Plenary Lecture

Game-Based Learning: Myth or Reality?

Dr. Carlos Vaz de Carvalho
Director of GILT
(Graphics, Interaction, Learning Technologies)
Instituto Superior de Engenharia Porto

Abstract: Games are organized and ruled environments whereplayers must overcome challenges and face opponents (real orgame characters) to achieve victory. Failure to follow theserules implies a punishment or penalty. Games offer anincredibly immersive and engaging environment where users„learn by doing‟ and learn from their own errors in a controlledenvironment that is able to improve teamwork, socialskills, leadership and collaboration.
Game-based learning focus on the design, development, use andapplication of games for educational purposes rather than entertainment.The most striking effectin the use of these games is the increased motivation andengagement. Their enjoyable context and interactivity enhanceretention, cooperation and competition skills, strengthen socialcompetences and the fun factor can continuously feedmotivation into the learning process.
However, in spite of the existing evidence of success, thereis still a limited use of games for educational purposes. This has mainly to dowith social concerns and stereotypes about the relation ofgames and serious purposes. Other issues relate to physicaland cost barriers, hardware and license cost, access (for onlinegames), maintenance and support.
This keynote speech will address both sides the use of games for learning and will assess realistically the advantages and disadvantages associated with that methodology.

Brief Biography of the Speaker: Carlos Vaz de Carvalho has a Ph.D. in Information Systems and Technology by the School of Engineering of the University of Minho.He has been a Professor for the last 21 years in the Computer Engineering Department of the School of Engineering of the Porto Polytechnic. He was researcher at INESC (Group on Computer Graphics), a private R&D organization, between 1988 and 1996. From that moment he developed his scientific career, in the field of e-Learning, at ISEP where he is currently the Director of the R&D Group GILT (Graphics, Interaction and Learning Technologies). He tutored/is tutoring seven PhD theses and 30 Master theses, has authored over 100 publications and communications, including nine books (as author and editor) and participated in more than 20 national and European projects, coordinatingseven of them.