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Game-based Learning (Serious Games / Educational Video Games)

Digital learning games represent an important sub-area of learning with media. The research at the chair pursues the approach of experimentally varying individual facets of digital learning games or their embedding in the learning process. Through the controlled recording of the resulting effects, generalizable design recommendations and deeper insights into the underlying mechanisms of action are gained. These are necessary to expand the state of research substantially. Meta-analytical studies show that this approach is still too rarely pursued in educational game research. This is flanked by theory-generating work to close gaps in basic research.

Innovative Tools for Learning

Increasingly complex media content can be created by teachers or students alike using numerous low-threshold design tools. In addition, the availability and number of these tools are increasing rapidly. Therefore, the research field also includes investigating the potential and challenges these educational media entail. Furthermore, it is essential to identify boundary conditions for success and the required basic competencies. For this purpose, meta-studies and reviews are published. For example, review articles on specific tools (e.g., Minecraft) or technologies (e.g., photogrammetry) systematize the state of knowledge, applicability, and possible research or practical questions. In addition, surveys are used to investigate further the benefits of individual media in specific settings (e.g., the positive effects of social video games during the Corona pandemic). Experimental and intervention studies increasingly complement this approach.

Media Usage

Students' media use behavior is relevant to the learning context and touches many other areas of the users' lives. The professorship is concerned with selected types of media (e.g., video games) and their specific connections with individual variables (e.g., feelings of loneliness). This research has gained enormous importance, especially due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, robust information is still scarce, although it is essential for the future of Media education.

Virtual Reality and Climate Change Action

Immersive Virtual Reality (VR) applications that want to contribute to the environmental, economic, or social dimension of sustainable development must initiate cognitive, social-emotional or behavioural changes in people in order to reflect their own impact on the world and to make responsible, sustainable decisions in real and virtual environments. In this context, empirical educational and media research in particular has a crucial role in fostering competencies in teaching settings using immersive VR applications. The research field includes both the instructional design and evaluation of immersive VR applications, especially cross-sectional and longitudinal studies to investigate cognitive, affective and behavioural learning goals in the context of Education for Sustainable Development, as well as the didactic embedding (orchestration) in classroom settings to promote subject-specific competences.

Embodiment / Body Transfer

One of the affordances of modern virtual reality technology is the ability to change perspectives by experiencing a virtual experience from the perspective of another, virtual person. The embodiment of others in VR is not limited to humans, but also refers to other roles such as animals or plants. Against this background, the research area investigates the extent to which embodiment in immersive VR environments can promote cognitive, affective or behavioural processes in learning.