The Study of Intention to Learn in Game-Based Learning With a Smartphone

The Study of Intention to Learn in Game-Based Learning With a Smartphone

I-Fan Liu (Center for General Education, Taipei Medical University, Taiwan)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/IJDET.2020070102


Fun games can generate a flow experience for players, and further increase their willingness to continue gameplay. However, an important issue that has long concerned educators and game developers is how to incorporate learning subjects into games and achieve the goal of learning through play. This study designed an English blockade-running game based on Greek and Roman mythology, and proposed a research model to predict future willingness of learners to use game-based learning with smartphones after flow experience. A total of 376 college students participated in this study. Data analysis revealed that the model achieved a good fit, and most hypotheses were supported. Finally, this study will further discuss and explain these phenomena in the educational setting, and also make suggestions for future development.
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1. Introduction

Along with recent advances in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and the maturation of 3G/4G wireless network technology, more and more users are using cloud applications (apps) that provide software as a service on their handheld mobile devices for purposes such as social interaction, media streaming, web browsing, business activities, or other purposes. For a large number of young students, very popular apps are recreational games, whose goal is to provide recreation and entertainment through gameplay (Rollings & Adams, 2003).

Smartphones are highly common and essential mobile devices for college students in Taiwan. However, many students spend most of their phone time on entertainment. For example, many students are attracted to popular mobile games, and some may even ignore their studies because they are immersed in gaming (Hong, Chiu, & Huang, 2012). In terms of parental attitudes toward mobile usage in children, many parents would prefer that their children do not obtain mobile phones at an overly young age. The main reason for this is due to worry that junior or high school students may become addicted to mobile games, which may cause their grades to slip and affect entry to good colleges (Chou, Chou, & Chen, 2016; Wu, Ko, Wong, Wu, Oei, 2016).

Taiwan is a non-English-speaking country which is highly focused on English as a Foreign Language (EFL). Since Taiwan became a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the government has implemented policies relating to EFL learning and the age for EFL studies has decreased, with English classes having now been added to elementary school curriculums (Chern, 2002). The goal is to help students understand the importance of English learning from an early age so that they can fit seamlessly into the international world and increase Taiwan’s national competitiveness. Even so, the overall English performance of Taiwanese students leaves much to be desired compared with other Asian countries (Fleischman, Hopstock, Pelczar, & Shelley, 2010).

When users are focused on a recreational event, such as playing games, watching movies, or reading novels, a virtual fantasy distinct from the real world is generated. Then, users will continue playing games to the end (Ronimus, Kujala, Tolvanen, & Lyytinen, 2014). This is a process also known as a flow experience. Game content and User Interface (UI) offer play critical roles in bringing users to this status (Lam et al., 2017; Lameras et al., 2017). Developer should consider how to strengthen the impact of flow experience on users when designing game content and user interface. Therefore, if a cyberspace environment can be created for learners to be immersed in English learning with mobile games, the related issues will be triggered and concerned by researchers and educators.

This study used educational gaming content and UI as a starting point to design an English learning environment that integrated game-based learning (GBL) with smartphones. Flow experience was generated while students were guided through mobile gameplay, and this study hopes that learners will continue to use this method to learn English in the future. According to above research context, this study also proposes a research model that can be used to verify whether the causal relationships between constructs are supported, and to predict learners’ intentions to adopt game-based learning with smartphones in the future. Finally, we provide further discussions and explanations of these phenomena in the educational setting according to our research results.

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