Gamified Assessment Supported by a Dynamic 3D Collaborative Game

Gamified Assessment Supported by a Dynamic 3D Collaborative Game

Apostolos Mavridis, Thrasyvoulos Tsiatsos, Michalis Chatzakis, Konstantinos Kitsikoudis, Efthymios Lazarou
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/ijgbl.2015040103
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This study examined whether a 3D collaborative gave can be used as a midterm examination method and investigated the impact of this game on students' attitude towards collaboration. A total of 89 students and one coordinating professor participated in this study. The intervention lasted five weeks and took place in a computer science department. The game that was used as a treatment was dynamic and therefore the educator was able to customize its content for the examinations using an administration panel. A mixed method of quantitative and qualitative data collection was used. The results indicated that there was a statistically significant correlation between the performance of the students on the game and their performance on the final paper-based examination. However, there was no statistically significant difference between the attitude of the students towards collaboration before and after the use of the game.
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The use of computer games in areas beyond entertainment is continuous. This is due to the fact that games have infiltrated our daily lives, whether they are played on a computer or on a portable device or even on TV. Computer games hold a strong position in our society (Oblinger, 2004). They are particularly likeable to young people who spend considerable time playing them at home (Downes, 1999; Harris, 1999; Mumtaz, 2001). By playing games, people acquire knowledge and skills like critical thinking and problem solving abilities (McFarlane, Sparrowhawk, & Heald, 2002).

The benefits of learning through games are too many (Mann et al., 2002) and they are much closer to realistic situations than the traditional educational means (Ebner & Holzinger, 2007). Some of the advantages of games are that they are new, attractive, they create better atmosphere and they keep the learner focused on the task that needs to be done (Heinich, Molenda, Russell, & Smaldino, 2002), so they can become a good suggestion for educational purposes.

Through educational games the learner is at the center of interest making the whole process more interesting, easier and more effective (Cheng & Su, 2012). Digital educational games are the means that can cause cognitive changes to learners (Erhel & Jamet, 2013). For that reason, many researchers agree that digital educational games fulfill the requirements to be used in education (Connolly, Boyle, MacArthur, Hainey, & Boyle, 2012; Moreno & Mayer, 2007; Prensky, 2001; Rieber, 2005). Thus, through gamification the proper conditions can be created so that the student can try new things and is not afraid of losing or failing (Lee & Hammer, 2011). Moreover, the student will be engaged in the educational process (Su & Cheng, 2013b).

Nowadays 3D game-based learning comes to enrich the benefits and the advantages of game-based learning. As Freitas and Neumann (2009) stated, student engagement can therefore be much higher with virtual worlds than with other hybrid learning methods. Besides engagement, 3D game-based learning’s challenge and attractiveness can lead to learners' curiosity and immersion in a learning activity (Su & Cheng, 2013a). Moreover it increases student motivation for learning achievement. As Prasolova-Førland (2008) stated, 3D game-based learning can also lead to better conceptual demonstrations on complex scientific concepts, rich content engagement for learning and higher learning autonomy for students, as well as facilitating collaborations between physically remote students. Even though many argue that males are better at 3D games than females, Ke and Grabowski (2007) proved that gender does not have an impact on the learning achievement. Last but not least, a case study on teaching human computer interaction (Perera, Allison, Nicoll, & Sturgeon, 2009) has shown that at the end of the project, most students had constructed an interactive version of the shunting algorithm that worked correctly and had novel and engaging user interfaces.

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