Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

Game-Based Remedial Instruction in Mastery Learning for Upper-Primary School Students

Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

Game-Based Remedial Instruction in Mastery Learning for Upper-Primary School Students

Article excerpt


The recent application of different multimedia, such as videos (Sedaghat, Mintz, & Wright, 2011) or digital games to the field of education to enhance learning is an important development (Hwang & Wu, 2012; Liu & Lin, 2009; Liu, 2011; Sancho, Moreno-Ger, Fuentes-Fernandez, & Fernandez-Manjon, 2009; Susaeta, Jimenez, Nussbaum, Gajardo, & Andreu et al., 2010). Digital games are a form of entertainment, and therefore an effective tool for motivating students to engage in learning activities (Prensky, 2003). Those studies indicated that games have great potential to motivate students to engage in the learning process than other media. Due to the characteristics, recently, more and more digital games have been applied into diverse disciplines, such as English (Liu & Chu, 2010), mathematics (Chang, Wu, Weng, & Sung, 2012), computer science (Papastergiou, 2009) and so on. Many studies have found that game-based learning is an effective way to enhance students' learning motivation and learning performance (Chuang & Chen, 2009; Virvou, Katsionis, & Manos, 2005). O'Neil, Wainess, and Baker (2005) indicated that the alignment between game design and instructional design has a great impact on the effectiveness of students' learning. Therefore, considering how to design the digital game to fit the need of learning activities is the keystone of game-based learning (Kebritchi & Hirumi, 2008).

In order to close the achievement gaps between high and low achieving students, it is important to consider how to help students with low achievement improve their learning performance. Scholars in the field of educational research have suggested that teachers should pay more and more attention to individual differences when teaching and providing remedial instruction for students with low achievement (Lo, Wang, & Yeh, 2004; Yang, 2010). In order to remedy the shortcoming of traditional teacher-centered instruction that ignores the need of students with low achievement, Bloom (1968) proposed the idea of mastery learning. Mastery learning is an instructional method which allows students to take their time to achieve the learning goals. In mastery learning, the learning content would be broken down into several small learning units, and only the students acquire the prerequisite knowledge or skills can move to the next learning unit. Some studies have shown that mastery learning can help teachers to diagnose students' weakness, and show positive effect on students' learning attitude (Changeiywo, Wambugu, & Wachanga, 2011) and learning performance (Wambugu & Changeiywo, 2008; Yildiran & Aydin, 2005). However, most of the studies integrated mastery learning in a formal classroom context (LeJeune, 2010; Marshall, 2009), and few studies discussed the effect of mastery learning on students' learning performance in a remedial instruction context. Therefore, in this study, we try to design a monopoly game based on mastery learning for remedial instruction, and further investigate the effect of the game on students' learning performance.

For the structure of the paper, the literature review about the relationship between educational games and remedial instruction as well as the role of mastery learning in remedial instruction was examined first. Following the section of literature review, the specific research questions were proposed. Second, the section of research methods was stated to investigate the effectiveness of the instructional video and the monopoly game on enhancing master learning. Furthermore, the section of game design section was presented to show the details of the learning content of monopoly game and the characteristics of the monopoly game for this study. Fourth, the section of results was shown to answer the research questions. Finally, conclusions and discussion were offered to highlight the contributions and significance of the study.

Literature review

Educational games and remedial instruction

Game-based instruction is an important method of learning. …

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