Beyond Dashboards

Game-based assessments (GBAs) have been shown to be a powerful context to measure students’ 21st century skills. By eliciting evidence of skills in an embedded, authentic and playful environment, they present the potential for assessments to go beyond measuring outcomes of content knowledge to shed light on thought processes. At the Playful Journey Lab, we are exploring the potential of GBAs through two questions:

  • What new assessment literacies could teachers develop around the learning analytics generated by GBAs?
  • How can interactive teacher-facing dashboards be designed to generate insights that complement teachers’ existing knowledge of student learning?

As part of an exciting new project funded by the NSF Cyberlearning program, we are building data tools that can help educators become fluent and informed users of game-based assessment systems. We are exploring this in the context of Shadowspect, our GBA for spatial reasoning, Common Core mathematics standards, creativity and persistence. This research project will be based on our core principle — to learn from and with practitioners. Over the course of this 2-year project, we will first learn from rockstar teachers who use GBAs as formative assessments to drive instructional decisions. In parallel, we will develop richly descriptive metrics on student learning processes generated from Shadowspect game play, and design interactive visualizations for teachers to explore.

By co-designing in a group of teachers, assessment experts and technologists, we will prototype data tools that can communicate novel insights on student learning from a strengths-based perspective. Through this process we will add to the emerging literature on design principles for building embedded data reporting tools.