Simplifying the validation and application of games with Simva

Cristina Alonso-Fernández, Antonio Calvo-Morata, Manuel Freire, Iván Martínez-Ortiz, Baltasar Fernández-Manjón

The suitability of games for learning has been proven for many years. However, effective application of games in education requires two important stages: their initial validation, and their later use in the classroom. Serious games should be validated prior to exploitation to prove their efficacy and usefulness as tools for teachers, via larger experiments that include data collection, either from in-game interactions or from external questionnaires; this, in turn, requires dealing with data privacy regulations and informed consent. Once validated, serious games can then be applied in educational environments, where their effective application is closely linked to the tools and preparation available to the teachers and educators that use them. In this paper, we revise the steps and considerations that need to be dealt with both when conducting experiments with games and, later, when applying them as part of teaching in educational scenarios. For both these stages, we provide guidance and recommendations to simplify stakeholders’ tasks, including the use of the tool Simva, which simplifies the management of users, questionnaires, privacy, data collection, and storage.