Games are motivating, aren´t they? Disputing the arguments for digital game-based learning

Wim Westera

Abstract


The growing popularity of game-based learning reflects the burning desire for exploiting the involving and motivating characteristics of games for serious purposes. A wide range of arguments for using games for teaching and learning can be encountered in scientific papers, policy reports, game reviews and advertisements. With contagious enthusiasm, the proponents of game-based learning make their claims for using games to improve education. However, standing up for a good cause is easily replaced with the unconcerned promotion and spread of the word, which tends to make gaming an article of faith. This paper critically examines and re-establishes the argumentation used for game-based learning and identifies misconceptions that confuse the discussions. It reviews the following claims about game-based learning: 1) games foster motivation, 2) play is a natural mode of learning, 3) games induce cognitive flow, which is productive for learning, 4) games support learning-by-doing, 5) games allow for performance monitoring, 6) games offer freedom of movement and the associated problem ownership, 7) games support social learning, 8) games allow for safe experimentation, 9) games accommodate new generations of learners, who have grown up immersed in digital media, and 10) there are many successful games for learning. Assessing the validity of argumentation is considered essential for the credibility of game-based learning as a discipline.


Keywords


Serious gaming; motivation; learning; cognitive flow; performance; NET generation

Full Text:

PDF

References


Connolly, T.M., Boyle, E.A, MacArthur, E., Hainey, T, Boyle, J.M., “A systematic literature review of empirical evidence on computer games and serious games”. Computers & Education, vol. 59, no. 2, pp.661–686, 2013. DOI: 10.1016/j.compedu.2012.03.004

Oblinger, D.G., Oblinger, J.L. (Eds.), “Educating the net generation.” Educause, 2012. E-book: http://www.educause.edu/educatingthenetgen/

Prensky, M., “Digital natives, digital immigrants.” On the Horizon, vol. 9, no. 5, 1–6, 2001. DOI: 10.1108/10748120110424843

Stewart, J., Bleumers, L., Van Looy, J., Mariën, I., All, A., Schurmans, D., Willaert, K., De Grove, F., Jacobs, A., Misuraca, G., “The Potential of Digital Games for Empowerment and Social Inclusion of Groups at Risk of Social and Economic Exclusion: Evidence and Opportunity for Policy.” Centeno, C. (Ed.), Joint Research Centre, European Commission, 2013.

Swanson, C.B., “U.S. graduation rate continues decline.” Education Week, June 2, 2010. [online edition]. Retrieved from www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2010/06/10/34swanson.h29.html

Quinn, C.N., “Engaging learning. Designing E-Learning Simulation Games”. Pfeiffer, John Wiley and Sons, Inc., San Francisco, 2005

Barab, S.A., Thomas, M.K., Dodge, T., Carteaux, B., Tuzun, H., “Making learning fun: Quest Atlantis, a Game without Guns”. Educational Technology Research and Development vol. 53, no. 1, pp.86–107, 2005. DOI: 10.1007/BF02504859

Westera, W., Nadolski, R., Hummel, H., Wopereis, I., “Serious Games for Higher Education: a Framework for Reducing Design Complexity”, Journal of Computer-Assisted Learning, vol. 24, no. 5, pp. 420-432, 2008. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2729.2008.00279.x

Kuhn, T., “The structure of scientific revolutions”. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1962. http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226458106.001.0001

Keller, J.M., “Development and Use of the ARCS Model of Motivational Design”. Journal of Instructional Development, vol. 10, no. 3, pp.2-10, 1987. DOI: 10.1007/BF02905780

Keller, J.M., “First principles of motivation to learn and e3-learning”. Distance Education, vol. 29, pp.175-185, 2008. DOI: 10.1080/01587910802154970

Ryan, R.M., Deci, E.L, “Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being”. American Psychologist, vol. 55, pp.68-78.

Cordova, D.I., Lepper, M.R., “Intrinsic motivation and the process of learning: beneficial effects of contextualization, personalization, and choice”. Journal of Educational Psychology, vol. 88, pp.715–730, 1996.

Dickey, M.D. (2005). Engaging by design: How engagement strategies in popular computer and video games can inform instructional design. Educational Technology, Research and Development, 53(2), 67-83. DOI: 10.1007/BF02504866

Habgood, M.P.J., Ainsworth, S.E., “Motivating Children to Learn Effectively: Exploring the Value of Intrinsic Integration in Educational Games”. Journal of the Learning Sciences, vol. 20, no. 2, pp.169-206, 2011. DOI:10.1080/10508406.2010.508029

Bogost, I., “Persuasive Games: The Expressive Power of Videogames”. The MIT Press, Cambridge MA, 2007. DOI: 10.1093/llc/fqn029

Shaffer, D.W., Squire, K.D., Halverson, R., Gee, J.P., “Video games and the future of learning”. In: Phi Delta Kappan, 2005. Retrieved from http://www.academic-colab.org/resources/gappspaper1.pdf DOI: 10.1177/003172170508700205

Abt, C., “Serious games”. Viking Press, New York, 1970.

Huizinga, J., “Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play Element in Culture”. Beacon Press, Boston, 1938/1955.

Blanchard, J.S., Cheska, A., `The anthropology of sport: An introduction”. Bergin and Garvey Publishers Inc, Massachusetts, 1985. DOI: 10.1177/019372358500900206

Rieber, L.P., “Microworlds”. In: D. H. Jonassen (Ed.), “Handbook of research for educational communications and technology” (2nd ed., pp. 583–603). Macmillan, New York, 2004.

Vygotsky, L.S., “Mind in society. The development of higher psychological processes”. Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA, 1933/1978.

Papert, S. “Mindstorms”. Basic Books, New York, 1980.

Gee, J.P. “What video games have to teach us about learning and literacy?”. Palgrave MacMillan, New York, 2003. DOI: 10.5040/9781628927924.ch-013

Csikszentmihalyi, M., “Flow: The psychology of optimal experience”. Harper Perennial, New York, 1991.

Brusilovsky, P., “Adaptive Hypermedia”. User Modeling and User-Adapted Interaction, vol. 11, pp.87-110, 2001. DOI: 10.1023/A:1011143116306

Kiili, K., Lainema, T., de Freitas, S., Arnab, S., “Flow framework for analyzing the quality of educational games”. Entertainment Computing, 2014. Elsevier DOI: 10.1016/j.entcom.2014.08.002

Schön, D., “The Reflective Practitioner: How professionals think in action”. Temple Smith, London, 1983.

Verpoorten, D., Westera, W., Specht, M., “Using reflection triggers while learning in an online course”. British Journal of Educational Technology, vol. 43, no. 6, pp.1030-1040, 2012. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8535.2011.01257.x

Schank, R.C., Berman, T.R., Macpherson, K.A., “Learning by doing”. In C. M. Reigeluth (Ed.), Instructional-design theories and models: A new paradigm of instructional theory, vol 2., pp. 161-181, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah NJ, 1999.

Aldrich, C. “Learning by Doing”. Pfeiffer, San Diego, 2005.

Westera, W., “Performance assessment in serious games: Compensating for the effects of randomness”. Education and Information Technologies, 2014. DOI 10.1007/s10639-014-9347-3

Reese, H.W., “The Learning-by-Doing Principle”, Behavioral Development Bulletin, no. 11, pp.1-19, 2011. http://www.baojournal.com/BDB%20WEBSITE/archive/BDB-2011-11-01-001-019.pdf

Polanyi, M., “The Tacit Dimension”. University of Chicago Press: Chicago, 1966.

Vargas, J.S., “Instructional Design Flaws in Computer-Assisted Instruction”, The Phi Delta Kappan, vol. 67, no. 10, pp.738-744, 1986. http://www.jstor.org/stable/20403230

Guttormsen Schär, S., Schluep, S., Schierz, C., Krueger, H., “Interaction for Computer-Aided Learning”, Interactive Multimedia Electronic Journal of Computer-enhanced learning, vol. 2, no. 1., 2000. http://imej.wfu.edu/articles/2000/1/03/

Kolb, D., “Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development”. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs NJ, 1984.

Buckingham Shum, S., Ferguson, R., “Social Learning Analytics”, Educational Technology & Society (IFETS), vol. 15, no. 3, pp.3–26, 2012.

Baker, R.S.J.D., Yacef, K., “The state of educational data mining in 2009: A review and future visions”. Journal of Educational Data Mining, vol. 1, no. 1, pp.3-17, 2009.

Romero, C., Ventura, S., “Educational data mining: A survey from 1995 to 2005”. Expert Systems with Applications (Elsevier), vol. 33, no. 1, pp.135-146, 2007. DOI: 10.1016/j.eswa.2006.04.005

Bahreini, K., Nadolski, R., and Westera, W. “Towards Multimodal Emotion Recognition in E-learning Environments”. Interactive Learning Environments 1-16, 2014. DOI: 10.1080/10494820.2014.908927

VandeWalle, D., Brown, S.P., Cron, W.L., Slocum, L.W., “The influence of goal orientation and self-regulation tactics on sales performance: A longitudinal field test”. Journal of Applied Psychology (APA), vol. 84, pp.249–259, 1999.

Fisher, S.L., Ford, J.K., “Differential effects of learner effort and goal orientation on two learning outcomes”. Personnel Psychology (Wiley), vol. 51, pp.397–420, 1998. DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-6570.1998.tb00731.x

Clark, R.E., “Antagonism between achievement and enjoyment in ATI studies”. Educational Psychologist, vol. 17, pp.92–101, 1982. DOI:10.1080/00461528209529247

Mayer, R., “Should there be a three-strikes rule against pure discovery learning? The case for guided methods of instruction”. American Psychologist, vol. 59, pp.14–19, 2004.

Kirschner, P.A., Sweller, J., Clark, R.E., “Why Minimal Guidance During Instruction Does Not Work: An Analysis of the Failure of Constructivist, Discovery, Problem-Based, Experiential, and Inquiry-Based Teaching”. Educational Psychologist, vol. 41, no. 2, pp.75–86, 2006. http://projects.ict.usc.edu/itgs/papers/Constructivism_KirschnerEtAl_EP_06.pdf DOI: 10.1207/s15326985ep4102_1

Clark, R.E., “When teaching kills learning: Research on mathematics”. In H. N. Mandl, N. Bennett, E. de Corte, & H. F. Friedrich (Eds.), Learning and instruction: European research in an international context, vol. II. Pergamon, London, 1989.

Panzavolta, S., Lotti, P., “Serious Games and Inclusion”. SENNet Annual Report on Innovation no. 2. EUN, Brussels, 2013.

Salen, K., Zimmerman, E., “ Rules of Play, Game Design Fundamentals”. MIT Press, Cambridge MA, 2004.

Dormans, J., “Engineering emergence, Applied theory for game design”. Thesis, 2012. Available at http://www.illc.uva.nl/Research/Publications/Dissertations/DS-2012-12.text.pdf

Juul, J., “The Open and the Closed: Games of Emergence and Games of Progression”. In F. Mäyrä (Ed.), Proceedings of Computer Games and Digital Cultures Conference, Tampere Finland, pp. 323–329, 2002.

Bandura, A., “Social Learning Theory”. General Learning Press, New York, 1977.

Lave, J., Wenger, E., “Situated Learning. Legitimate peripheral participation", University of Cambridge Press, Cambridge, 1991. DOI. 10.1017/CBO9780511815355

Fawcett, L.M., Garton, A.F., “The effect of peer collaboration on children’s problem-solving ability”. British Journal of Educational Psychology, vol. 75, no. 2, pp.157-169, 2005.

John-Steiner, V., Mahn, H., “Sociocultural approaches to learning and development: A Vyotskian framework”. Educational Psychologist, vol. 31, no. 3/4, pp.191-206, 1996. DOI: 10.1348/000709904X23411

Smith, R.O., “Working with difference in online collaborative groups”. Adult Education Quarterly, vol. 55,no. 3, pp.182-199, 2005. DOI: 10.1177/0741713605274627

Salomon, G., Globerson, T., “When teams do not function the way they ought to”. International Journal of Educational Research, vol. 13, no. 1, pp.89-99, 1989. DOI: 10.1016/0883-0355(89)90018-9

Choi, Y., Rupp, A.A., Gushta, M., “An investigation of a novel analytic method for learning progressions in epistemic games”. Presented at the annual meeting of the National Council for Measurement in Education (NCME), Denver, CO., 2010

Shaffer, D.W., “Epistemic frames for epistemic games”. Computers and Education, vol. 46, no. 3, pp.223-234, 2006.

Johnson, D., Johnson, R., “Learning together and alone: cooperative, competitive, and individualistic learning”. Allyn and Bacon, Boston, 1999.

Romero, M., Usart, M., Ott, M., Earp, J., “Learning through playing for or against each other? Promoting collaborative learning in digital game-based learning”. Proceedings of the European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS) 2012, paper 93. http://aisel.aisnet.org/ecis2012/93

Nova, N., Wehrle, T., Goslin, J., Bourquin, Y., Dillenbourg, P., “Collaboration in a multi-user game: impacts of an awareness tool on mutual modelling”. Multimedia Tools Applications, vol. 32, pp.161-183, 2007. DOI: 10.1007/s11042-006-0065-8

Cress, U., Kimmerle, J., “A theoretical framework of collaborative knowledge building with wikis – a systemic and cognitive perspective”. Paper presented at the 7th International Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning Conference, July 16-21, 2007, New Brunswick NJ, USA.

Kiili, K., “Foundation for Problem-Based Gaming”. British Journal of Educational Technology, vol. 38, no. 3, pp. 394–404, 2007. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8535.2007.00704.x

Korteling, J.E., Helsdingen, A.S., Sluimer, R.R., van Emmerik, M.L., Kappé, B., “Transfer of Gaming: transfer of training in serious gaming”. TNO report TNO-DV 2011 B142, Soesterberg, TNO, 2011. Retrieved from http://files.goc.nl/files/pdf/Gaming/2011%20Gaming%20transfer_gaming.pdf

Egenfeldt-Nielsen, S.. “Overview of research on the educational use of video games”. Digital Kompetanse, vol. 3, no 1, pp.184–213, 2006.

Van Eck, R., “The Effect of Advisement and Competition on Transfer, Advisor Use, and Attitude toward Mathematics Using a Computer-Based Simulation Game”. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 24-28, 2000). Available online: http://www.eric.ed.gov/contentdelivery/servlet/ERICServlet?accno=ED441668

Curtis, D., Lawson, M., “Computer adventure games as problem-solving environments”. International Education Journal, vol. 3, no. 4, pp.43–56, 2002.

Ke, F., “A qualitative meta-analysis of computer games as learning tools”. In R. E. Furdig (Ed.), Handbook of Research on Effective Electronic Gaming in Education (pp.1–32), IGI Global, New York, 2009. DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-808-6.ch001

Lederman, L.C., Fumitoshi, K., “Debriefing the debriefing process: A new look”. In D. Crookall & K. Arai (Eds.), Simulation and gaming across disciplines and cultures. Sage Publications, London, 1995.

Crookall, D., “Serious Games, Debriefing, and Simulation/Gaming as a Discipline”. Simulation & Gaming, vol. 41, no. 6, pp.898 –920, 2010. DOI: 10.1177/1046878110390784

Tapscott, D., “Growing up digital: the rise of the Net generation”. McGraw-Hill, New York, 1998. DOI: 10.1108/jea.2000.38.3.299.1

Howe, N., Strauss, W., “Millennials rising: the next great generation”. Vintage, New York, 2000. DOI: 10.1108/jcm.2002.19.3.282.4

Bennett, S., Maton, K., Kervin, L., “The ‘digital natives’ debate: A critical review of the evidence”. British Journal of Educational Technology, vol. 39, no. 5, pp.775-786, 2008. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8535.2007.00793.x

Tapscott, D., “Grown up digital”. McGraw-Hill, New York, 2009.

Small, G., Vorgan, G., “iBrain”. HarperCollins, New York, 2008. DOI: 10.1038/scientificamericanmind1008-42

Choudhury, S., McKinney, K.A., “Digital media, the developing brain and the interpretive plasticity of neuroplasticity”. Transcultural Psychiatry, vol. 50, no. 2, pp.192–215. DOI: 10.1177/1363461512474623

Owston , R.D.. “Digital Immersion, Teacher Learning, and Games Comments on Greenhow, Robelia, and Hughes”. Educational Researcher, vol. 38, pp.270-273. DOI: 10.3102/0013189X09336673

Kirschner, P.A., Van Merriënboer, J.G., “Do Learners Really Know Best? Urban Legends in Education”. Educational Psychologist, vol. 48, no. 3, pp.169-183, 2013. DOI:10.1080/00461520.2013.804395

Bekebrede, G., Warmelink, H.J.G., Mayer, I.S., “Reviewing the need for gaming in education to accommodate the net generation”. Computers and Education, vol. 57, pp.1521–1529, 2011.

Fanelli, D., “’Positive’ Results Increase Down the Hierarchy of the Sciences”. PLoS ONE vol. 5, no. 4, 2009: e10068, 1-10. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0010068

Peplow, M., “Social sciences suffer from severe publication bias”. Nature, August, 2014. online article available at http://www.nature.com/news/social-sciences-suffer-from-severe-publication-bias-1.15787

Linehan, C., Kirman, B., Lawson, S., Chan, G., “Practical, appropriate, empirically-validated guidelines for designing educational games”. In: 2011 ACM Annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, May 7-12, 2011, Vancouver, Canada. DOI: 10.1145/1978942.1979229

Franke, R.H., Kaul, J.D., “The Hawthorne experiments: First statistical interpretation”. American Sociological Review vol. 43, pp.623-643, 1978.

Kulik, J.A., Bangert, R.L., Williams, G.W., “Effects of computer-based teaching on secondary school students”. Journal of Educational Psychology, vol. 75, no. 1, pp.19-26, 1983. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-0663.75.1.19

Clark, R.E., “Learning from media. Arguments, Analysis, and Evidence”. Information Age Publishing, Greenwich CO, 2001.

Shaver, J.P. “The verification of independent variables in teaching methods research”. Educational Researcher, vol. 12, no. 8, pp.3-9, 1983. DOI: 10.3102/0013189X012008003

Lew, M.J., “To P or not to P: On the evidential nature of P-values and their place in scientific inference”. arXiv:1311.0081 [stat.ME], 2013. Retrieved from http://arxiv.org/abs/1311.0081

Johnson, V.E., “Revised standards for statistical evidence”. PNAS, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences vol. 110, no. 48, pp.19313–19317, 2013. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1313476110. Available online at http://www.pnas.org/content/110/48/19313

Gelman, A., “P-values and statistical practice”. Epidemiology, vol. 24, no. 1, pp.69-72, 2013. DOI: 10.1097/EDE.0b013e31827886f7




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17083/ijsg.v2i2.58

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.





Serious Games Society


Creative Commons LicenseThe International Journal of Serious Games (IJSG) by Serious Games Society is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.