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Validating Games for use in Research

4 replies [Last post]
Joined: 10/23/2008

Hi fellow game designers,
Can someone help me out with this situation.
I'm keen to have a game validated for use in research.
A final-year student of mine intends to use a game which she and her fellow interns had designed to teach psychology to 1st year students. She would like to use that game to test her hypothesis that games (such as this) can be used to increase motivation to learn. This is something that has been rather controversial as either side has its supporters, hence resulting in the nay-sayers shying away from using games in the classroom for the simple argument that very little research (or none that they are aware of) has been done to proof in quantifiable terms (read: statistically significant) this idea.

The plan is to use John Keller’s ARCS Model of Motivational Design, specifies 4 steps in promoting and sustaining motivation in the learning process: Attention, Relevance, Confidence, Satisfaction (ARCS).

I would really appreciate if someone could help me out with some suggestions on validating the game which they have produced before they actually use it to test their hypothesis.

Currently, our ideas for validation are:

1. conduct a pilot - select about 100 participants - play the game - then administer a questionnaire among the participants using the either a self-designed questionnaire or the ARCS t to gauge motivation levels

2. then conduct the cronbach-alpha statistical procedure using SPSS on the results

I welcome any comments or suggestions

benshelmars's picture
Joined: 10/03/2008
Games as learning tools

There are many articles on the subject, here is one

The medium upon which the game is delivered or expressed should be tailored to the type of skills desired.
Examples: Desired skill; Hand eye coordination. Medium; Physical Sports, Computer or console, etc.

As for your testing on your hypothesis, I believe you will need two groups, one the will learn the subject in the traditional method and one for your gaming method, then compare the results.

Joined: 08/04/2008
Try talking to Scott on the subject

If I recall Scott from does work to have games teaching social skills etc. I don't know if I'm remembering correctly but I believe he posted on boardgamegeek about using games in the class rooms to teach different subjects before. Perhaps some of his research will aid you.
He might be able to really help out with what you are doing and would probably into it as well.

Joined: 10/23/2008
Thanks Ben

Appreciate the suggestion Ben. Will check it out. And yes, we do plan to have 2 grps - a treatment grp and a control grp.

Joined: 10/23/2008
Thanks Kodarr

I never thought of talking to Scott on that, but will definitely take up your suggestion on that. Thanks again for your reply.

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