The influence of the level of free-choice learning activities on the use of an educational computer game

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    Abstract

    Employing a mixed-method explorative approach, this study examined the in situ use of and opinions about an educational computer game for learning English introduced in three schools offering different levels of freedom to choose school activities. The results indicated that the general behaviour of the children with the game was very different for each of the schools while there were no significant differences in subjective opinions or previous computer game experience as measured with a questionnaire. The gaming records and interviews informed that children do enjoy playing the game in comparison with other formal learning activities, but appreciate it less as a leisure-time activity. Furthermore it appears that children used to teacher-initiated activities tend to depend on their teacher’s directions for how and when to play. The study highlights the level of choice as one of the important aspects to consider when introducing a game in the classroom. The study also points out some suggestions for the design of educational games, such as providing communication possibilities between players and integrating fast-paced motor-skill based games with learning content in a meaningful way.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)80-90
    Number of pages11
    JournalComputers and Education
    Volume56
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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