Title: User-centred and evidence-based design of smart games for poor text comprehenders: the TERENCE experience

Authors: Fernando De la Prieta; Tania Di Mascio; Rosella Gennari; Ivana Marenzi; Pierpaolo Vittorini

Addresses: Departamento Informática y Automática, Universidad de Salamanca, Plaza de la Merced s/n, 37008 Salamanca, Spain ' Department of Electric and Information Engineering, University of l'Aquila, Monteluco di Roio, 67040 L'Aquila, Italy ' Computer Science Faculty, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Piazza Domenicani, 3, 39100 Bolzano, Italy ' L3S Research Center, Leibniz University of Hannover, Appelstraße 4, 30167 Hannover, Germany ' Department of Internal Medicine and Public Health, University of L'Aquila, Viale S. Salvatore - Edificio Delta 6, 67100 L'Aquila fraz. Coppito, Italy

Abstract: More than 10% of children in the age range 7-11 turn out to be poor text comprehenders: they have difficulties in reasoning about events of a story. TERENCE is the first adaptive learning system with stories and companion smart games, for reasoning about stories, and developed for primary-school poor comprehenders. The development of TERENCE followed both the user-centred and the evidence-based design methodologies, by placing users at the centre of the development process and by choosing a design because of evidence of its effectiveness for the users. This paper presents the TERENCE smart games: it explains how such methodologies were used for iteratively designing and evaluating incrementally improved versions of the TERENCE smart games.

Keywords: pedagogical theories; serious games; game frameworks; knowledge representation; UCD; user-centred design; evidence-based design; smart games; poor comprehension; text comprehension; primary education; adaptive learning; reasoning; stories; primary schools.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTEL.2014.068350

International Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning, 2014 Vol.6 No.3, pp.212 - 236

Available online: 30 Mar 2015 *

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