbara Jacobs Chair of Education and Technology. His current work involves the design of rich learning environments, frequently with the aid of technology, that are designed to assist children in developing their sense of purpose as individuals, as members of their communities, and as knowledgeable citizens of the world. His research has resulted in dozens of peer-reviewed articles and chapters in edited books, and he is editor of the book Designing for Virtual Communities in the Service of Learning.

Keynote address

In this presentation, Barab provides a framework for designing game-like spaces to support the learning of academic content. While most games do not focus on academic learning in particular, it is quite possible to design one that does. In his description, Barab emphasizes that an academic play space involves curriculum that effectively balances academic content, legitimate participation, framing narrative, and the use of game rules to establish a play space for learning academic content. Reflecting on our four years of design experience around developing an academic play space, Barab will provide examples and guidelines for thinking through what it would mean to design play activities for supporting learning. Specifically, he will describe what is meant by an academic play space, justify why it is an example of good instruction, overview four units developed for elementary students that differ to the extent that they represent an academic play space, and close with a discussion of how teachers can effectively use this framework to develop spaces in their own classrooms.

Title: New paradigm of learning and teaching in a networked environment: shift in applying ICT

Prof. Cheng Yin Cheong
President, Asia-Pacific Educational Research Association;
Head, Asia-Pacific Centre for Education Leadership and School Quality, Hong Kong Institute of Education
Email: yccheng@ied.edu.hk

Professor Cheng Yin Cheong is President of the Asia-Pacific Educational Research Association (APERA, www.apera.org). He is also Director of the Centre for Institutional Research and Development of the Hong Kong Institute of Education and Head of the Asia-Pacific Centre for Education Leadership and School Quality (www.ied.edu.hk/apcelsq).

He has published internationally 18 academic books and nearly 200 book chapters and academic journal articles on educational leadership, effectiveness, paradigm shift in education, and management reform. Some of his publications have been translated into Chinese, Hebrew, Korean, Spanish, Czech, Thai and Persian languages. His new book, entitled A New Paradigm for Reengineering Education: Globalization, Localization and Individualization (2005, Springer, the Netherlands, pp. 1Ð505) represents his latest research in this area. He is at present serving on the advisory boards of nine international journals. Prof. Cheng's research has won him a number of international awards and recognition including the Awards for Excellence from the Literati Club in the UK in 1994, 1996-98, 2001, 2004 and 2005. In recent years, Prof. Cheng has been invited to give over 30 keynote/plenary presentations by national and international organizations, such as APEC, UNESCO, UNICEF, ICER, ICSEI, IBO, and Ford Foundation.

Keynote address

This keynote speech introduces a paradigm shift in learning and teaching in a networked environment. To ensure sustainable development and effectiveness in a fast-changing era, the new paradigm aims at developing students' contextualized multiple intelligence (CMI) and creating unlimited opportunity for students' lifelong independent learning through a triplization process including individualization, localization and globalization in education with the support of information technology and various types of networking. In particular, this speech illustrates how students' self-learning can be motivated, sustained and highly enhanced in an individually, locally and globally networked human and ICT environment. Different from the traditional emphasis on delivery of knowledge and skills in a planned curriculum, the new paradigm pursues the extensive application of ICT and enhancement of teachers' and students' ICT literacy in building up a networked environment for students' triplized learning and CMI development. Implications are drawn for a paradigm shift in applying ICT in education for the future.

Title: New learning in the 21st Century: how ICT opens the door to a new world of learning

Prof. Stephen Heppell
Founder, Ultralab
CEO, Heppell.Net
Email: stephen@heppel.net
Website: http://rubble.heppell.net/heppell/biog.html

Stephen Heppell spent around a quarter of a century building Ultralab, which established a reputation as one of the world's leading learning technology research centres. He has been a professor for 18 years, including nowadays a number of visiting chairs, and now heads his own policy, research and practice consultancy Heppell.net.

Prof. Heppell chairs or sits on a number of boards, committees and working groups, for example, for Notschool.net (an exceptionally successful virtual school for children excluded from school), the radical new Teachers' TV (also online and podcast), the UK Government's Building Schools for the Future initiative, and UNESCO. He has a guiding role in the BBC's ambitiously large Digital Curriculum project.

He remains a respected regular in government ministerial offices, and in blue-chip and innovative boardrooms. Current major projects include building a Learning Metric to help governments measure improvements through innovation in education, an annual Global Learning Survey, and a portfolio-based GCSE where students define their own assessment curriculum. His other projects span diverse sectors such as health, cinema, sport, architecture, policy and finance.

Keynote address

Teaching and learning are changing everywhere. There are many well documented drivers for this change, from technological, social or economic ones to the huge driver of learners' own changing expectations. The result is that 21st century learning is diverse, complex, personalized, culturally located, global, project based, mixed age, engagingly tough and electrifyingly seductive.

But that is a very long way from where 20th century learning was, or in many cases still is. For nations, regions, institutions and communities, moving forward quickly enough to keep up is looking like the biggest challenge ever.

Solutions include radical new visions for the design of learning spaces, new models of CPD, a revolution in assessment strategies, and an increasingly global focus as good ideas are exchanged all around the world. The comforting old model of research -- of peer review and publication -- is giving way to a new frontier of discovery, more detective work than scholarship, as the task of discovering what works, and what works well, becomes very different.

This is nothing short of a seismic change in learning, and this conference session addresses all the challenges that result.