Researcher’s Log 2007-12-19

This has been posted after the fact (on 2008-02-08) in order to protect the integrity of the study.

Further early analysis on the first five responses has generated additional material for existing codes, and additional codes. Much more has been submitted related to collaboration and social elements of games, and I am now seeing more mentions of the creative or expressive benefits of games. Also, more was written about the ability of games to be differentiated for various learners. In addition, I’ve seem more related to 21st century skills, and new material that has introduced the potential of MMORPGs to effect positive social change, which also came up in the literature review. Again, this analysis is related to the first question, which covers the potential benefits of MMORPGs as constructivist learning environments.

Question two asks about the potential drawbacks, and my early analysis has also resulted in more codes than I expected. A good deal has been submitted about educational organizations’ resistance to change, a topic that was cut from my final proposal. Some has been written about the drawbacks of constructivist pedagogies in general, as well as additional ways learning in an MMORPG might be difficult to assess (at least in the eyes of traditional educational establishments). In addition, of course, the issues of addiction and anti-social behavior have come up, as have concerns over the amount of time the games can take to play (particularly in an educational setting) and the lack of necessary infrastructure in schools. Also, several respondents have mentioned that videogames are not for everyone and that not all games are attractive to all gamers.