Innovation in Language Learning

Edition 16

Accepted Abstracts

Developing Quest-Based Learning Environment for Second-Language Acquisition

Elizaveta Shikhova, Saint Petersburg State University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics (Russian Federation)


Quest-Based Learning is a transformative, 21st-century type of learning, it is designed to focus on deep exploration of content through design thinking and play. In this talk, I will explain how incorporating puzzle enriched games, game design and play in the classroom can help educators and learners collaborate with each other, design solutions to problems be constantly and appropriately challenged, and feel safe enough to take intellectual risks in order to learn deeply. Quest-Based Learning uses exploration and puzzle solving to promote and facilitate cognition and metacognitive skills, as well as the development of perceptual, and behavioural skills. Quest-Based Learning Environment relies on virtual reality to produce immersive experience, that greatly contribute to leaners’ motivation. This talk is based on a year-long research and development project of creating and cultivating a Quest-Based Learning Environment at ITMO University. The findings of this research indicated that learners actively participated in the game, utilized different types of strategy to manage their interaction, undertook collaborative dialogues exclusively in the L2 in order to solve puzzles, and had positive attitudes, claiming that interaction in Quest-Based Learning Environment was engaging, motivating, and enjoyable and improved their fluency and discourse management practice. However, the potential effectiveness of Quest-Based Learning Environment largely depends on the pedagogical design behind it. I will examine how puzzles as a particular strategy of Quest-Based Learning can foster students’ problem solving, analytical and memory skills. They can undoubtedly be called vehicles for the development of Digital Narrative. Primarily because they add value to choices the player makes, by having the actions move the player further or closer to the solution. Through puzzles Quest-Based Learning cultivates creativity in students and the ability to respond flexibly to unpredictable situations.

Keywords: Quest-Based Learning; Digital game-based learning (DGBL); computer assisted language learning (CALL); learning environments; serious games; second language acquisition.

[1] Melero, J., Hernández-Leo, D., & Blat, J. (2012). Considerations for the design of mini-games integrating hints for puzzle solving ICT-related concepts. IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies (pp. 138-140). doi: 10.1109/ICALT.2012.60
[2] Lee, Y. (2008). The Effect of Game Genres on the Use of Second/Foreign Language Strategies. i-manager’s Journal of Educational Technology, 5(3), 14-22.
[3] Peterson, M. (2016). Virtual worlds and language learning: An analysis of research. In F. Farr & L. Murray (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of language learning and technology (pp. 308–319). New York: Routledge.
[4] Squire, K. (2013). Video Game-Based Learning: An Emerging Paradigm for Instruction. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 26(1), 101–130. doi:10.1002/piq.21139

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