Motivationally Appealing Computer Science e-Learning Games: An Inclusive Design Approach
Keywords:Motivationally appealing, e-Learning games, Digital entertainment games, Educational game framework, Gender and games
Research has shown that e-learning games do not have the same level of appeal to girls, as they do to boys; particularly in the crucial 11-14 age group. In the United Kingdom, this is typically when they start to make subject choices that impact their future studies and careers. Given the shortage of females who choose computer science as a career, this study explores how e-learning games can be designed to be motivationally appealing to young learners. It further explores the role of game representations and its appeal to this age group. This empirical study addresses the research question: “Can we develop e-learning games which appeal and motivate girls of age 11-14 to study computer science concepts?” Two e-learning games were developed: one included game representations such as game colour, graphics, character, age appropriateness, storyline, number of players, violence, identified as appealing to young females and the other game included antithetical or neutral representations. The two developed prototypes were used to explore key e-learning game representations as used to teach computer science concepts. A total of 304 participants, comprising of 152 girls and 152 boys from a combination of same sex and mixed secondary schools in Southeast England, engaged with both experimental games. The experiment also elicited information on how learners interact with these games and the resulting game appeal, motivation and learning. The insight gained from the analysis of data captured during the experiments, provide the evidence to demonstrate that inclusive e-learning games which motivate and appeal to girls of age 11-14 can be developed. This can have a positive influence on their willingness to use such games to learn computer science concepts. This implies that the study found positive outcomes related to e-learning game appeal, motivation and the learning of girls of this age group. A follow-up longitudinal study could investigate the impact of significant e-learning game representations that appeal to the target group. This could provide additional evidence on the changes in the appeal of the investigated significant game representations over time, due to the influence of other factors such as socio-economic and socio-cultural differences. This understanding can further enhance inclusive e-learning strategies to improve diversity in computer science education and consequently the career pipeline.
Copyright (c) 2023 Osemwegie Joseph Osunde, Liz Bacon, Lachlan Mackinnon
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Open Access Publishing
The Electronic Journal of e-Learning operates an Open Access Policy. This means that users can read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, is that authors control the integrity of their work, which should be properly acknowledged and cited.