Deliver Us the Moon

GWJ Conference Call Episode 709

Planetside (PC), Octopath Traveller (Switch), Black Book: Prologue (PC), Deliver Us the Moon (PC), Contra Rogue Corps (Switch), Rogue Bit (Switch), Chimera Squad (PC),

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Amanda, Julian, Rich, Greg, and Glendon talk about Learning Machines: Games that teach us how to play them.

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00:01:55 Planetside 2
00:08:46 Octopath Traveller
00:14:46 Black Book: Prologue
00:21:32 Deliver Us the Moon
00:26:55 Contra Rogue Corps
00:35:34 Rogue Bit
00:40:06 XCOM: Chimera Squad
00:43:49 Games That Teach Us How To Play Them
01:01:22 Your Emails

So much for my dream of Meebs accidentally calling Rich "The Love Conjurer."

Rat Boy wrote:

So much for my dream of Meebs accidentally calling Rich "The Love Conjurer."

That is NOT a wand in his pocket.

Jonman wrote:
Rat Boy wrote:

So much for my dream of Meebs accidentally calling Rich "The Love Conjurer."

That is NOT a wand in his pocket.

Too many responses come to mind...

Hi again! Enjoying the show!

Since you were talking about Learning Machines, here's a piece of information that will blow everyone's mind: There's actually no scientific evidence that people perform better at learning tasks if information is presented in their "preferred learning style" (auditory, visual, experiential, kinesthetic, etc.)!

"What? That can't be right!", I hear you shout. I know, I know, speaking as a former teacher, it was taught in our qualification classes in Australia (it might still be): teachers should identify how an individual student best learns and adapt their teaching method to it. But in recent years, there's been more and more psychologists and educators pointing out that there's actually no evidence for this (other than plenty of anecdotal evidence which as we all know, isn't scientific). And more worryingly, if we, as teachers, reinforce a student's belief that they learn best one way and not other ways, this can actually lead to negative outcomes for the students.

Do a google search for "learning styles debunked" and you'll get lots more information on this.

I'll just include a few links here (just picked from the first page of google search results from what looked like reputable organisations):

Association for Psychological Science: There is No Evidence Supporting Auditory and Visual Learning (2009)

American Psychological Association: Toward a Deeper Understanding of the Learning Style Myth (2019).

And an Atlantic article: The Myth of ‘Learning Styles’ (2018)

Some choice quotes from the summary of the second article:

Previous surveys in the United States and other industrialized countries across the world have shown that 80% to 95% of people believe in learning styles. It’s difficult to say how that myth became so widespread,
Previous research has shown that the learning styles model can undermine education in many ways. Educators spend time and money tailoring lessons to certain learning styles for different students even though all students would benefit from learning through various methods. Students study in ways that match their perceived learning style even though it won’t help them succeed

Anyways, thought the panelists (and the forum readers) would find this interesting and I hope it might actually make learning easier knowing they don't have to stick to one "style"!

The Atlantic article puts it well:

Willingham goes so far as to say that people should stop thinking of themselves as visual, verbal, or some other kind of learner. “It’s not like anything terrible is going to happen to you [if you do buy into learning styles],” he said, but there’s not any benefit to it, either. “Everyone is able to think in words; everyone is able to think in mental images. It’s much better to think of everyone having a toolbox of ways to think, and think to yourself, which tool is best?”

I’ve seen some of those articles before, and I must note that the subjects in those studies seem to be primarily Neurotypical children. It feels like confirmation bias to say “hey look! All of the “normal” kids learn the “normal” way!”

I’d be interested to see if or how the results change by adding students with learning disabilities (which, again, seems to be defined as “not learning the “normal” way”). I don’t know how adding people on the spectrum (who, I suspect, are overrepresented among gamers and game developers) would affect the results also.

My own experience with teaching two non-Neurotypical children suggests that learning style is very important. That is not the same, however, as insisting that national policy be changed to accommodate my kids. I’m aware that the plural of anecdote is not “data.”