Italian Journal of Educational Technology 2019-08-12T14:24:05+02:00 Italian Journal of Educational Technology (IJET) Open Journal Systems <h2>Since 1993, a four-monthly journal on educational technology</h2> <p>The<strong> Italian Journal of Educational Technology (IJET) </strong>(formerly <strong>TD Tecnologie Didattiche</strong>) is a refereed, open access journal that publishes theoretical perspectives, review articles, methodological developments, empirical research and best practice in the field of education and technology. The journal targets scholars and practitioners and welcomes contributions on any aspect of technology-enhanced learning in formal, non-formal and informal learning contexts, from early years through to technical, vocational and higher education, professional development and corporate training, in any subject domain.</p> <p>All contents of the Italian Journal of Educational Technology (IJET) are licensed under a <a href="" target="_blank" rel="license noopener">Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License</a>. Readers have free online access to the contents of all issues of the journal.</p> <p><a href="" rel="license"><img title="Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License" src="" alt=""></a></p> <p>A print edition of IJET is also available for purchase, either on a subscription or single issue basis. Please go to "<a href="/index.php/td/about#subeng" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Subscriptions</a>" to read more.</p> <p>TD Tecnologie Didattiche (now Italian Journal of Educational Technology) has been recognised as Classe A journal in assessment carried out by&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">ANVUR</a>, the agency designated by Italy's Ministry of Education and Research for evaluating research institutions and scientific output.&nbsp; <a href="/about" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Keep reading in About</a>.</p> <h3>TOPICS</h3> <p>Topics covered concerns any aspect of educational technology, including:</p> <ul> <li>Theoretical aspects of educational technology and technology-enhanced learning</li> <li>Innovative learning environments</li> <li>Open and online education</li> <li>Collaborative learning</li> <li>Design of learning environments</li> <li>Evaluation and assessment</li> <li>Mobile technologies and social media</li> <li>Game-based learning</li> <li>Formal, non-formal and informal learning</li> <li>Digital literacy</li> <li>Technology for inclusive learning</li> <li>Digital contents and educational resources</li> <li>Research methods in educational technology</li> <li>Policies for innovation in educational systems</li> </ul> <h3>PEER REVIEW POLICY</h3> <p>Manuscripts undergo a double-blind peer review process involving at least two reviewers and the editor of each issue.</p> EDITORIAL. DIGITAL GAMES AND LEARNING 2019-08-12T13:30:31+02:00 Francesca Maria Dagnino Marcello Passarelli Carlo Perrotta Donatella Persico <p class="IJETNNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">This special issue aims to increase the body of knowledge and evidence concerning the learning potential of video games and gamification, as well as the problems associated with educational uses of games (Persico, Passarelli, Dagnino, Manganello, Earp, &amp; Pozzi, 2019). The selection of papers presented here has been informed by this overarching aim. At the same time, we hope that educators planning to employ games in their classes will find that they provide inspiring examples of educational uses of games. Since designing appropriate and pedagogically sound game-based learning interventions is a difficult endeavour, we do hope that the following articles will contribute to dissipate the fog that often envelops design principles for Game-Based Learning. </span></p> 2019-07-31T00:00:00+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## PLAYING GAMES TO SUPPORT THE DEVELOPMENT OF VISUOSPATIAL ABILITIES 2019-08-12T13:30:30+02:00 Laura Freina Rosa Bottino <p>An experiment is presented in which several digital entertainment games were selected and used with primary school students to foster the development of visuospatial skills. The experiment is part of a research strand in that investigating whether and how game based activities foster basic skills needed for STEM studies. According to our initial hypothesis, training visuospatial skills via digital gameplay should have a positive impact on the students’ school results in math, measured with a standardised test. Results confirmed the hypothesis: students who systematically played the games as part of their school activities reached statistically better results in maths when compared to others from the same school who simply followed the normal school activities. The project has also yielded indications for future research, showing that students are much more interested and involved in those activities that are more creative and leave then more freedom.</p> 2019-05-24T00:00:00+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## DEVELOPMENT AND USABILITY OF A GAMIFIED APP TO HELP CHILDREN MANAGE STRESS: AN EVALUATION STUDY 2019-08-12T14:24:05+02:00 Iolie Nicolaidou Federica Tozzi Philippos Kindynis Marinos Panayiotou Athos Antoniades <p>Children generally have difficulty managing stress. As a result, stress may escalate to anxiety. Informal-learning, stress prevention interventions that are easily accessible on mobile devices could be one way for children to learn how to manage stress before it reaches the levels of anxiety. There are less than a handful of stress management apps targeting children presently available and these do not combine gamification techniques with behavior change theory. This study describes the design and development of a gamified interactive storytelling mobile app to teach young children how to manage stress through relaxation exercises. It evaluates the app’s usability using learning analytics data and the SUS usability scale. The gamified app called Kids’ Stress Relief received a satisfactory usability score (73.55) and was well accepted by a sample of 71 children (5-12 years old). It may have the potential to support children in learning how to perform stress relief techniques as a stand-alone application. Instructional and design implications, of interest to developers of psychology-based apps, are drawn.</p> 2019-07-01T00:00:00+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## TO PLAY OR NOT TO PLAY? A CASE STUDY OF TEACHERS’ CONFIDENCE AND PERCEPTION WITH REGARD TO DIGITAL GAMES AT SCHOOL 2019-08-12T13:30:32+02:00 Fedela Feldia Loperfido Anna Dipace Alessia Scarinci <p>Teachers’ perception of the use of games for learning is a crucial aspect for the creation of Game-Based Learning experiences. At the same time, solid research on this point is still lacking. For this reason, this study analyses the confidence, knowledge and attitudes of teachers in an Italian school in the context of the use of digital games in teaching activities. To this end, we administered both the TPACK-G and ADGBL questionnaires, and conducted two focus groups. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse the results of the questionnaires, and qualitative content analysis was used to analyse the focus group discussions. Results show that the teachers’ perception is characterised by several not necessarily interrelated aspects: they make sense of game based learning by comparing it with traditional didactics; they usually organise teaching activities with games to reach traditional goals (e.g. summative evaluation, individual study, etc.); and finally, they seem to be in a transitionary phase during which games have not yet been internalised as a resource for innovation.</p> 2019-05-08T00:00:00+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## LEARNING ALSO NEEDS TO BE A LITTLE FUN: WHAT ACADEMIC LEARNING GOALS CAN STUDENTS ACHIEVE BY DEVELOPING GAMES? 2019-08-12T13:30:32+02:00 Charlotte Lærke Weitze <p>This study presents an exploratory investigation of how learning through game development can contribute to students’ academic learning and how applying game making for learning as a teaching method can be linked to subject-specific learning goals. The paper describes a project where twenty-two second grade Danish students worked with problem-based assignments that supported them in developing digital games for learning with the Scratch tool. The students succeeded in creating digital games for learning and in embedding learning situations, learning activities and evaluation opportunities into their games. Analysis of the learning dynamics suggests that the students were involved in interactive communication and production processes and used the Danish language as a tool inside their small digital games when engaging in this problem-based and constructionist learning approach. According to the analysis, the students managed to work with specific academic learning goals and enjoyed learning through the development of games for learning.</p> 2019-06-12T00:00:00+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## BRINGING GAME ELEMENTS TO THE CLASSROOM: THE ROLE OF CHALLENGE AND TECHNOLOGY 2019-08-12T13:30:32+02:00 Graziano Cecchinato Romina Papa Laura Carlotta Foschi <p>&nbsp;This paper illustrates a teaching methodology which implements some motivational mechanics of games to help overcome the widespread lack of interest of students and make learning engaging. A learning cycle that promotes three main transformative dimensions within the overall learning process is detailed: from deductive to inductive teaching; from transmissive to constructivist teaching; from summative to formative assessment. Some concrete examples of learning activities are provided. Finally, the implications of the methodology resulting from a quasi-experimental study conducted in a high school are discussed. The study compared two classes, experimental and control, in relation to the following variables: self-determination towards studying, basic psychological needs, and support for autonomy. The results show that there are significant differences in the analyzed variables, suggesting that the proposed methodology could be effective in determining positive changes in motivational dynamics.</p> 2019-06-14T00:00:00+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## ESCAPE ROOMS IN SCHOOLS: PHYSICAL AND VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENTS FOR LEARNING 2019-08-12T13:30:30+02:00 Andrea Benassi <p>Escape rooms are group games where players are required to search for clues, solve puzzles and complete tasks in one or more rooms in order to achieve a pre-defined objective. Most often, the aim is to find a way of escaping from the room itself within a certain time limit. In recent years, escape rooms have grown in popularity and have started to be adopted for educational purposes. This contribution summarises the main features of this kind of game and the elements that make it engaging. It then goes on to analyse the educational potential of escape rooms both in subject areas and for developing 21st century skills. Finally, the paper examines in depth how cutting edge immersive technologies support the implementation of virtual or mixed reality escape rooms, thereby making the game more adaptable and sustainable in formal educational contexts.</p> 2018-10-22T00:00:00+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## A DEATH-POSITIVE VIDEO GAME FOR DEATH EDUCATION OF ADOLESCENTS 2019-08-12T13:30:31+02:00 Viola Nicolucci <p>Meaning is what makes stories compelling, and often what conveys meaning in our stories is death. However, even if death is ubiquitous in the media, we tend to adopt an attitude of emotional denial to it in our personal lives. Death seems to trigger a great deal of anxiety in adolescents. Considering that video games are a popular medium among teenagers, should we then use them as a tool in death education programs? Death is present in most video games as a mechanic or a narrative element. “A Mortician’s Tale” stands out from the crowd in as much as it’s a story-driven, death-positive video game that encourages players to deal with their death fears with the intent of reducing them.</p> 2019-05-21T00:00:00+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement##