1. James Larsen
  2. Co-founder of EdGE, Lead Developer
  3. SportsLab: Bringing Sport Research and Design Challenges into the 21st Century
  4. http://edge.terc.edu
  5. Educational Gaming Environments (EdGE) at TERC, TERC
  1. Jodi Asbell-Clarke
  2. https://edge.terc.edu/
  3. Director, EdGE at TERC
  4. SportsLab: Bringing Sport Research and Design Challenges into the 21st Century
  5. http://edge.terc.edu
  6. Educational Gaming Environments (EdGE) at TERC, TERC
  1. Teon Edwards
  2. Co-founder of EdGE, Game Designer, and Production Manager
  3. SportsLab: Bringing Sport Research and Design Challenges into the 21st Century
  4. http://edge.terc.edu
  5. Educational Gaming Environments (EdGE) at TERC, TERC, Educational Gaming Environments (EdGE) at TERC
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: James Larsen

    James Larsen

    Presenter
    May 14, 2017 | 05:34 p.m.

    Thank you for watching our SportsLab video.

    We are very interested in feedback and conversations with educators in formal and informal settings regarding your thoughts on how a national SportsLab Sport Research and Shoe Design Challenge might fit into your program. We are looking closely at how best to implement such a challenge after the completion of our research. Our goal is to run a similar design challenge that lets educators and teams of learners integrate SportsLab as a way to extend STEAM learning through our project-based approach.

    For questions inspired by our video or about SportsLab in general, let’s begin the discussion here. You can also get more background on SportsLab beyond our video by connecting to SportsLab through our link at https://edge.terc.edu/display/EDGE/Games.

    Thanks again for your time!

     
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  • Icon for: Michael Stone

    Michael Stone

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2017 | 10:18 a.m.

    As a K-12 STEM teacher professional development provider, I am intrigued at how this might be leveraged in a classroom. Am I correct in my understanding that the SportsLab allows a team of students to interact in a digital environment simultaneously (i.e. Second Life)? Also, it is unclear to me how the shoe design challenge works--specifically, what parts of the challenge are physical and what parts are digital? Since you are integrating design thinking in the experience, I assume students are given an opportunity to test their designs and then redevelop them as needed. What mechanisms are in place to empower this iterative process?

     
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  • Icon for: James Larsen

    James Larsen

    Presenter
    May 15, 2017 | 06:07 p.m.

    Thank you for your questions. Yes, teams of players are in the game simultaneously, interacting with each other through chat (public and one-on-one). However, although we would have loved to create a Second Life-like experience, the SportsLab environment is more limited right now, especially as relates to the avatars and the scope and nature of the “world” (e.g. scenes are 2d, except for perspective).  Having said that, we strived to create a development environment that will let others create a design competition of their own—not just entering their own content, but potentially changing out the artwork, locations, NPCs, everything—once we complete our research. Also, we’ve designed to allow for additional functionality (e.g. customizable avatars) should we get further funding down the road.

     

    SportsLab interactions are meant to bounce between the digital and real world. In the digital world, they “talk” with NPCs for guidance, find resources like videos, animations, or instructions on what to do to either download data (such as from a sport research lab) or collect their own data in the real world to help further their understanding. In turn, players upload “deliverables” tied to some of the activities to exhibit their understanding and to progress in the digital experience. Many of the deliverables for this phase of our project are part of our research data collection.

     

    The play between the digital and real world can best be exemplified by one of our “Milestones” (a group of related activities) that is focused on traction as relates to outsole design. In the digital environment, teams get background and some guidance from an NPC in the outdoor park to get them started; find and observe a video of a Parkour athlete in action to focus on how traction might be important to the athlete; then visit the sports research lab area to find more background on how researchers might study traction using a traction tester to find the coefficient of friction for various materials; and ultimately see how friction is related to traction and outsole design. This is extended to the real world where teams use instructions on how to build their own in-class traction tester with which they can test various outsoles on shoes they bring in or are wearing. All of this is then used to create a working design sketch for an outsole, which they upload. That design also serves as a starting point for an outsole they will need to include as part of their final shoe design submission.  The design process, which is introduced earlier, reinforces the iterative nature of design, and students are encouraged to test, either through feedback from others or additional research, their ideas and refine them up until their final submission.

     

    Let me know if this answers your questions. Feel free to ask more here, or contact me directly for more detail after the close of the Video Showcase.

     
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  • Icon for: Janet Kolodner

    Janet Kolodner

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2017 | 12:02 p.m.

    I like your choice of challenge; it seems well-matched to interests of a large number of high-schoolers, not only those interested in sports, but also those interested in fashion and simply in how things are designed and made. Like Michael, however, I am unclear on how the challenge works. Please tell us more about the virtual world you've created for the challenge and why you created it the way you did, the real-world things the kids do, how the real and virtual worlds are connected, the scaffolding you provide for kids so they can be successful, role of the teacher or facilitator, means of testing, and what you are learning that you can pass on to the next set of learning experience designers who want to create an equally-exciting STEAM challenge.

     
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  • Icon for: James Larsen

    James Larsen

    Presenter
    May 16, 2017 | 10:10 a.m.

    Janet, nice to hear from you! You are right about the match to interests being more than just sports. During our initial testing, one of the young women commented on how she wasn’t too interested in sports, but wondered if we could reskin the challenge to include theatre and costume design. Long-term, we hope to be able to run (or have others create and run) a variety of challenges, from various sports shoes to prosthetics to theatre and beyond. I tried to address some of your questions in my answer to Michael relative to the virtual and real world.

     

    Part of our challenge was to address how we might engage partners and their existing resources, integrating them into the challenge. For example, we wanted to include existing video that Parkour Visions (one of our partners) had so we wouldn’t have to create our own. We also worked with Nike to leverage some of the resources they had available and to bring parkour athletes into their sport research lab to collect data (video and force plate impact data, for example) so students could get a taste of how sport research is done in the real world, as well as get a taste for interesting STEAM careers. We are trying to add enough scaffolding for both learner and facilitator (whom we refer to as “mentors”), providing them with appropriate, timely background on specific concepts and skills, so they can be successful in their design of a Parkour shoe for submission as a final deliverable to the competition.

     

    Our “means of testing” has been to test components of the environment and activities with small groups to get feedback, to run a small-scale alpha experience, and for our last round of substantive research, to run a full competition, collecting click-data and interactions in the environment and collecting artifacts (we call them “deliverables”) from all users, as well as administering a pre- and post-questionnaire regarding STEM/ICT dispositions and career awareness. We are also using the BROMP protocol to observe in-class interaction between team members while they are engaged with the virtual environment and real world activities.  As our research is ongoing, we can’t report how successful we have been, but we will know more in the next few months.

     

    Thanks again for your questions.

     
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  • Icon for: Janet Kolodner

    Janet Kolodner

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2017 | 12:30 p.m.

    Thanks for your answers. I was referring to testing the products they are designing in my question, not to assessing the learners or evaluating the product you are making, though I do like you answer to evaluating your product. ;-) Will you please also tell me the kids are able to test the designs and design elements they are proposing? 

     
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  • Icon for: James Larsen

    James Larsen

    Presenter
    May 16, 2017 | 02:54 p.m.

    We are encouraging teams to get feedback and validation for the design elements they propose, which is an important part of design thinking, it is limited in this iteration of the project. For example, if they are proposing a certain type of outsole design that calls for different areas to have different materials with specific coefficients of friction so that a part of the outsole provides less traction to allow for sliding while another better traction for grip, they are encouraged to validate their reasoning with an athlete.. This is an area we would like to build out down the road to take advantage of those that might have ways to actually build, say with a 3D printer like a Glowforge, a physical model to test with their traction tester or even mock up a shoe. One long-term goal is to more firmly connect SportsLab with educators and learners that have access to maker tools, but we didn't want to exclude those that did not have access to such tools for our current work.

     
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  • Icon for: Janet Kolodner

    Janet Kolodner

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2017 | 12:23 p.m.

    My experience and what I've seen in other projects is that being able to feel and manipulate the materials and being able to really test designs is essential. Important for having ideas and important for recognizing needs for iteration and refinement. I urge you to find a way to make that happen, even when no maker space is available.

     

    Janet

     
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  • Icon for: James Larsen

    James Larsen

    Presenter
    May 17, 2017 | 01:07 p.m.

    Agreed. We do have them make physical models when possible, for example they are required to create a model a solution for a better way to hold a shoe on one's foot as part of an early design thinking activity. They can create the model with readily available materials. We use the Stanford Design Thinking Process where prototyping and testing are essential. We also encourage them to sketch, the old fashioned way, as much as possible even though they are free to use various software tools they might have available. 

     
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  • Icon for: Chris Thorn

    Chris Thorn

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2017 | 12:39 a.m.

    I think I'm jumping in with Janet's line of questions. This sounds and feels to me like the link of work I know from UW-Madison around epistemic games or games that support students engaging as closely as one can with the lived experience of the actor (parkour shoe design team member) as they can. Like Janet I wonder about the relationship between in game and in classroom work. I know some of the epistemic games (particularly the urban planner game) actually took students out into real physical space to engage with VR actors. I'm wondering about the role of the VR actors and how the competition with other teams plays out in the learning environment. 

     
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  • Icon for: James Larsen

    James Larsen

    Presenter
    May 16, 2017 | 10:19 a.m.

    Chris, thanks for your thoughtful question. You can review my answer to Janet and see if that addresses some of your question. But I’d like to extend my answer to address your interesting question around UW-Madison’s epistemic games. I’d have to say that their research question and findings (in the link you posted) resonated with my original motivation for SportsLab, grounded in my experience as an educator when I first started to link sport research and shoe design to STEM concepts. Although it was mostly a defense for me, as a new teacher, to make book learning relevant by tying it to something I was familiar with and that would interest kids, I learned a valuable lesson: project-based learning connected to real-world experiences motivates students like nothing else. With SportsLab, we are trying to connect it even further through a game-based approach that builds on classroom experience by offering an environment where many might participate in uncovering connections to STEAM concepts and 21st Century Skills to exhibit understanding in a shoe design submitted to a contest. 

     

    I also concur with the “Moving Forward” section where the Bagley and Schaffer stated: “Computer games have many appealing characteristics that parallel great learning experiences: they are engaging, experiential, and constantly provide feedback to players to help them improve their skills.” Our intent with creating the SportsLab environment was to leverage a game-like environment to see how it might add to the project-based approach through a storyline and challenge—to create a need through a character that helps drive the story and the reason for wanting a Parkour shoe design. As part of that challenge, we encourage players to go out into their local environment to either observe Parkour Athletes, or better, to connect with a local Parkour Gym, to include interviews with real athletes. This connects to both the sport shoe design process that is important to a shoe company working with athletes, as well as the design thinking process where designers are encouraged to empathize with whomever they are designing a product. How well this plays out between members of a team, and between members across teams (who can interact in the environment through chat, by sharing their designs, and by voting for their favorite designs as part of the completion), will be clearer as we continue and complete our research.

     

    Thank you for sharing this resource!

     
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  • Icon for: Janet Kolodner

    Janet Kolodner

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2017 | 12:25 p.m.

    I agree that epistemic games can inform this project. I also suggest looking at the wide range of research on design-based learning (my own work included ;-)).

     
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  • Icon for: James Larsen

    James Larsen

    Presenter
    May 17, 2017 | 12:43 p.m.

    Yes, definitely, thank you for your input and observations. 

     
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  • Icon for: Brian Drayton

    Brian Drayton

    Researcher
    May 18, 2017 | 07:59 a.m.

    Hey, Jamie, 

      Very cool.  Do some of your students have parkour experience?  If so, what difference (IF ANY) does it make in the way they think about the design challenge? 

     
    1
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    Judi Fusco
  • Icon for: Teon Edwards

    Teon Edwards

    Co-Presenter
    May 18, 2017 | 06:20 p.m.

    Hi, Brian. Yes, some of our participants have had parkour experience. This isn't something we've specifically explored, but from what we've seen, The effects of this seem mixed. It has sometimes proven useful, as those students obviously have knowledge that, if tapped into, can offer insight into parkour. It also gives the other students direct access to an athlete, which is something we emphasize in the design thinking process. On the other hand, having parkour experience seems to possibly be a disadvantage for some of the students, as they can think they already know what makes a good parkour shoe. Indeed, we chose to focus on parkour because it is an interesting, exciting sport, but also one the majority of students don't come in with preconceived ideas about.

     

    Some of the teams in our next round of research will be participating via a parkour connection, so we may be able to explore this further. 

     
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  • Icon for: Janet Kolodner

    Janet Kolodner

    Facilitator
    May 18, 2017 | 03:27 p.m.

    Great question!!!

     
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  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.