Matching Items (7)

131451-Thumbnail Image.png

Predicting Actual Learning in Educational Games

Description

While most of the media attention given to video games focuses on those geared towards the entertainment industry, a less covered topic is the role of serious games. Also known

While most of the media attention given to video games focuses on those geared towards the entertainment industry, a less covered topic is the role of serious games. Also known as “educational” games, serious games are designed with the intent to teach the player a particular skill or topic. These games have gradually been working their way into our educational environments. Children are often taught to type, perform simple math, and correctly spell through a variety of games that have been widely adopted by teachers. However, teaching multiplication is one thing; teaching college-level advanced mathematics is another beast altogether. Can video games actually be used as an educational tool in higher education?
This is a difficult question for a variety of reasons. A major issue to consider is whether the students who play this game are actually learning the material, or simply improving at the game itself. If the game is not designed correctly, one could potentially learn to exploit game mechanics without applying knowledge of the material. While this person’s efficiency at completing the game quickly would suggest mastery of the topic, they may not actually be prepared to take a test on the subject. As such, it is important to thoroughly study the effectiveness of serious games before they are deployed to actual classrooms. This study will do just that with the game Vector Unknown, which was designed to help college students learn linear algebra.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020-05

152120-Thumbnail Image.png

What's in a game's name?: task framing, learning, and enjoyment in an educational game

Description

This study explores the influence of framing and activity type on expectations of learning and enjoyment as well as performance in a paraphrase identification task. In the first experiment, 80

This study explores the influence of framing and activity type on expectations of learning and enjoyment as well as performance in a paraphrase identification task. In the first experiment, 80 students played one of three activities framed as either a "play" or "learning" task. Students then completed one of three activities; learning only, an educational game, or a play only activity. Results showed that the play frame had an effect on learning expectations prior to completing the activity, but had no effect after completing the activity. Students who completed the educational game scored significantly higher on the posttest learning assessment than those in the play only activity. Pairwise comparisons also indicated that students who completed the educational game performed just as well as the learning only activity when given the posttest learning assessment. Performance in the paraphrase identification task was collected using data logged from student interactions, and it was established that although there was an interaction between performance and activity type, this interaction was due to a significant difference during the second round. These results suggest that framing can influence initial expectations, and educational games can teach a simple writing strategy without distracting from the educational task. A second experiment using 80 students was conducted to determine if a stronger frame would influence expectations and to replicate the effect of activity type on learning and enjoyment. The second study showed no effect of framing on expected or reported enjoyment and learning. The performance results showed a significant interaction between performance and activity type, with the interaction being driven by the first round that students completed. However, the effect of activity type was replicated, suggesting that game features can enhance student enjoyment and are not a detriment to learning simple strategy-based tasks.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013

155515-Thumbnail Image.png

An Architecture for Designing Content Agnostic Game Mechanics for Educational Burst Games

Description

Currently, educational games are designed with the educational content as the primary factor driving the design of the game. While this may seem to be the optimal approach, this design

Currently, educational games are designed with the educational content as the primary factor driving the design of the game. While this may seem to be the optimal approach, this design paradigm causes multiple issues. For one, the games themselves are often not engaging as game design principles were put aside in favor of increasing the educational value of the game. The other issue is that the code base of the game is mostly or completely unusable for any other games as the game mechanics are too strongly connected to the educational content being taught. This means that the mechanics are impossible to reuse in future projects without major revisions, and starting over is often more time and cost efficient.

This thesis presents the Content Agnostic Game Engineering (CAGE) model for designing educational games. CAGE is a way to separate the educational content from the game mechanics without compromising the educational value of the game. This is done by designing mechanics that can have multiple educational contents layered on top of them which can be switched out at any time. CAGE allows games to be designed with a game design first approach which allows them to maintain higher engagement levels. In addition, since the mechanics are not tied to the educational content several different educational topics can reuse the same set of mechanics without requiring major revisions to the existing code.

Results show that CAGE greatly reduces the amount of code needed to make additional versions of educational games, and speeds up the development process. The CAGE model is also shown to not induce high levels of cognitive load, allowing for more in depth topic work than was attempted in this thesis. However, engagement was low and switching the active content does interrupt the game flow considerably. Altering the difficulty of the game in real time in response to the affective state of the player was not shown to increase engagement. Potential causes of the issues with CAGE games and potential fixes are discussed.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017

152832-Thumbnail Image.png

Stealth assessment of self-regulative behaviors within a game-based environment

Description

Students' ability to regulate and control their behaviors during learning has been shown to be a critical skill for academic success. However, researchers often struggle with ways to capture the

Students' ability to regulate and control their behaviors during learning has been shown to be a critical skill for academic success. However, researchers often struggle with ways to capture the nuances of this ability, often solely relying on self-report measures. This thesis proposal employs a novel approach to investigating variations in students' ability to self-regulate by using process data from the game-based Intelligent Tutoring System (ITS) iSTART-ME. This approach affords a nuanced examination of how students' regulate their interactions with game-based features at both a coarse-grained and fine-grain levels and the ultimate impact that those behaviors have on in-system performance and learning outcomes (i.e., self-explanation quality). This thesis is comprised of two submitted manuscripts that examined how a group of 40 high school students chose to engage with game-based features and how those interactions influenced their target skill performance. Findings suggest that in-system log data has the potential to provide stealth assessments of students' self-regulation while learning.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

153389-Thumbnail Image.png

Playing vocabulary games and learning academic language with gifted elementary students

Description

Learning academic vocabulary is part of the curriculum for elementary students. Many gifted students learn new words easily but do not necessarily feel positive about studying vocabulary at school. They

Learning academic vocabulary is part of the curriculum for elementary students. Many gifted students learn new words easily but do not necessarily feel positive about studying vocabulary at school. They also do not transfer these words to their own writing. This researcher used games in her own fifth-grade classroom to teach vocabulary and measured the use of these words in the students' writing. This study also examined students' attitudes about learning vocabulary through games. This mixed-methods study used quantitative data to study the students' retention of the vocabulary words, their usage of the words in their writing, and their attitude toward playing games to learn vocabulary. The researcher also used qualitative data to measure the students' attitudes toward learning with games. Three different vocabulary games were used and one editing game was used during this 18-week study. Quantitative data from test scores and questionnaire responses were analyzed comparing pre and post responses. Writing samples and word tallies were collected throughout the study. Students learned the definitions of vocabulary words while playing games and retained the meanings after 18 weeks, achieving a mean score on the posttest of 71%. No significant usage of the relevant words in student writing samples was found. Qualitative data from questionnaires and field notes were coded and analyzed. A significant gain was shown in how students felt about studying vocabulary after playing games. This study showed positive results in all areas measured.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015