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Podcast: Eric Klopfer, “Design Based Research on Participatory Simulations”

Professor Eric Klopfer
Professor Eric Klopfer

CMS/W Professor Eric Klopfer and The Education Arcade are currently working on a set of “Participatory Simulations”: mobile collaborative systems-based games.

An important part of the work done at the The Education Arcade is based on a process of Design Based Research (DBR). In DBR, we design products that are meant to fill real classroom needs and then iteratively test and refine them. Eric Klopfer and The Education Arcade are currently working on a set of “Participatory Simulations”: mobile collaborative systems-based games.

During this talk, attendees got a chance to play a couple of these games and participate in a design discussion with one of the games that is currently in progress.

Professor Klopfer, currently Head of Comparative Media Studies/Writing, is Director of the Scheller Teacher Education Program and The Education Arcade at MIT. He is also a co-faculty director for MIT’s J-WEL World Education Lab.

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Eric Klopfer
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Eric Klopfer

Eric Klopfer is Professor and Director of the Scheller Teacher Education Program and The Education Arcade at MIT. He is also a co-faculty director for MIT’s J-WEL World Education Lab. His work uses a Design Based Research methodology to span the educational technology ecosystem, from design and development of new technologies to professional development and implementation. Much of Klopfer's research has focused on computer games and simulations for building understanding of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Much of his research centers on the affordances of new technologies including AR, VR and mobile, and how those can be applied today. He is the co-author of the books Adventures in Modeling, The More We Know, and Resonant Games, as well as author of Augmented Learning.

His lab has produced software (from casual mobile games to the MMO The Radix Endeavor) and platforms (including StarLogo Nova and Taleblazer) used by millions of people, as well as online courses that have reached hundreds of thousands.

Klopfer is also the co-founder and past President of the non-profit Learning Games Network.

Elizabeth Borneman
Written by
Elizabeth Borneman

Elizabeth is a designer, writer, and researcher interested in how art, computation, and communication can combine to strengthen community structures, and enhance learning across learner backgrounds. A Florida native, Elizabeth earned her Bachelor of Science in Neurobiology from Georgetown University. There she led a research team in the Culture and Emotions Lab investigating the campus climate for patterns in students’ belonging and social engagement across university locations and situational contexts. She also spent a semester in Cape Town, South Africa as a field researcher studying plant systems and animals’ optimal foraging, ideal free distribution, and territorial defense behaviors.

She most recently worked as a designer and programmer artist in Xaq Pitkow’s Computational Neuroscience lab, where she designed and prototyped interactive graphics and games for teaching and communicating concepts in computational neuroscience and in color vision grounded in visual perception. She’s excited about the power of info-visualization. At MIT, Elizabeth works in the Teaching Systems Lab designing multi-media practice spaces and curriculum for equitable teaching in Computer Science and STEM. Outside of study, Elizabeth likes to go dancing, spend time on the water, and explore outdoors.

Andrew Whitacre
Written by
Andrew Whitacre

Andrew directs the communications efforts for CMS/W and its research groups. A native of Washington, D.C., he holds a degree in communication from Wake Forest University, with a minor in humanities, as well as an M.F.A. in creative writing from Emerson College.

This work includes drawing up and executing strategic communications plans, with projects including website design, social media management and training, press outreach, product launches, fundraising campaign support, and event promotions.

Eric Klopfer Written by Eric Klopfer
Elizabeth Borneman Written by Elizabeth Borneman
Andrew Whitacre Written by Andrew Whitacre