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Assessment in game-based learning : foundations, innovations, and perspectives
Ifenthaler D., Eseryel D., Ge X., Springer Publishing Company, Incorporated, London, UK, 2012. 488 pp. Type: Book (978-1-461435-45-7)
Date Reviewed: Oct 18 2012

The rise of video game technology and the subsequent success of video games have captured the attention of educators who believe that application of this technology can improve education and training and make them more compelling. This movement has taken on various names, from edutainment, to serious games, to the more general gamification. But when applying video game technology to an educational process, one must ask how we know it is effective. Addressing that question is what this book is about.

The book is an edited collection of 21 chapters divided into three parts: “Foundations of Game-Based Assessment”; “Technological and Methodological Innovations for Assessing Game Based Learning”; and “Realizing Assessment in Game Based Learning.” Part 1 discusses the nature of games, although the discussion of the variety of game types continues in later chapters. Part 2 discusses conceptual issues in assessment, and the final part addresses implementation issues.

Three outstanding strengths of the book lead me to highly recommend it. First, unlike many edited volumes, which contain a few good papers and a lot of filler chapters, or worse yet, painfully uninteresting papers, the chapters in this book are consistently of high quality and thought provoking. Different readers will almost certainly have different favorites, but whatever one’s interests in this area, there are almost certainly several worthwhile chapters to read. Second, this is an emerging area, so there is no universal agreement on kinds of games, ways to measure, or kinds of assessments. There is no uniform approach to these issues in the book either. Different chapters approach and answer these questions in different ways. However, such variety is appropriate for an emerging area such as this. Finally, the chapters are well referenced, so the reader can follow the citation chain to find additional relevant background materials.

This book would be of greatest interest to educators, academics, and researchers in game-based learning. However, it will also provide valuable perspectives for video game designers.

Reviewer:  J. M. Artz Review #: CR140608 (1302-0095)
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