The overarching objective of designing and developing EcoJourneys is to conduct foundational research on integrative models of game-based and problem-based learning in an immersive computer-supported collaborative learning environment. The EcoJourneys collaborative game-based learning environment employs specific strategies to support the problem-based learning goals of helping students construct explanations, reason effectively, and become self-directed learners through computer-supported collaborative learning.


As groups of students address problems in these environments, their actions generate rich and dynamic streams of fine-grained multi-channel data that can be instrumented for investigating students’ learning processes and outcomes. Using the big data generated by small groups, we are leveraging learning analytics to provide adaptive support for collaboration that allows these models to be used at larger scales in real classrooms.

The EcoJourneys project is embedding models induced using learning analytic techniques inside of a digital game environment to enable students to cultivate collaborative learning competencies that translate to non-digital classroom settings as well. In addition, we are investigating learning analytics to support teachers in facilitating effective game-based collaborative learning.

The research investigates the following questions:

  1. How can principles of scaffolding and student-centered learning from PBL be integrated with game-based collaborative learning to support learning ambitious content?
  2. How can learning analytics be used to support adaptive scaffolding and teacher facilitation for collaboration in a game-based learning environment?
  3. Under what circumstances are particular scaffolding techniques more or less effective for supporting productive collaboration?

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