Work packages

 

» Work package 1: Learner Needs Analysis and Requirements Specification

Work package 1: Learner Needs Analysis and Requirements Specification

Lead: Centro Benedetta D’Intino

 

The goal of this WP is to define the requirements for the M4All educational approach and to identify the body of knowledge that will inform the design of the motion based playful learning experiences to be developed in the project. More specifically, the objectives are:

  • Select a set of MD/ID disabilities and disability levels that will be specifically addressed by the project
  • Understand the learning goals for the selected targets
  • Identify the gap between the existing skills, knowledge and abilities of the target groups and those that are needed for meet the learning goals and “functioning” at the desired level.
  • Specify the types of tasks, contents, training exercises, therapeutic protocols that, by combining both the fun and engagement angle of gaming, and the therapeutic goals of the activities games can contribute to fill the identify gap and meet the intended learning goals
  • Define ways and relevant parameters to monitor children’s progress

 

For identifying the children target groups, and their related needs, the methodology will be based on:

  • Reviews of primary and secondary source material via desk and field research
  • Contextual inquiry (i.e., observing how therapists and special educators work with disabled children in real contexts)
  • Observations of disabled children engaged with selected existing Kinect games for Xbox
  • Standard qualitative data gathering techniques and instruments
  • Analysis of the collected data using appropriate tools such as content analysis

 

Outputs from this phase will comprise a description of existing state-of-the-art solutions for the intended targets (game based solutions, motion-based interaction solutions, and therapeutic approaches), organized by learning goals and skills to be promoted, and an organized analysis of contextually sensitive structured and unstructured data gathered from multiple research sources, in order to inform the design of motion-based playful learning activities and the new educational model as well as the way to train teachers, therapists, and parents. These information will be the input for the game design phase, addressed in work package 2.

» Work package 2: Design of Motion Based Playful Learning Experiences

Work package 2: Design of Motion Based Playful Learning Experiences

Leader: University of Eindhoven

 

The goal of this work package is to translate requirements into design specifications. A game design/development team is being developed to take as input the output of work package 1 to create motion-based games specifications, including:

  • a motion – game “activity grammar” that describes types of gestures and movements that are appropriate for the selected children targets to interact with a variety of multimedia contents
  • game plots
  • games rules and user tasks – to be performed by the child alone, the child with a caregiver (partent, therapist, teacher), or the child with a peer
  • game features, e.g., backgrounds, characters, gameplay elements
  • mapping of different gestures and movements to different game components, and to feedbacks (images, animations, sounds, videos) that combines both the fun and engagement angle of the games and their therapeutic/learning  goals
  • user interface elements: graphics, animations, sound effects
  • adaptability criteria that must be taken into account to tailor games to the unique needs and characteristics of each child and enable caregivers adapt the gaming experience to the individual requirements of each child

 

Game specifications will relate all design solutions to their actual learning motivation, i.e., the different motor and intellectual skills they are defined for, to support the traceability of design solutions with respect to learning requirements and goals. This work package also identifies the criteria for evaluating the learners’ progress when engaged with the designed games, which is used for developing the “back-end” monitoring and reporting system (see work package 3).

» Work package 3: Development of motion-based playful learning experiences

Work package 3: Development of motion-based playful learning experiences

Leader: Universitat Pompeu Fabra

 

This WP is about turning the design ideas into actual motion-based playful learning activities.

 

Several tasks will be performed by specialists (game designers, programmers, graphic designers, visual artists) related to:

  • Detailed design of graphical elements of the interface
  • Creation of multimedia contents (sound, music, images, animations, videos)
  • Implementation of the motion and gesture recognition functions for the defined activity grammar, the visual interface, the gaming engine and the motion-digital feedback mapping
  • Implementation of the back-end monitoring and reporting system

 

The learning games developed by the project will be offered in English, Italian, Spanish, Greek, and Dutch so that they could be easily deployed in several countries. Still, they will share a common implementation architecture. Each motion-based learning game developed in this WP will be accompanied by a package of support material comprising game user manuals, guidelines for teachers, therapists and parents on how to make the best educational use of the games as well as how to monitor children’s progress.

 

The playful experiences that will be initially obtained as fully operational prototypes that will be subject of a process of preliminary testing in reduced user trials and evaluated for an initial efficacy assessment. Formative evaluation will be performed with the intention of improving the games’ quality from a software engineering perspective, a usability perspective, a content perspective, and a playability perspective.

 

After this evaluation process and after the needed corrections/refinements are made, the evaluation of games performed in work package 4 will tackle the educational aspects, testing the learning effectiveness of games in authentic environments. These results might give input for further changes to the games before their final release for a wider target audience, at the end of the project.

» Work package 4: Pilot User Trials

Work package 4: Pilot User Trials

Leader: Politecnico di Milano

 

The aim of this work package is to organise pilot user trials and case studies in order to

  • Systematically evaluate the developed motion-based playful learning experiences at authentic environments (schools, therapeutic centres, home) in terms of educational effectiveness, efficiency, and learning impact.
  • Gather data that will help in reaching to some empirical conclusions on the effectiveness of the M4All approach and guide the definition of a set of best-practice guidelines for teachers/therapists, parents and academic community about the motion-based learning games for children with motor and intellectual disabilities.

 

Pilots will be carried on in Greece, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands. Teachers, therapists and parents will be provided with all the necessary assistance to participate in these case studies.

 

Based on the outcome of evaluation activities, and our understanding of what works and what does not work in the games developed in the project, this work package will also outline a new design model for motion based playful learning experiences devoted to children with some specific classes of disability. This model will not only provide a conceptual framework to help designers and developers who build motion/game-based applications for these target groups. It will be also complemented with a pedagogical model, which identifies the pedagogical principles (new, or grounded on existing theories) for exploiting gesture-based interaction and gaming activities in special education.