This chapter reviews some of the key research supporting the use of serious games for training in work contexts. The review indicates why serious games should be used to support training requirements, and in particular identifies “attitudinal change” in training as a key objective for deployment of serious games demonstrators. The chapter outlines a development approach for serious games and how it is being evaluated. Demonstrating this, the chapter proposes a game-based learning approach that integrates the use of a “four-dimensional framework”, outlines some key games principles, presents tools and techniques for supporting data collection and analysis, and considers a six-stage development process. The approach is then outlined in relation to a serious game for clinical staff concerned with infection control in hospitals and ambulances, which is being developed in a current research and development project. Survey findings from the target user group are presented and the use of tools and techniques explained in the context of the development process. The chapter proposes areas for future work and concludes that it is essential to use a specific development approach for supporting consistent game design, evaluation and efficacy for particular user groups.
Attitudinal Instruction And Serious Games
Why should serious games – or game-based learning – be considered as a suitable learning media and learning method to support attitudinal change? In this section, we define what we mean by attitude and briefly discuss instructional design for attitude change. We will look at the research evidence that games can be effective at changing attitude and discuss the game characteristics that are relevant to attitude change.
Attitudes are learned or established predispositions to respond to some object (Zimbardo & Leippe, 1991). They are evaluations of a person, behaviour, or event along a continuum of like-to-dislike. An attitude can be considered as containing affective, cognitive, and behavioural components. For example, a positive attitude towards a nutritional need could be described by a feeling of hunger that is closely followed by the thought that ‘I am hungry, I should eat some food’, that leads to the action of preparing and eating some food. Kamradt & Kamradt (1999) have created a useful representation of the components of an attitude (Figure 1).
Components of an attitude: example of a positive attitude to a nutritional need