Location-based games with smartphones – developing a toolbox for educators

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Steffen Schaal


Location-based games for educational purposes provide a link between content and its real-life relevance in a physical environment. The potential of mobile, location-based activities for authentic learning is well known, but the technological and organizational barriers for educational staff still exist. There is a need for easy-to-use tools to facilitate the creation of playful location-based mobile learning activities.Within the MILE project (move-interact-learn-eat), a transdisciplinary team consisting of educational experts in the field of outdoor education, in nutrition and consumer education as well computer scientists developed an authoring system for location-based games, the MILE Designer. This authoring system provides several formats of tasks that can easily be adapted and each task is located intuitively using a simple map as interface.Several tasks are combined to an educational geogame for a native smartphone app. This paper describes the relevant theoretical background and the transdisciplinary development process. The MILE Designer was formatively evaluated in a participatory observation and in focus group discussions. The results of this evaluation process are presented and further
educational implications are discussed.
Keywords: Location-based game, learning game design model.


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