This short presentation will talk about academic and student perceptions around the value of online serious games and usability as a learning tool. There is substantial research that indicates that implementing technologies for learning can be problematic, with various issues arising from: academic knowledge and fluency with the use and training of the technology; alignment of the application; student perceptions around the value and relevance of the experience; student and academic digital literacies; time constraints; and issues around IT support and costs (just to name a few of the key issues). This research is related to a project to develop an online serious game (namely, CliNCare) to assist student dietitians to develop clinical reasoning skills during the Nutrition Care Process. Initial data collected from academics and students on the needs and perceived usability of online serious games will inform the development of CliNCare. This preliminary data gives an interesting perspective on differences in perceptions between academics and students on how serious games can be integrated into curriculum and how they should relate to summative assessment. Key findings include that students perceive online serious games will help their learning, but they should primarily be used for testing ideas and practice rather than summative assessment. Conversely, academics view that serious games or simulation should be explicitly tied to summative assessment. Academics surveyed indicated a number of barriers to using online serious games including cost and support, but 66.7 percent of these academics would consider using this technology if it was available. All 66 students surveyed indicated that they like using technology to learn and for those students who have not used an online serious game for learning, 93 percent would like to give it a go if it related to course learning outcomes. Ultimately, this research gives a good insight into the value of pursuing the use of serious games in courses, but also highlights the time and cost barriers that make this type of initiative often difficult.
2016 Learning & Teaching Week: 2020 Teaching Visions. 2020 - What's Next?, Sunshine Coast, Australia 31 October - 4 November 2016