An Experiment in Game-Based Learning at Karlstad University

Posted on: January 18th, 2015 by tdc_user
An Experiment in Game-Based Learning at Karlstad University – this post includes the abstract as well as a link to the complete article. After many years of creating and testing learning games on friends, family, and students, I finally ran some controlled experiments on students while serving as a media instructor at Karlstad University in 2011. Following is the abstract from this test. The experiment and results can be found as a complete PDF here. Abstract Enriched environments have been shown to cause positive physical changes in the brains of rats. Even studies involving humans have demonstrated that the brain can grow and adapt to new learning stimuli. For learning stimuli to be effective in restructuring the brain, it needs to be intense and engaging. It makes sense to apply this idea of richer environment to the classroom, so that students can benefit from enhanced learning. Game-based learning is a powerful enrichment tool for the classroom. It is engaging, intense, competitive, visual, auditory, and immersive. The research indicates that games are useful tools for learning, and thus for enriching the classroom. To measure the effectiveness of game-based learning, a pilot experiment was conducted during the spring of 2011 at Karlstad University. An experimental group and a control group were subjected to three separate pre-test and post-test activities, with a period of study in-between each pre-test and post-test. The experimental group had access to game-based learning for their study time, and the control group had traditional media (text) as their study tool. Pre-test and post-test scores in all three tests indicated the experimental group, using game-based learning, learned more than the control group, using traditional media. In test 1, the experimental group showed an improvement of 104% (as compared to 44% for the control group). In test 2, the experimental group showed an improvement of 47% (as compared to 27% for the control group). And in test 3, the experimental group showed an improvement of 52% (as compared to 16% for the control group).

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