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Learning with serious games: is fun playing the game a predictor of learning success?


Iten, Nina; Petko, Dominik (2016). Learning with serious games: is fun playing the game a predictor of learning success? British Journal of Educational Technology, 47(1):151-163.

Abstract

Serious games are generally considered to induce positive effects in the areas of learning motivation and learning gains. Yet few studies have examined how these factors are related. Therefore, an empirical study was conducted to test the relationship between anticipated enjoyment and willingness to play, as well as between game enjoyment, self‐reported cognitive and motivational learning gains and test results. In an explorative study, 74 children from five primary schools played the learning game AWWWARE. The results of pre‐ and post‐tests were analysed using multiple linear regressions. The analysis showed that anticipated enjoyment played only a minor part in students' willingness to learn with serious games. Of greater importance was the students' expectation that the learning game would be easy and instructive. The level of actual enjoyment of the game also had a smaller influence than expected. While there was a correlation between enjoyment and the motivation to continue being engaged with the subject matter of the game, no effect was found with respect to self‐assessed or tested learning gains. The results lead to the conclusion that other factors, such as explicit learning tasks, instruction and support inherent in the game or supplemented by teachers, may be more decisive than the experience of fun during the game.

Abstract

Serious games are generally considered to induce positive effects in the areas of learning motivation and learning gains. Yet few studies have examined how these factors are related. Therefore, an empirical study was conducted to test the relationship between anticipated enjoyment and willingness to play, as well as between game enjoyment, self‐reported cognitive and motivational learning gains and test results. In an explorative study, 74 children from five primary schools played the learning game AWWWARE. The results of pre‐ and post‐tests were analysed using multiple linear regressions. The analysis showed that anticipated enjoyment played only a minor part in students' willingness to learn with serious games. Of greater importance was the students' expectation that the learning game would be easy and instructive. The level of actual enjoyment of the game also had a smaller influence than expected. While there was a correlation between enjoyment and the motivation to continue being engaged with the subject matter of the game, no effect was found with respect to self‐assessed or tested learning gains. The results lead to the conclusion that other factors, such as explicit learning tasks, instruction and support inherent in the game or supplemented by teachers, may be more decisive than the experience of fun during the game.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Education
Dewey Decimal Classification:370 Education
Language:English
Date:8 January 2016
Deposited On:23 Apr 2019 14:39
Last Modified:25 Sep 2019 00:33
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0007-1013
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/bjet.12226
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID13DPD3_134705
  • : Project TitleGame Based Learning zur Förderung von Medienkompetenz bei Kindern und Jugendlichen

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