Gaming the Classroom Viewing Learning Through the Lens Self Determination Theory

Gaming the Classroom Viewing Learning Through the Lens Self Determination Theory

Antonia Szymanski (Indiana University Northwest, Valparaiso, IN, USA) and Matthew Benus (Indiana University Northwest, Gary, IN, USA)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/IJGBL.2015070105
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Abstract

Educators, designers and curriculum creators are interested in developing educational experiences that replicate the fun aspect of video games to increase student intrinsic motivation. This aspect, which compels players to engage with the game and persist despite failing, has the potential to increase student academic success. Researchers used mixed-methods to investigate the results of an instructional design that attempted to replicate the fun aspect of video games in a remedial algebra class. The study offered insight on the ways in which student motivation might be better developed and refined in educational settings using game-based approaches. Results indicated that some students enjoyed the freedom of choosing their own quests to complete while others felt lost in the new environment. It is important to game and instructional designers to scaffold the transition from traditional classroom to a game-based classroom.
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Background

Algebra is widely thought of as a gatekeeper to higher education (Johnson, 2010; U.S. Department of Education, 2008). The earlier that students successfully complete algebra, the greater the probability that they will engage in more challenging mathematics curricula at later points along the educational pipeline (U.S. Department of Education, 2008). Algebra differs from typical elementary mathematics courses; it moves from concrete arithmetic algorithms to more abstract and logical functions, a process that represents a dramatic shift in thinking. A specific area of algebra, learning to graph linear equations, has been found to produce significant difficulties for students (Cavanaugh, Gillian, Bosnick, & Hess, 2008). Graphically representing and interpreting concrete mathematical formulas involves more abstract reasoning than previously learned arithmetic concepts. Inattentiveness to students’ developmental readiness and insufficient conceptual and interactive approaches may compromise students’ learning. (Geist, 2010). Learning to think abstractly often requires instructional scaffolding to maintain motivation and persistence.

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