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Can video games or their features be used to improve learning and motivation?

Murphy, James A. (2005) Can video games or their features be used to improve learning and motivation? Masters thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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Abstract

The subject of this dissertation was to identify what features of games can be used to improve motivation and learning in a training situation. In order to determine if the use of games as an intervention in a training situation would have any influence, a small scale experiment was set up to test this hypothesis.

The experiment consisted of providing one random sample group of trainees with the facility to play a commercially available video game which would allow them to use skills and knowledge associated with the operation of an All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) in a virtual but safe environment. Another random sample group was provided with a Web Based Training input which detailed the specific objectives and task manoeuvres required to operate an All Terrain Vehicle (ATV). In each case, the training interventions formed part of an overall training programme which was intended to achieve the desired result of training, assessment and certification licensing of ATV operators for ESB Networks.

A third sample group of game players was surveyed to determine the most and least satisfactory aspects of computer and video games.

The methodology selected was primarily research of relevant literature, the use of a semistructured interview schedule to gather information on the personal profiles, general IT skills and exposure to computer and video games, surveys from a game player sample group, the recording of test results and the observation of the course participants during practice sessions. The information gathered was both specific and measurable as the questions posed during the semi-structured interviews and surveys as well as the assessment items observed during practice sessions were constructed in a manner so as to provide both qualitative and quantitative data for this research dissertation. The software application Statistical Analysis for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to input and analyses the data.

Findings from the research and from the use of both the Video Game and Web Based Training input in the ATV Operator's Training Course indicated that there are less faults recorded in the observation and control skills areas demonstrated during practice by the sample group that played the video game, but that the results were not statistically significant.

However, analysis has shown that there is a significant difference in the level of motivational effect displayed as a result of each intervention on the sample groups, with the video game having a much more positive influence on the motivation levels of the ATV Operator Training Course participants.

The findings of this dissertation would indicate a positive role for the use of games as part of the training intervention and that their use can clearly influence both the motivation and learning outcomes for course participants.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > Games and Amusements > Computer Games. Video Games.
L Education > LC Special aspects / Types of education > E-Learning
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management > Human Resource Management > Training and Development
Divisions: School of Computing > Master of Science in Learning Technologies
Depositing User: SINEAD CORCORAN
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2010 09:48
Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:45
URI: http://trap.ncirl.ie/id/eprint/250

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