Learning Mechanics and Assessment Mechanics

When we design digital learning opportunities, we often spend most of our effort on designing the right interactions that facilitate learning – learning mechanics. Often, learners actions, captured in user logs, are then used to assess learning outcomes. However, there is a deep philosophical difference in how we act when we learn v. how we act when we are being assessed. We therefore propose to differentiate another type of interaction – assessment mechanics. Unlike learning mechanics, which focus on facilitate learning and are based on learning theoretical considerations, assessment mechanics focus on the measurement of learning outcomes and are based on test theoretical concerns.

Suggested reading about this topic

Plass, J. L., & Homer, B.D. (2011). Learning Mechanics and Assessment Mechanics for Games for Learning. G4LI White Paper 01-2011.

Emotional Design for Learning

Designers of learning environments go to great lengths to identify learning outcomes, but usually the focus is entirely on cognitive outcomes – what will learners know at the completion of their interaction with the environment? However, Bloom’s taxonomy of learning outcomes also include affective outcomes. But not only outcomes are of interest – the process of learning is getting increased attention by researchers and practitioners alike, and emotional aspects learning from media is becoming a topic of interest.

Suggested reading about this topic

Plass, J.L. & Kaplan, U. (2015). Emotional Design in Digital Media for Learning. In S. Tettegah & M. Gartmeier, Emotions, Technology, Design, and Learning (pp. 131–162). New York: Elsevier.

Um, E., Plass, J. L., Hayward, E. O., & Homer, B. D. (2011). Emotional Design in Multimedia Learning. Journal of Educational Psychology, 104(2), 485–498. doi:10.1037/a0026609

Plass, J.L., Heidig, S., Hayward, E.O., Homer, B.D., & Um, E.J. (2014). Emotional Design in Multimedia Learning: Effects of Shape and Color on Affect and Learning. Learning and Instruction, 29, 128–140. doi:10.1016/j.learninstruc.2013.02.006