Episode 14 – Adventure Games and Discovery Learning Gone Crazy
Discovery learning remains very popular today, BUT! All is not well in the land of self-guided education.
Every time the research catches up to discovery learning and starts to question how well it works, the name changes to aliases like problem-based learning, experiential learning, constructivist learning, etc.
Pure discovery learning leads to frustration and misconceptions. Often all the effort of learners gets devoted to surface-level trappings instead of deeper mastery. Lots of the literature points to expository instruction as a much better alternative.
Adventure games like the King’s Quest series make for perfect examples of discovery learning gone rampant. There’s unwinnable situations all over the place, and far too often they boil down to grinds of trial & error that don’t actually teach any gameplay skills.
One of the articles we talk about this week concludes that “adventure games committed suicide.” Will discovery learning share that same fate? Check back next week as we tie all this together.
We also have a fancy new Facebook page, where we’d love to hear about your experiences (good and bad) with discovery learning.
Show Notes & Links
- Last week’s episode, our introduction to discovery learning
- Why Minimal Guidance During Instruction Does Not Work, by Kirschner, Sweller, and Clark, 2006, Educational Psychologist
- Does discovery-based instruction enhance learning? by Alfieri, Brooks, Aldrich, and Tenenbaum, 2011, Journal of Educational Psychology
- Who Killed Adventure Games?
Games mentioned in this episode:
- The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
- Hyperlight Drifter
- King’s Quest series
- Mystery House
- Space Quest
- Leisure Suit Larry
- Quest for Glory
- Police Quest
- Gabriel Knight
- Hugo’s House of Horrors