Exploring the elements of educational video game design and creation
- It is difficult to create video games that are both entertaining and educational. Few educational video games have empirical evidence to support their claims of effectiveness (Honey & Hilton, 2011). Educational video games are explored through research and discussion aimed at making the development process more effective for other educational game designers. The discussion unfolds in several chapters. First, concerns surrounding the making of educational games are discussed. For instance, educational game designers are often given the task of delicately balancing the fun and educational aspects of their games. This balancing is highlighted in a framework presented of the development journey that educational game developers often must take, navigating around these two aspects, which are called sirens. Literature in psychology and other fields that make arguments for elements that can help make a game more educational and more fun are reviewed. On the educational side, the domain of fractions is explored, and the misunderstandings and difficulties encountered by students who are learning fractions are reviewed. The learning of fractions anchors the development and research since there is much work needed to improve student understanding. On the fun side, some of the motivational choices that have been used to increase the amount of fun are considered. Although there are elements in games that explicitly help either fun or learning, three areas are reviewed -- choice, collaboration, and fantasy/story -- that have properties that can help both fun and educational aspects of a game. It is the third area (fantasy/story) that this dissertation further explores as an element to be used in games. Since fantasy/story warrants further exploration, the literature on fantasy and more specifically story are reviewed. The review of the literature concludes that story can be helpful with learning by assisting with comprehension. Research on story grammars and scripts provide evidence for story helping people comprehend information, making it more likely for these people to remember that information. On the other hand, story can also help persuade people. The persuasion aspect is notable because it can help with both motivation and learning. Persuasion is important because it gives the audience a willingness to accept a different outcome or piece of knowledge. Using this information, the dissertation then details the process that colleagues and I followed in order to create an educational game called Tug-of-War. After an initial study showing no significant achievement differences in learning, Tug-of-War was refined and demonstrated significant differences on pre-post measures in two quasi-experimental classroom studies. These three studies also provided evidence that children enjoyed playing Tug-of-War, based on survey results adapted from motivation scales. The process for creating the game as well as the study design and results for these three studies are provided. Next, a qualitative, interview-based study of how students conceptualize story both in interactive and non-interactive media is reported. The methods are described, including how game were selected for children to play, and how the interview protocol that was accomplished with the children. The chapter ends by describing the analysis, and highlights recurring themes that were discovered around children's notions of story. The findings all of the initial studies resulted in a classroom study, where students were randomly assigned to play one of three versions of the Tug-of-War game. The first version was similar to the previous versions, having a context/story of the children participating in a tug-of-war match. The second version had similar game mechanics, but had no story or images related to the story. The third version embellished the first version by providing students with images of the relevant characters that are present in the game. The chapter provides analysis of pre and post measures of achievement, students reporting of fun, and a video analysis of ways students engaged in two of the conditions. Results of the final study indicate that story had a positive impact on the student engagement and involvement with the fractions content. The advantages that story brings to bear in educational games is discussed.
|Type of resource
|electronic; electronic resource; remote
|1 online resource.
|Stanford University, Graduate School of Education.
|Padilla, Amado M
|Padilla, Amado M
|Schwartz, Daniel L
|Schwartz, Daniel L
|Statement of responsibility
|Submitted to the Graduate School of Education.
|Thesis (Ph.D.)--Stanford University, 2013.
- © 2013 by Osvaldo Jimenez
- This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).
Also listed in
Loading usage metrics...