• Jonas Nørgaard
This thesis is based upon empirical material collected during a six week research period in a Danish school. Specific emphasis has been made on small group interviews, in order to investigate both students interaction in social relations and their experience of teamwork, whilst they have been observed participating in the project: “The School at Play - Repositioning Students through the Educational use of Digital Games and Game Dynamics”.

Introduction to The School at Play Method:
The intention of ‘The School at Play Method’ is to use commercial video games as a pedagogical tool in the training of cognitive understanding and competence, and the goal is to create a deeper knowledge of specific subjects by using computer games in an innovative way. The objective is to spark a real interest in the learning matter using video games, such as the video game Torchlight II, as a learning medium. Through gaming experiences, students are enabled to train abstract competences such as argumentation, reflection and collaboration in the selected subjects of Danish and mathematics.
it is important that the students gets a real interest in what needs to be learned, and by using video games like Torchlight II, the students train abstract competences such as argumentation, reflection and collaboration in both Danish and Mathematics.

This thesis investigates how ‘The School at Play Method’ is using Torchlight II in the work with social interaction and teamwork among students in the selected class groups in an Aarhus school. The investigation takes part in both Math and Danish Classes in a 5th and 6th grade by investigating at the following phenomenas:
• Complementing teamwork
• Mutual learning processes and knowledge exchange
• How the Game room influences the student’s overall experience of being in school

Grounded Theory has been used to analyse four interviews during the first three weeks, and three interviews after the end of the project. Both times, 5 students were in selective focus. Social constructivism and phenomenology were the methodologies applied whilst undertaking this part of the project in this thesis. Theories about identity and game-based learning (Gee, 2007), positions (Hetmar, 2016), innovation of the self (Ligorio, 2010) and domains (Hanghøj, 2012). Based on my own experiences with the students and knowledge acquired from interview, 5 students were chosen for the creation of a paradigmatic case. The paradigmatic case is evidenced through the combination of a literature review, interviews and video data from the field.

The thesis will show that the students through their own experiences actively benefit from the innovative pedagogical use of a computer game as a potential teaching medium, when included in the classroom experience. This new method of learning enriches teamwork, and directly, positively benefits social relationships between classmates. It will be argued that the potential exists to transform gaming from a purely out of class freetime activity into an active learning tool that can enable an entirely new way of understanding how technology can be used to stimulate learning in a modern class setting.
• The result indicates that the method creates social benefits in the community of learners
• The results indicates that the students learn of each other, both in knowledge exchange about the game and knowledge exchange in the game
• The result indicates that the students are positive about the game in the start and more negative about the game in the end. Moreover, the result indicates that Torchlight II creates opportunities for a projection between the virtual and the physical world.

Limitations and perspectives:
The thesis doesn´t measure the effectiveness of the development of teamwork and social relations, but instead it applies for making a deeper analysis and understanding about how students use their teamwork competences and social relations in the work with the method. Moreover, it relates it´s result for a further investigation in the methods influence on 21st century skills.
Publication date20 Aug 2016
Number of pages81
External collaboratorSæt Skolen i Spil
ph.d. Thorkild Hanghøj


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