Mobile Gaming Environment: Learning and Motivational Effects

Mobile Gaming Environment: Learning and Motivational Effects

Namsoo Shin (University of Michigan, USA), Cathleen Norris (University of North Texas, USA) and Elliot Soloway (University of Michigan, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-495-0.ch022


This study was conducted to investigate the relationship of students’ attitude toward mathematics, attitude toward a game, gaming performance, gender, and ethnicity as they relate to learning in an educational gaming environment. During the four-month instructional period, fifty 2nd grade students from three classes used a mobile game. This study used a non-experimental, correlational analysis of the predictors of student performance in mathematics. Overall results showed that the performance of mobile gaming and attitude toward mathematics influence the learning of arithmetic skills regardless of gender and ethnic background. On the basis of these findings, the literature on games, and learning theories, this chapter discusses issues related to design, implementation, and research in order to develop effective mobile game-based learning environments.
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Game Features

Essential features in a game environment are rules/goals (de Felix & Johnston, 1993), learner control (Gredler, 1996; Thornton & Cleveland, 1990), challenge tasks (Malone, 1981; Baranauskas, Neto, & Borges, 1999), and no real-world consequences (Crookall, Oxford, & Saunders 1987; Thomas & Macredie, 1994). The following section describes each game feature and how the feature influences learning processes.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Learning Goals: A set of ideas for learners to study and be held accountable for understanding.

Individual Differences: Individuals follow different paths as they progress toward expert understanding because they learn differently based on their gender, ethnicity, learning styles, previous knowledge and experience with content, strategies, and technology.

Motivation: Is a self-determined behavior to engage in and to devote a persistent effort at a particular activity

Mobile Technology: Such as Plam PilotsTM, Pocket PCTM, and GameBoyTM, is a technology devise with small size that makes it easy to handle.

Individualized Learning Environment: allows students to select their own learning paths based on their prior knowledge and learning progress.

Active Engagement: An interaction with a learning environment that allows students to progress toward more expert performance.

Learner Control: Is defined as players being able to regulate, direct, or command learning activities based on their learning styles, strategies, previous experience, and other factors.

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