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The Effects of Using the Social Elements of Competition and Cooperation in a Transformational Play-based Educational Video Game
College: Education
Specimen Elements
Unknown to Unknown
Luke Erickson
Idaho State University
City: Pocatello
The purpose of this study was to explore the educational outcomes of four different methods of instruction: a traditional slideshow control group, and an educational video game played either individually, competitively in small groups, or cooperatively in small groups. The instructional tool of interest was an educational video game designed to teach a personal finance lesson on credit scores. The game was designed using a basic ADDIE model and was informed by an instructional design framework called transformational play. The research questions that guided this study focused on the differences in performance, engagement, or attitude that might result from playing the game in competitive or cooperative contexts. The participants in the study consisted of traditional extension and outreach audiences associated with a land-grant university located in the intermountain west. The results of this study indicated that, with one exception, there were no significant differences in outcomes between the four different methods of instruction. No differences in engagement or attitude were found among the four groups, and there were no differences in performance among three of the groups. The exception was the finding that the participants who learned in the traditional slideshow setting scored higher on a post-test performance assessment than those who played the educational video game competitively. Possible interpretations of this finding are discussed. This study and its findings are important because they add to the literature about learning through video games and in competitive and cooperative contexts. Specifically, much of the literature indicates that competition or cooperation in nearly any form might lead to improved educational outcomes. However, the results of this study indicate that when using a precisely defined form of competition and cooperation in learning contexts, better educational outcomes are not a given. The broad interpretations of this study are that educational outcomes of using educational video games may not vary greatly based on social context when using more precise definitions of competition and cooperation. This may afford educators the freedom to choose among different social structures when using educational video games. And finally, while the instructional framework of transformational play still holds promise, future research must be carefully designed in order to determine the circumstances under which it is effective. Key Words: transformational play, cooperation, competition, video games, education

The Effects of Using the Social Elements of Competition and Cooperation in a Transformational Play-based Educational Video Game

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Version | beta | 6 April 2016

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