Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

The Comparison of Solitary and Collaborative Modes of Game-Based Learning on Students' Science Learning and Motivation

Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

The Comparison of Solitary and Collaborative Modes of Game-Based Learning on Students' Science Learning and Motivation

Article excerpt

Introduction

The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) reported that students' attitudes toward and literacy levels in science decreased tremendously over recent decades. Science educators and researchers have called attention to the need to promote knowledge of what it means to do science rather than rote memorization to solve science problems. Thus, it is critical for science learning to be a meaningful and engaging experience so that students can easily draw connections between conceptual changes in science learning and theoretical changes in the science community. With advances in modern technology and the need to engage students in knowledge inquiry, educational games as tutor, tool, and tutee have increasingly been used as cognitive tools to support science learning. As a result, the guidelines on the effective use of educational games to promote individual knowledge construction and development of social skills such as communication and collaboration have been suggested by the researchers (e.g., Gee, 2003; Li & Tsai, 2013; Prensky, 2001). However, the desired motivational outcomes and learning gains does not occur naturally while playing games (Gros, 2007; Virvous, Katsionis, & Manos, 2005; Salen, 2007). Given the increasing popularity of using games for instructional purposes, researchers have sought to identify factors within instructional settings that can maximize the effectiveness of this instructional medium (Dickey, 2006; Gedik, Hanci- Karademirci, Kursun, & Cagiltay, 2012; Villalta et al., 2011; Wolfe, 2001). To better understand the instructional settings that can make contribution on the game-based learning, this study aims to investigate the effects of solitary and collaborative modes of game-based learning on students' science learning and motivation. In the next section, we focus on research within the context of game-based learning and computer-supported collaborative learning. Following this, we conduct an evaluation methodology at the level of secondary education. In the final section, we analyze and discuss the obtained assessment results with regard to the posed research questions.

Literature review

Game-based learning (GBL)

The use of computer games has continually increased in educational settings. As advanced technology, games have transformed pedagogical strategies about learning and teaching (van Eck, 2006). Games are considered useful instruments for learning specific strategies and for acquiring knowledge. Games can also be used to learn particular content, and they may leave an impression on the learners (de Freitas, 2006; Rieber & Noah, 2008; Ting, 2010). In recent decades, the integration of games as educational tools has been studied at the primary, secondary, and college levels (e.g., Annetta, Minogue, Holmes, & Cheng, 2009; Gros, 2007; Huizenga et al., 2009; Papastergiou, 2009; Watson, Mong, & Harris, 2011) and has been applied in different disciplines, such as mathematics (Lee & Chen, 2009), biology and genetics (Annetta et al., 2009), history (Watson et al., 2011), and social sciences (Cuenca & Martin, 2010), to effectively achieve various educational goals. More recently, the use of ubiquitous educational games that are wirelessly networked has become an emerging teaching strategy in educational settings. Huizenga and her colleagues (2009) found that students who played mobile games attained higher scores on a knowledge test than those who received a series of regular project-based lessons.

Game-based learning (GBL) offers numerous advantages and benefits that can contribute to a variety of learning outcomes (e.g., Dickey, 2007; Gros, 2007; Huizenga, Admiraal, Akkerman, & Dam, 2009). For example, GBL better mimics real-life situations and teaches learners how to directly apply knowledge and how to address real-life problems they may encounter (Chang, Wu, Weng, & Sung, 2012; Lee & Chen, 2009; Mandinach & Corno, 1985; Yang, 2012). …

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