knotbengal27

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Minecraft is among the most played video games ever, selling over 100 million copies since its launch in 2009 (Huddleston 2016,). This sandbox game, in which players explore, build and figure out ways to survive in virtual worlds, is particularly popular among young gamers (Thompson, 2016). Minecraft Teachers are starting to notice the potential advantages of Minecraft and are seeking ways to integrate it into their classrooms (Timoner 2014). In the classroom, Minecraft is being used to teach subjects and skills, such as physics, math creative thinking, art as well as digital citizenship, history and collaboration (e.g., Cipollone, Schifter, & Moffat 2014; Craft, 2016; Hill & Jones, 2015; Overby & Jones, 2015; Short, 2012). There is even an Minecraft: Education Edition that is designed to help teachers utilize Minecraft with their students. Need realtor Minecraft camps and workshops are becoming more popular outside of the classroom. Educators' interest in Minecraft is part of a broader trend in game-based learning (Gee, 2007; Plass, Homer, Kinzer, & Plass, 2007; Squire, 2006, 2008). These efforts are founded on a constructivist method to education where students actively construct knowledge through engaging in open-ended activities that require problem solving and decision-making as well as following one's interests (Plass and co., 2015). Despite the enthusiasm for Minecraft's use in support of learning, little research has been conducted. There is no empirical evidence that demonstrates the benefits to learning or any benefits related to using Minecraft to teach specific skills, and the conditions in which these benefits can be realized. As long as there is no evidence attempts to incorporate Minecraft and other games for multiplayer into learning and teaching will be based on intuitions and best guesses rather than empirically supported best practices. The present study aims to fill in this gap in knowledge by conducting an investigation into middle school students' interactions during playing Minecraft in small groups of two to four players. We chose to concentrate on collaboration because of its centrality to learning (Johnson & Johnson, 1989; Rogoff, 1998; Roschelle, 1992), and because multiplayer games are especially well-suited to collaboration (Gee, 2007; Plass et al. (2015); Squire, 2006, 2008; Steinkuehler, 2004). While collaboration is typically used in conjunction with other goals in pedagogy however, this study specifically focuses on collaboration as a separate goal. Research has shown that students struggle to collaborate effectively with each others, which can have negative effects for the learning outcomes that are associated with their collaborative work (e.g., Barron, 2003). Collaboration is an ability that students need to develop to enjoy the benefits of learning collaboratively, and therefore warrants specific study. We focused our study on the different types of discourse functions that participants engaged in while playing the game, including Questioning, Responding, Instructing, and Encouraging (Bluemink, Hamalainen, Manninen, & Jarvela 2010). The findings provide new insights into the factors that promote and undermine high quality collaboration in Minecraft. These insights will be useful for educators who are interested in using Minecraft and other multiplayer games to promote collaboration among their students.