in Proceedings of the European Conference on Games Based Learning, 2021.

Authors: Marvin Zammit, Iro Voulgari, Antonios Liapis and Georgios N. Yannakakis

Abstract: The advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) and its increased use in everyday life have exacerbated the need to understand its underlying processes, and to raise awareness about its shortcomings and faults. Consequently there has been an increased effort to teach basic concepts of AI and machine learning (ML) from an early age. Digital games have been shown to be effective as teaching and learning tools, and there are ongoing efforts to increase AI literacy through educational digital games. To this effect, this work describes the process followed to extrapolate the design of such an educational game directly from the pedagogical needs emerging from stakeholders. Seven focus groups and workshops were conducted in Greece, Malta and Norway, with 55 teachers, researchers, practitioners and policy-makers, and 22 primary and secondary education students in total. These workshops identified seven goals which informed the design of a game for AI literacy called ArtBot. The game design process and the final interface and gameplay loop of ArtBot are explained in relation to these goals. The game was subsequently deployed across a variety of platforms, to enable dissemination to a broad audience in classrooms and elsewhere. The game was part of the tools developed in the framework of the LearnML Erasmus+ project. A preliminary online survey was used to gauge how well the game was received by teachers and students, with an overall positive result. A longer-term data collection of the game usage statistics has been initiated and will be analysed over the course of the game dissemination.

in Proceedings of the ACM Interaction Design and Children (IDC) conference, 2021.

Authors: Iro Voulgari, Marvin Zammit, Elias Stouraitis, Antonios Liapis and Georgios N. Yannakakis

Abstract: With the ubiquitous role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in everyday applications such as smartphones and social media, children need digital literacy skills to navigate the digital world, critically view, and reflect on the social and ethical implications of the design and architecture of AI systems. To address this increasing need for AI literacy skills, particularly for younger students, this paper presents the rationale of the LearnML project which aims to develop a framework and game-based educational material for promoting AI literacy among primary and secondary education students. We also describe the design and initial assessment of the game “ArtBot”, developed as part of the LearnML project. We review existing literature, discuss the educational game design and development of “ArtBot” and describe the initial feedback of students and teachers. Our goal is to provide insights and suggest guidelines for the implementation of game-based learning environments for supporting AI literacy skills of students.