Evaluating Games in Classrooms: A Case Study with DOGeometry

Evaluating Games in Classrooms: A Case Study with DOGeometry

Günter Wallner, Simone Kriglstein, Johannes Biba
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2848-9.ch024
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Educational games have gained wide acceptance over the years and have found their way into many classrooms. Numerous evaluations of such games have been published, but mostly evaluations were carried out in controlled environments, with a small sample size or over a short period of time. However, the particular context where playing takes place has been established as a critical factor for game-based learning. Moreover, educational games are often considered as black box, measuring only input and output variables but neglecting the intermediate process. Many researchers have therefore argued that evaluations of educational games have to go beyond testing the learning outcomes only and should also show how and why it works. In this chapter the authors describe the evaluation of the game DOGeometry, which was carried out in a classroom environment over a four month period. They report the development process, the design of the evaluation, results, challenges, and problems faced.
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Literature Review

Game-based learning gained more and more acceptance over the years and games made their way into contemporary classrooms. Many educational games have been developed and their evaluations have been published in various conference proceedings, journals, and books. Sometimes the evaluations were carried out with small sample sizes or over a short period of time neglecting long-term benefits that may result from playing a game. Other cases studies were conducted in a controlled environment, neglecting the particular context for which the game is intended. However, as Defreitas and Oliver (2006) emphasize, context (e.g., classroom based, access to equipment, etc.) has been established as a critical factor for effective use of e-learning tools. Yet, to our best knowledge, there exist only few case studies on evaluating games in a school environment and all of them have been published in the last few years.

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