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Journal Article

Motivating Factors and Tangential Learning for Knowledge Acquisition in Educational Games  pp343-354

Peter Mozelius, Andreas Fagerström, Max Söderquist

© Aug 2017 Volume 15 Issue 4, Editor: Elizabeth Boyle and Thomas Connolly, pp281 - 366

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Abstract

Game‑based learning has been a strong emerging trend in the 21st century, but several research studies on game‑based learning reports that the educational potential of games has not been fully realised. Many educational games do not combine learning outcomes with entertaining gameplay. At the same time as there is a tendency to digitise and personalise education by the use of digital games, there still exists a lack of knowledge about efficient educational game design. To identify design factors that are important for players' learning motivation this study has analysed three popular entertainment games that were selected for their educational values. The aim of the study is to explore, analyse and discuss, if and how motivating factors and intrinsic integration of knowledge in educational games might be related to players' perceived knowledge acquisition. Test players with experience of the selected digital games were recruited from online gaming forums where a questionnaire also was used to collect data. Lepper's and Malone's set of heuristics for intrinsic motivation in interactive learning environments were used in a combination with Habgood's and Ainsworth's theory of intrinsic integration to examine the relationship between these factors in the educational games. Beside the direct acquisition of knowledge from gaming there was also an analysis of the concept of tangential learning. Results from a t‑test showed that tangential learning was significantly more important for two of the tested games. Correlation analysis revealed several relationships between factors, where intrinsic integration was pointed out as particularly interesting for knowledge acquisition and tangential learning. Results showed weak or no relationships for Lepper and Malone factors, but with some tendencies for control, imagination and competition.

 

Keywords: Educational games, Intrinsic integration, Tangential learning, Game-based learning, Learning motivation

 

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