Academic journal article Journal of Interactive Learning Research

The Effect of Online Gaming, Cognition and Feedback Type in Facilitating Delayed Achievement of Different Learning Objectives

Academic journal article Journal of Interactive Learning Research

The Effect of Online Gaming, Cognition and Feedback Type in Facilitating Delayed Achievement of Different Learning Objectives

Article excerpt

Online and computer-based instructional gaming is becoming a viable instructional strategy at all levels of education. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of (a) gaming, (b) gaming plus embedded questions, and (c) gaming plus questions plus feedback on delayed retention of different types of educational objectives for students identified as field dependent/field independent. Four hundred twenty-two students received the Group Embedded Figures Test, were separated into field dependent and field independent learners, and were randomly assigned to four instructional treatments. Two weeks after receiving their respective instructional presentation they received four criterion tests measuring different educational objectives. ANOVA and follow-up tests indicated that gaming is an important instructional strategy for facilitating delayed achievement of specific types of educational objectives; however, all types of gaming formats were not found to be equally effective. Statistically insignificant interactions were found to exist between level of field dependence and treatment type on all criterion measures; however, field independent students significantly outperformed field dependent students on all criterion measures.




The field of instructional technology has experienced dramatic growth in the research and development of multimedia learning environments. This growth has been especially pronounced in computer based and web based learning environments (Jonassen, 1988; Marsh & Kumar, 1992; Rieber, 1996; Yoder, 1994). A number of researchers have indicated that gaming motivates learners (Keller, 1987; Malone, 1980, 1981; Thiagarajan, 1976). The motivation generated in competitive gaming may translate into increased achievement of the content (Laveault & St. Germain, 1997). Gaming also provides a rehearsal dimension and is capable of delivering various forms of feedback essential in sustaining motivation. Feedback guides the learning process and provides students with a sense of satisfaction and/or accomplishment. Satisfaction can result from extrinsic or intrinsic factors.

An instructional game can be defined as any training format that involves competition and is rule-guided (Jones, 1987). A well-designed instructional game must develop confidence in success by generating positive expectancies (Jonassen, 1988; Keller, 1979). Research on gaming (Molcho, 1988; Pierfy, 1977) has provided evidence that instructional games can promote retention and the ability to transfer knowledge to new domains. Instructional games are attractive to learners because they offer a simple and creative means of providing high-level motivation, clear and consistent goals, and sustained interactivity.

Gaming as an instructional variable may be analyzed as methods of rehearsal by facilitating the organization and retention of content (Dwyer & Dwyer, 1985; Orbach, 1979). The theory of intrinsic motivation (Malone, 1981) is by far the dominant source of support for instructional gaming. Research has provided evidence that instructional gaming has the intrinsic ability to develop the learners' confidence in determining their own destiny. Additional research has shown that as the learner's self-concept improves, cognitive learning also increases (Coleman, 1967; Olliphant, 1990). The competition inherent in instructional games and the proper use of feedback needs to convey the relevance of the game to the learner (Jonassen, 1988; Malone, 1981). This theory suggests that intrinsic motivation in an instructional gaming context is comprised of an optimal relationship between fantasy, challenge, curiosity, and control (Malone, 1981; Malone & Lepper, 1987). Additional research has provided evidence that instructional games provide opportunities for repeated responses to specific information that improves delayed retention by focusing attention and facilitating the encoding of information into long term memory (Anderson & Biddle, 1975; Anderson & Faust, 1973; Andre, 1979, 1987; Hamaker, 1986). …

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