Call for Papers

In recent years, a gamified or game-based perspective on learning contexts has gained momentum: corroborated by findings in the education literature, game-based or gamified approaches to learning stress the role of motivation and engagement in shaping and enabling an individual’s learning experience. Learners are then seen as players.

In game-based learning, learning contexts are enhanced with games for learning in an interactive and playful manner. Alternatively, gamified learning contexts have game-inspired artefacts created for specific learning contexts. More generally a series of games or game-inspired elements is arranged into a context which operates in coordination with the learning in a physical learning environment.

The equation “learners as players” is thus emerging as a trend in the area of HCI, as also witnessed by conferences or events concerning game-based learning, participatory design or game design for children, technology enhanced learning with games or gamification as key topics.

The PALX workshop aims at critically reflecting on the equation “learner as player” in HCI.

A proposal will have to be submitted via mail to in the form of a paper written in English, in pdf format. The paper length should be approximately 1000–1500 words.

Submissions should contain case studies or reflexive accounts of experiences concerning the equation “learner as player”, and a short list of bibliographic background references. In particular we welcome visuals or videos to illustrate these narratives.

Case studies and reflexive accounts will be encouraged to address, while not being limited to, the following research themes:

T1. Game design and learner experience design principles. When researchers try applying design principles of games to learning contexts or objects, or vice-versa, dichotomous issues often emerge. What stirs design decisions when dichotomies occur?

T2. Learning context requirements. Can we always design for a learning experience if we design for a game experience? Or do learning contexts bring specific restraints? And does the equation “learner as player” work for all learning context alike, or does it not?

T3. Stakeholder analysis. Who are key stakeholders in such an arena? Given the type of stakeholders involved in designing for learners as players, what are the value dilemmas that can occur? How can these be overcome?

T4. Successful case studies, and why. What are effective and engaging games, gamified objects, gamified or playful experiences that work in practice for learners? And why so?

T5. Unsuccesful case studies, and why. If a project for “learners as players” did not work, what are reasons for failure, important to turn into design guidelines for not repeating the same mistakes over and over?

All submissions will be reviewed by at least two program committee members. To assess papers, reviewers will judge the originality and relevance of the work for the workshop, as well as the quality of writing, e.g., proper referencing.

The purpose of PALX is to allow researchers working in the area of learner and player experience design to share even preliminary results to the community, provided that originality and significance of the contribution are ensured.

Prior to the workshop, participants will be asked to read and reflect on others' contributions.

During the workshop, the presence of (at least) one participant per paper is mandatory. Each participant will be asked to introduce his or her own experience or case study in a 5–10 minute presentation. Afterwards, participants will be involved in participatory and cooperative sessions, using mapping methods and round-tables, for discussing and summing up emerging themes, guided by the workshop organizers.

After the workshop, its outcomes will be used to set a future agenda concerning the design of game-based, gamified or playful experiences for learners, publishable in both academic as more applied channels.

Accepted participants’ narratives will be made available and shared with other participants through the workshop’s website.

After the PALX workshop, its participants will be invited to prepare a revised and extended paper for a focus section of the IxD&A journal, relevant for the CHI community, planned for Autumn 2016. The focus section will be promoted with an open call for papers.