added 2 research items
Using videogames as a learning tool is not new and it has been shown to be effective in most cases; however the setting and environment in which these tools are used seems to have a great impact on the results. Using our own serious educational videogame, a study was conducted in a rural (low SES) school where students have limited access to computers and technology. The main objective was to assess if the involvement of students with videogames in rural schools could result in an increase in performance and such increase could be maintained. Results indicated that indeed there is an increase in performance and in most cases it is sustained. PROCEDURE AND SUBJECTS A new serious educational videogame, Cerebrex was developed in conjunction with Elemental Geeks, which consists of 12 minigames, each one of one minute duration and could be played indefinite times, the minigames focus on numeric, visuospatial, memory and rational areas. Cerebrex reached semifinals at the ECGBL (European Conference on Games Based Learning) in 2014. A rural school in Patzun, Guatemala was chosen for the study, since the school does not own a computer lab, simultaneous work and collaboration was held with the local municipality in order to have access to a public computer lab. An agreement was reached to allow the students to use their installations. The target audience was 6th year students, a total of 118 students participated in the experiment. All students took the general aptitude test Factorial Evaluation of the Intellectual Aptitudes (FEIA, Santamria, et. al, 2005) in order to measure their cognitive abilities in the numeric, visuospatial, memory, verbal and rational areas. After taking the test the students were taught how to use the game and given access to the videogame for 10 weeks. After this period of time, all students took the general aptitude test again concluding phase 1. In phase 2, the access to the videogame was suspended for 10 weeks and at the end of this time, they took the aptitude test again. RESULTS The mean age of the subjects was 13, with a range of 10 to 17 years old, 45% of the sample were girls and 55% were boys. The results showed that as hypothesized, playing the game had a marked increase in several of the subtests, and, what is more important this increment was sustained after 10 months. To see if the effects in phase 1 and 2 were significant an analysis of repeated measures was used. The difference is significant. Analyses were run also to look at the effect of age and gender, but those variables did not have an impact in the results. The results of the study suggest that there was a statistical significant increase in performance, as was expected to be present during both, the second and third testing. Such increase occurred in all test areas, however it was unexpected the effect found in the verbal area, given that Cerebrex does not include any minigame that could be categorized as verbal or to specifically target verbal stimulation.
Using videogames as a learning tool is not new and it has been shown to be effective in most cases; however the setting and environment in which these tools are used seems to have a great impact on the results. Using our own serious educational videogame, a study was conducted in a rural (low SES) school where students have limited access to computers and technology. The main objective was to assess if the involvement of students with videogames in rural schools could result in an increase in performance and such increase could be maintained. Results indicated that indeed there is an increase in performance and in most cases it is sustained.
Recently there has been a series of technological innovations to improve education. Educational systems have been incorporating progressively those innovations in order to enhance and make more motivating the learning experience. This paper presents the preliminary effects of CEREBREX (Lemus, Ajin & Pinto, 2014), a serious educational videogame. This video game was tested for the first time in sixth grade in a private school in Guatemala City. The children in one group were encouraged to play for ten weeks, and the control group received only their regular mathematics class. The results showed there was an increase in Mathematics highly significant, between pre and post test in the group using CEREBREX. However, in the control group there was no such increment.
Videogames are currently amongst the most popular media among children and young adults. Although initially videogames were viewed as negative, recent studies have shown that they can be used for learning, improving grades, cognitive and non-cognitive skills. In this paper we discuss the ideas behind the design and implementation of the "Cerebrex" a serious educational videogame (SEG) from a motivational analysis perspective and show some of the preliminary results. Namely, we correlate each game mechanic we implemented with various motivation analysis perspectives including Self-Determination Theory (Deci & Ryan 2000), Uses and Gratifications Theory (Blumler 1974), Player Motive (Yee 2006) (Bartle 2004), A Framework for SEGs (Annetta 2010). Since Cerebrex is targeted at Guatemalan elementary 4th to 6th grade students care was taken to incorporate Mayan cultural aspects such as imaging, language and problems in a format they can understand. The game focuses on four main cognitive areas: Numeric, Rational, Memory and Visuospatial. Game mechanics were tested among a population of about 20,000 subjects in order to enhance engagement.