From start to finish: teenagers on the autism spectrum developing their own collaborative game

From start to finish: teenagers on the autism spectrum developing their own collaborative game PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to investigate how teenagers on the autism spectrum respond to their involvement in the creation of a collaborative game, meeting the curriculum requirements in programming at secondary level in England.Design/methodology/approachTwo autistic teenagers were involved in participatory design processes to elaborate and develop together a collaborative game of their choice using the visual programming software, Kodu Game Lab.FindingsWith the support of adults (teachers and the researcher), the participants were able to demonstrate and strengthen their participation, problem-solving and programming skills. The participants expressed their preferences through their attitudes towards the tasks. They created a game where the players did not need to initiate any interaction between each other to complete a level. Furthermore, the students naturally decided to work separately and interacted more with the adults than with each other.Research limitations/implicationsThis is a small case study and so cannot be generalised. However, it can serve as starting point for further studies that involve students with autism in the development of interactive games.Practical implicationsIt has been shown that disengaged students can develop various skills through their involvement in software programming.Originality/valueOverall, this paper presents the involvement of teenagers on the autism spectrum in the initial design and development of a collaborative game with an approach that shaped, and was shaped by, the students’ interests. Although collaboration was emphasised in the intended learning outcomes for the game, as well as through the design process, this proved difficult to achieve in practice suggesting that students with autism may require stronger scaffolding to engage in collaborative learning. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Enabling Technologies Emerald Publishing

From start to finish: teenagers on the autism spectrum developing their own collaborative game

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
2398-6263
DOI
10.1108/JET-02-2017-0004
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to investigate how teenagers on the autism spectrum respond to their involvement in the creation of a collaborative game, meeting the curriculum requirements in programming at secondary level in England.Design/methodology/approachTwo autistic teenagers were involved in participatory design processes to elaborate and develop together a collaborative game of their choice using the visual programming software, Kodu Game Lab.FindingsWith the support of adults (teachers and the researcher), the participants were able to demonstrate and strengthen their participation, problem-solving and programming skills. The participants expressed their preferences through their attitudes towards the tasks. They created a game where the players did not need to initiate any interaction between each other to complete a level. Furthermore, the students naturally decided to work separately and interacted more with the adults than with each other.Research limitations/implicationsThis is a small case study and so cannot be generalised. However, it can serve as starting point for further studies that involve students with autism in the development of interactive games.Practical implicationsIt has been shown that disengaged students can develop various skills through their involvement in software programming.Originality/valueOverall, this paper presents the involvement of teenagers on the autism spectrum in the initial design and development of a collaborative game with an approach that shaped, and was shaped by, the students’ interests. Although collaboration was emphasised in the intended learning outcomes for the game, as well as through the design process, this proved difficult to achieve in practice suggesting that students with autism may require stronger scaffolding to engage in collaborative learning.

Journal

Journal of Enabling TechnologiesEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 19, 2017

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