Investigating the role of purposeful goals on novices' engagement in a programming game

Michael J. Lee, Andrew J. Ko

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Engagement is a necessary condition for learning, and previous studies have shown that engagement can be significantly affected by changing the presentation of game elements within an educational game. In a three condition controlled experiment, we examined how changing the presentation of the data elements referred to in a game's goals would influence the purposefulness of the goals and thereby affect players' motivation to achieve them. A total of 121 self-described programming novices were recruited online to play the game. We found that 1) those using vertebrate elements completed twice the number of levels compared to those using inanimate elements, 2) those using vertebrate and invertebrate elements spent significantly more time playing the game overall compared to those using inanimate elements, and 3) those using inanimate elements were more likely to quit the game, especially on difficult levels. These findings suggest that the presentation of game elements that influence the purposefulness of goals can play a significant role in keeping self-guided learners engaged in learning tasks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2012 IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing, VL/HCC 2012
Pages163-166
Number of pages4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event2012 IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing, VL/HCC 2012 - Innsbruck, Austria
Duration: Sep 30 2012Oct 4 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings of IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing, VL/HCC
ISSN (Print)1943-6092
ISSN (Electronic)1943-6106

Other

Other2012 IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing, VL/HCC 2012
CountryAustria
CityInnsbruck
Period9/30/1210/4/12

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Software

Keywords

  • Programming
  • education
  • engagement
  • games

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