Educational Technology, Technology Uses in Education, Instructional Design, Games, Statistical Analysis, Questionnaires, Behavior, Policy, Individual Characteristics, Attitude Measures, Preferences, Likert Scales, Foreign Countries, Adults, United States, United Kingdom, Italy, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden, India, Greece, Hungary, France, Malaysia, and Norway
This article investigates the phenomenon of open and participative development (e.g. beta testing, Kickstarter projects)--i.e. extended prototyping--in digital entertainment as a potential source of insights for instructional interventions. Despite the increasing popularity of this practice and the potential implications for educators and instructional designers, little efforts have been done in enlightening the topic. This study aims to address this lack by staging a bridge between Instructional Design and Game Design with an empirical inquiry. N:130 subjects (beta testers and Steam Early Access and Kickstarter users) were recruited with a quantitative questionnaire about their contribution to open development instances. Behavioral patterns, effective policies and managements, and subjective profiles and opinions were gathered and tied to instructional design models and concepts. Results point to successful techniques in designing and applying such a process, while mistakes and unproductive tactics are highlighted as well. To summarize, instruction can take advantage of an increased participation of targeted audiences/learners to its development phases. Benefits span transparency, engagement, and commitment. However, poor communication and incoherence between testing and final product may weaken the overall outcome.