An investigation into the potential of collaborative computer game-based learning in Higher Education.

Whitton, Nicola Jane (2007) An investigation into the potential of collaborative computer game-based learning in Higher Education. PhD thesis, Edinburgh Napier University.

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    Advocates of game-based learning argue that computer games have the
    potential to transform university education, motivating and engaging a new
    generation of learners in a way that traditional education does not. The research
    described in this thesis, grounded in the fields of education, human-computer
    interaction and game design, questions this assumption and considers the case
    for computer game-based learning in Higher Education.
    Initial research found that positive motivation for games-based learning is by no
    means universal in adults, and that a propensity to play games recreationally
    does not imply an enthusiasm to use games for learning. However, even
    reluctant gamers were willing to try game-based learning if it was perceived to
    be an efficient way to learn.
    Criteria were developed for the design of effective educational games, based
    around theories of constructivist learning. These informed the development of
    two collaborative game-based activities with identical learning outcomes: an
    adventure game and an online version of a traditional teambuilding exercise.
    Questionnaires were developed to measure self-reported learning and
    engagement and 112 students participated in an experiment to compare
    educational effectiveness between two groups, one using the adventure game
    and the other the teambuilding activity. No significant difference was found
    between the two conditions, with the exception that those students who used
    the teambuilding game had a significantly greater perception of control than
    those who used the adventure game.
    This study challenges the assumption that games will revolutionise education
    because they lead to increased motivation and engagement. Instead, it argues
    that there is a potential for increased engagement through educational games,
    but this is because they embody the principles of interactive, collaborative and
    experiential learning.
    Overall, this research offers an insight of the nature of adult game playing,
    practical guidance for the development of educational games, a validated tool
    for measuring post-experiential engagement, a critical analysis of usability
    testing techniques for multi-user games, and a genuine rationale for the use of
    game-based learning.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Game-based learning; education; game design; constructivism; interactive; collaborative; experiential learning;
    University Divisions/Research Centres: Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Creative Industries > School of Engineering and the Built Environment
    Dewey Decimal Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 370 Education
    Library of Congress Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
    Item ID: 4281
    Depositing User: Mrs Lyn Gibson
    Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2011 11:27
    Last Modified: 11 Mar 2011 11:27

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