Writing Aides

This category includes articles that examined the use of writing tools (e.g., word prediction software and smart pens) to enhance learning and improve student outcomes.

Epistemic games as career preparatory experiences for students with disabilities

Jul 1, 2013, 15:21 PM
Shaffer, D. W. (2007). Epistemic games as career preparatory experiences for students with disabilities. Journal of Special Education Technology, 22(3), 57-69.

Characteristics

  • Epistemic games are a simulation of professional training in a video/computer game format; they help players “try out” different jobs by requiring them to complete tasks in which they act like an individual in a certain profession.
  • The author of this article argues that epistemic games allow students with disabilities to participate in structured and scaffolded career training as they prepare for the postsecondary transition to employment.
  • This article describes middle school students’ use of science.net, an epistemic game that allows players to act as journalists and create and pitch stories related to health, technology, and the environment.
  • The science.net game leads players through the process of pitching stories, working with editors, participating in work meetings, copyediting others’ work, learning how to write leads and create headlines, formatting stories in AP style, preparing the stories for distribution on the Internet, and using the neutral voice employed by journalists.

Setting

  • The studies took place at an after-school program and summer program for middle school students.

Method

  • In Study 1, 14 middle school students participating in an after-school program played the game for 12 hours over a series of 4 Saturday afternoons.
  • The work of participants in Study 1 was analyzed to determine if the quality of student work increased as a result of playing the game.
  • In Study 2, 10 at-risk middle school students played the game for 3 hours every morning for 3 weeks.
  • Study 2 participants were interviewed before and after completing the game and their game sessions were recorded via audiotape and videotape.

Results

  • Data from both studies indicated that participants gained a good sense of what the profession of journalism entailed.
  • Study 1 participants’ final stories had more journalism-related content than their first stories, and they were able to organize their stories using leads and putting the most important information first.
  • All participants also demonstrated greater use of journalistic terms after completing the game.
  • Interviews of Study 2 participants revealed that they were better able to articulate what it means to be a journalist after participating in the game.
  • Although the current studies examined the application of epistemic games with students without disabilities, the author concluded that such games may also prove to be beneficial for students with disabilities given that the literature has generally demonstrated that occupational training leads to better postsecondary outcomes for students with disabilities.
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  • Writing
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Computer Assisted Instruction

Epistemic games as career preparatory experiences for students with disabilities

Jul 1, 2013, 15:21 PM
Shaffer, D. W. (2007). Epistemic games as career preparatory experiences for students with disabilities. Journal of Special Education Technology, 22(3), 57-69.

Characteristics

  • Epistemic games are a simulation of professional training in a video/computer game format; they help players “try out” different jobs by requiring them to complete tasks in which they act like an individual in a certain profession.
  • The author of this article argues that epistemic games allow students with disabilities to participate in structured and scaffolded career training as they prepare for the postsecondary transition to employment.
  • This article describes middle school students’ use of science.net, an epistemic game that allows players to act as journalists and create and pitch stories related to health, technology, and the environment.
  • The science.net game leads players through the process of pitching stories, working with editors, participating in work meetings, copyediting others’ work, learning how to write leads and create headlines, formatting stories in AP style, preparing the stories for distribution on the Internet, and using the neutral voice employed by journalists.

Setting

  • The studies took place at an after-school program and summer program for middle school students.

Method

  • In Study 1, 14 middle school students participating in an after-school program played the game for 12 hours over a series of 4 Saturday afternoons.
  • The work of participants in Study 1 was analyzed to determine if the quality of student work increased as a result of playing the game.
  • In Study 2, 10 at-risk middle school students played the game for 3 hours every morning for 3 weeks.
  • Study 2 participants were interviewed before and after completing the game and their game sessions were recorded via audiotape and videotape.

Results

  • Data from both studies indicated that participants gained a good sense of what the profession of journalism entailed.
  • Study 1 participants’ final stories had more journalism-related content than their first stories, and they were able to organize their stories using leads and putting the most important information first.
  • All participants also demonstrated greater use of journalistic terms after completing the game.
  • Interviews of Study 2 participants revealed that they were better able to articulate what it means to be a journalist after participating in the game.
  • Although the current studies examined the application of epistemic games with students without disabilities, the author concluded that such games may also prove to be beneficial for students with disabilities given that the literature has generally demonstrated that occupational training leads to better postsecondary outcomes for students with disabilities.
Categories:
  • Writing
Tags: