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Not just fun, but serious strategies: Using meta-cognitive strategies in game-based learning


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The purpose of this study is to explore the effects of the meta-cognitive strategies on the academic and gaming achievements. Exploring the effects of those achievements on the social problem solving of students is also of interest. For this purpose, the MMORPG Gersang was used. The participants, consisting of ninth graders, played the game until they all reached the third level to ensure that they have the same gaming ability prior to gaming for the study. Three meta-cognitive strategies were developed: self-recording, modeling and thinking aloud. Those strategies are specially related to gaming activities and applied in pre-gaming activities, gaming activities, and post-gaming activities. Three meta-cognitive strategies were set as independent variables. The social problem solving ability was set as a mediating variable, and academic achievement and scores in the game were chosen as dependent variables. The path between meta-cognitive strategies and both academic achievement and game performance by mediating social problem solving abilities were discovered. The social problem solving ability, which is the mediating variable, affects the academic achievement and the game performance very strongly. These results imply that a commercial game playing in conjunction with meta-cognitive strategies can be an effective way to increase students’ performance both in learning and gaming by keeping them involved. Talking and observation activities such as thinking aloud and modeling are more effective than writing activities in enhancing the students’ achievements both in learning and gaming.
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Not just fun, but serious strategies: Using meta-cognitive strategies
in game-based learning
Bokyeong Kim
, Hyungsung Park
, Youngkyun Baek
University of Virginia, 183 Ruffner Hall, P.O. Box 400260 Charlottesville, VA 22904, United States
Korea National University of Education, Department of Educational Technology, San 7 Darakri Gangnaemyeon, Chungwongun, Chungbuk 363-791, Republic of Korea
Korea National University of Education Department of Educational Technology, San 7 Darakri Gangnaemyeon, Chungwongun, Chungbuk 363-791, Republic of Korea
article info
Article history:
Received 12 June 2008
Received in revised form 2 October 2008
Accepted 11 December 2008
Media in education
Interactive learning environments
Teaching/learning strategies
Virtual reality
The purpose of this study is to explore the effects of the meta-cognitive strategies on the academic and
gaming achievements. Exploring the effects of those achievements on the social problem solving of stu-
dents is also of interest. For this purpose, the MMORPG Gersang was used. The participants, consisting of
ninth graders, played the game until they all reached the third level to ensure that they have the same
gaming ability prior to gaming for the study. Three meta-cognitive strategies were developed: self-
recording, modeling and thinking aloud. Those strategies are specially related to gaming activities and
applied in pre-gaming activities, gaming activities, and post-gaming activities. Three meta-cognitive
strategies were set as independent variables. The social problem solving ability was set as a mediating
variable, and academic achievement and scores in the game were chosen as dependent variables. The
path between meta-cognitive strategies and both academic achievement and game performance by
mediating social problem solving abilities were discovered. The social problem solving ability, which is
the mediating variable, affects the academic achievement and the game performance very strongly. These
results imply that a commercial game playing in conjunction with meta-cognitive strategies can be an
effective way to increase students’ performance both in learning and gaming by keeping them involved.
Talking and observation activities such as thinking aloud and modeling are more effective than writing
activities in enhancing the students’ achievements both in learning and gaming.
Crown Copyright Ó2008 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
1. Needs and purpose of this study
In recent years, there has been no shortage of efforts to design, develop, and apply educational computer games to game-based learning.
Computer games have potential as a learning environment because they are a form of play that motivates students through entertainment.
In addition, computer games have competitive activities that include rules, goals, feedback, interaction, and outcomes. As Bouras et al.
(2004) suggested, gaming is becoming a new form of interactive content, worthy of exploration for learning purposes. In the same context,
Dickey (2007) said that interactive learning environments allow learners to construct understandings by interacting with information,
tools, and materials as well as by collaborating with other learners within the game. Games are seductive, deploying rich visual and spatial
aesthetics that draw players into fantasy worlds that seem very real in their own terms, exciting awe and pleasure (Poole, 2000). To put it
simply, games are engaging. They motivate students using entertainment, and this is a part of the natural learning process in human devel-
opment (Bisson & Luckner, 1996).
According to this progress in game-based learning, several aspects of the learning process are supported. First, learners are encouraged
to combine knowledge from different areas to choose a solution or to make a decision at a certain point. Second, learners can test how the
outcome of the game may change based on their decisions and actions. Third, learners are encouraged to contact other team members to
discuss and negotiate subsequent steps, thus improving, among other things, their social skills (Pivec & Dziabenko, 2004). The important
central aspects of games include: searching for information; selecting appropriate and necessary information; developing discussion strat-
egies; resolving conflicts; and exercising the decision making process and negotiation. In light of these steps, the target and the culmination
0360-1315/$ - see front matter Crown Copyright Ó2008 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
*Corresponding author. Tel.: +82 43 230 3431; fax: +82 43 230 0664.
E-mail address: (Y. Baek).
Computers & Education 52 (2009) 800–810
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of games is to reach a consensus in a problem solution (Bouras et al., 2004). However, as many educators already foresee, it is not an easy
task to achieve the two objectives of education and entertainment with one solution (Baek & Kim, 2005; Korea Game Development, 2002;
Mann, 1996). Often, the more entertaining a game is, the less effective it is as a learning tool; the converse is also true. In fact, the quin-
tessential combination of entertainment and learning seems almost impossible to achieve. This ideal scenario comes from a natural mix-
ture of both learning and game content. However, it is not easy to determine the intrinsic balance where both learning and gaming happen
simultaneously. This has continued to be a contentious issue in the development of educational computer games.
Rather than designing and developing educational computer games requiring much time and effort, it is suggested that educational pro-
viders use commercially available games in game-based learning (Baek, 2006; Kim & Kim, 2005). This recommendation is supported by two
factors; the first, is that it is time-consuming and expensive to design and develop educational games; the second is that educational games
developed specifically for the purpose of education are not as engaging or attractive for students as commercial games. However, without
relevant guidelines and instructional strategies, it would be very difficult to achieve the educational objectives of a game-based learning
through the application of commercial games.
As game-based learning is focused on achieving the particular objectives of given educational content through game play, players’ at-
tempts to solve problems are maintained throughout the learning session. For computer game players to continue their learning and gam-
ing, they should apply their own strategies to solve problems in a game. In game-based learning where they both study and play, learning
strategies and gaming strategies are the same phenomenon seen from different perspectives, like two sides of one coin. Learning strategies
and gaming strategies adopted to implement problem solving strategies in game-based learning may be the primary factor behind the high
achievements in both learning and gaming. This implies that higher scores in learning and gaming require better problem solving abilities,
which require, in turn, well-chosen strategies for both learning and gaming. The issue, however, is that educational computer games in
formal education settings are not chosen by students but by teachers. Educational games for classroom use often differ in nature from
games at home that are often more focused on entertainment than learning. Most commercial off-the-shelf games appeal to students’ curi-
osity and pay more attention to entertainment than to education even though they are advertised as educational. Thus, teachers who want
to bring commercial off-the-shelf games into their classrooms should be careful when selecting the games because they may not fit into the
classroom in terms of time span, learning contents, and usage. But teachers cannot do as much about time span and learning contents for
adopting games in the classroom as they can do on ways of usage: how to teach with games. In game-based learning, teachers should
consider instructional strategies that focus on utilizing the game, especially when it is a commercial game. This is because students are
asked to play a game and they need to find out how to solve a given problem to proceed in the game and obtain some knowledge from
Meta-cognitive strategies seem to play an important role in problem solving situations like gaming. Game players need to plan, check
the initial plan, and choose other strategies if the original plan fails. Quite often, meta-cognitive strategies are applied to problem solving. In
other words, students can enhance their problem solving abilities by using meta-cognition and applying meta-cognitive strategies. Lin
(2001) said that practicing meta-cognitive strategies would help students improve their problem solving abilities. This implies that
achievements in gaming and learning are affected by players’ meta-cognitive strategies.
In this study, meta-cognitive strategies for gaming are developed and adopted to help students effectively exercise social problem solv-
ing skills. A Massively Multiple Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG), Gersang, was selected as a game-based learning environment to
achieve this goal. According to Dickey (2007), a MMORPG provides a flexible learning environment which provides scaffolding for problem
solving along with elements which foster intrinsic motivation. He suggested that a MMORPG is a persistent, networked, interactive, nar-
rative environment in which players collaborate, strategize, plan, and interact with objects, resources, and other players within a multi-
modal environment. Gersang simulates the Korean economy of 200 years ago and it contains many aspects of economics, so one of the
main objectives of this study is to reveal the effects of meta-cognitive strategies on students’ achievement in economics. Students’ social
problem solving skills are also expected to be positively affected by the meta-cognitive strategies as they successfully proceed to play the
game. This study tries to enlarge the scope of game-based learning by adopting commercial games already known to students and com-
bining these games with well-developed learning strategies, rather than developing new educational computer games.
This study aims to discover the effects of meta-cognitive strategies on achievements of both learning and gaming via players’ social
problem solving in game-based learning utilizing commercial games which are known to be popular, engaging, and attractive to learners.
Exploration of effects of social problem solving on both achievements in gaming and learning is also of interest. For this purpose, three
meta-cognitive strategies of self-recording, modeling, and thinking aloud were developed and applied in the game-based learning. The spe-
cific research hypotheses are listed below:
1. There is a significant effect of the meta-cognitive strategies on both the achievement in gaming and the achievement in learning.
2. There is a significant effect of the meta-cognitive strategies on the social problem solving ability.
3. There is a significant effect of the meta-cognitive strategies via social problem solving on both the achievement in gaming and the
achievement in learning.
2. Literature review
2.1. Meta-cognitive strategies in game play
Flavell (1976) defined meta-cognition as ‘‘knowledge concerning one’s own cognitive processes and products or anything related to
them” and stated that ‘‘Meta-cognition refers, among other things, to the active monitoring and consequent regulation and orchestration
of these processes in relation to the cognitive objects or data on which they bear.” Hype and Bizar (1989) defined meta-cognition as ‘‘a
process where the individual carefully considers thought in problem solving situations through the strategies of self-planning, self-mon-
itoring, self-regulating, self-questioning, self-reflecting, or self-reviewing” (p. 1). Also, McKeachie (2000) stated that meta-cognition is
thinking about one’s learning and thinking. On the other hand, meta-cognitive strategies are the instructional strategies that allow learners
to use their meta-cognition in problem solving. According to Ridley, Schutz, Glanz, and Weinstein (1992), they include taking conscious
B. Kim et al. /Computers & Education 52 (2009) 800–810 801
control of learning, planning and selecting strategies, monitoring the progress of learning, correcting errors, analyzing the effectiveness of
learning strategies, and changing learning behaviors and strategies when necessary. Proceeding from what has been said above, in this
study we define meta-cognition as the ability to understand and monitor one’s own thoughts and the assumptions and implications of
one’s activities (Brown, Bransford, Ferrara, & Campione, 1983; Butterfield & Belmont, 1977; Falvell, 1979). Flavell (1979) proposed a formal
model of meta-cognitive monitoring to include four classes of phenomena and their relationships. According to his model, ‘‘...a person’s
ability to control a wide variety of cognitive enterprises occurs through the actions and interactions among four classes of phenomena: (a)
meta-cognitive knowledge, (b) meta-cognitive experiences, (c) tasks or goals, and (d) actions or strategies” (p. 906). Blakey and Spence
(1990) proposed six strategies for developing meta-cognitive behaviors, these strategies include: identifying ‘‘what you know” and ‘‘what
you don’t know”, talking about thinking, keeping a thinking journal, planning and self-regulation, debriefing the thinking process, and self-
evaluation. Wahl (2000) presented three meta-cognitive strategies: planning, self-monitoring, and self-evaluation and these can lead to
cognitive strategies as in concept maps and outlining. In addition, he presented some questions that facilitate the learners’ meta-cognition,
such as ‘How much time do I need to set aside to learn this? (planning)’, ‘Do I understand what I am reading or learning? (self-monitoring)’,
and ‘How can I measure my success? (self-evaluation)’.
Nelson and Narens (1994) presented a model of meta-cognition. The model explains the relationship between the meta-level cognition
and object-level of cognition (Fig. 1).
The meta-level cognition monitors and controls the object-level cognition and the information between the two levels circulates. Luca
and McMahon (2004) said that the meta-cognition was viewed as a pet puppy – people have to feed (monitor) the puppy and get her to
exercise (control) so that the puppy could be strong. They stressed that educators can get students to have strong meta-cognition by feed-
ing them information and getting them exercising in the same way.
Christine (2003) said that meta-cognitive strategies are necessary to aid students in comprehending a text and achieving higher levels of
thinking. She focused especially on teachers’ modeling and motivation to encourage students to make these strategies on their own. In sum,
meta-cognitive strategies can be defined as strategies that empower learners to take charge of their own learning in a highly meaningful
fashion. They are helpful for students who have learning problems. As well, they assist students in focusing their attention, understanding
content, integrating new information with existing knowledge, and encoding and storing this information in a way that will facilitate mem-
ory and retrieval.
Zimmerman and Tsikalas (2005) stressed self-regulation including meta-cognitive processes. Phases and sub-processes of self-regula-
tion have three cyclical phases and six sub-processes and include students’ motivation and affective side in addition to meta-cognition.
They explained these three phases as follows: first, the forethought phase includes not only task analysis processes which general
meta-cognitive processes have but also self-motivation processes that empower learners to initiate their learning. Second, the performance
phase includes self-control and self-observation processes that use the meta-cognitive and behavioral strategies. Third, the self-reflection
phase includes self-judgment and self-reaction. This phase involves not only self-evaluation of meta-cognition but also affective reactions.
They said that affective reactions could be causal attributions to personal control, feelings of self-satisfaction, and adaptive self-reaction.
Zimmerman and Tsikalas’s self-reflection model implies that studies on meta-cognition need to extend into learners’ affective and moti-
vational areas.
Games put learners in the role of decision-maker, pushing them through ever-harder challenges while engaging the player in experi-
menting with different ways of learning and thinking. Players experience the subject domain or situation in new ways, form new affilia-
tions, and thereby prepare for future learning and problem solving in the domain or transfer of learning to related domains (Gee, 2003).
Games may play the important role of an environment that utilizes meta-cognitive strategies. Using meta-cognition to select and use par-
ticular strategies in a given context for a specific purpose as in a game-based learning means that the learner can think and make conscious
decisions about the learning process (Anderson, 2002). As students become more skilled at using meta-cognition, they may gain confidence
and become more independent as learners in learning with games.
2.2. Social problem solving in game play
Games can provide a meaningful framework for offering problems to students (Kiili, 2005). In fact, a game can be a meaningful envi-
ronment for problem-based learning. Problem solving in games is regarded as striving for a remote and not immediately attainable goal.
Because the ability to solve problems is one of the most important of human skills (Holyoak, 1991), game-based learning which is a natural
environment for problem solving is deemed to have the power to improve students’ abilities in that area.
Social problem solving is defined as the self-directed cognitive behavioral process of trying to identify or discover effective or adaptive
ways of coping with problems in daily life (D’Zurilla & Nezu, 1999). It is a conscious, purposeful, and social activity revolving around a prob-
lem. The word ‘‘social” implies the social context in which the problem solving takes place. A problem is seen as any life situation or as a
present task requiring a response for a person’s adaptation. The demands in a problematic situation could arise in the environment or with-
Flow of Information
Control Monitoring
Fig. 1. A model of meta-cognition.
802 B. Kim et al. /Computers & Education 52 (2009) 800–810
in the person (Paul-Odouard, 2005). Thus, the study of social problem solving deals with all types of problems that might affect a person’s
functioning, including impersonal problems, personal or intrapersonal problems, interpersonal, as well as broader community and societal
problems (Chang, D’Zurilla, & Sanna, 2004).
The problem orientation in social problem solving is an important issue. It can be distinguished into two general aspects (Chang, D’Zuril-
la, & Sanna, 2004): problem orientation and problem solving styles. Problem orientation operates to promote personal confidence, positive
method, and a sense of emotional regulation in routine and stressful situation (Elliotte & Shewchuk, 2003). Within problem orientation,
there are two specific dimensions: positive and negative. A positive problem orientation is a constructive problem solving cognitive set
that involves the general disposition to (a) appraise a problem as a challenge (i.e., opportunity for benefit or gain); (b) believe that problems
are solvable; (c) believe in one’s personal ability to solve problems successfully; (d) believe that successful problem solving takes time and
effort; and (e) commit oneself to solving problems with dispatch rather than avoiding them (Maydeu-Olivares & D’Zurilla, 1996; Morera
et al., 2006). In contrast, a negative problem orientation is a dysfunctional or inhibitive cognitive emotional set that involves the general
tendency to (a) view a problem as a significant threat to well-being; (b) doubt one’s own personal ability to solve problems successfully;
and (c) become easily frustrated and upset when confronted with problems (Maydeu-Olivares & D’Zurilla, 1996; Morera et al., 2006).
Each problem solver shows different styles in social problem solving such as rational, deliberate and systematic application of effective
skills. These effective skills include: (a) problem definition and formulation; (b) generation of alternative solutions; (c) decision making;
and (d) solution implementation and verification (Chang, D’Zurilla, & Sanna, 2004). In problem definition and formulation, the problem
solver tries to clarify and understand the nature of the problem by gathering as much specific information and as many concrete facts about
the problem as possible, identifying demands and obstacles, and setting realistic goals for problem solving. In generation of alternative
solutions, the problem solver focuses on the problem solving goals and tries to identify as many potential solutions as possible, including
both conventional and original solutions. The problem solver makes the alternative solution based on three principles: identifying a large
quantity of solutions, deferring judgment of each solution until the decision making state, and identifying various strategies and ap-
proaches to the problem (Lesley, 2005). In decision making, the problem solver anticipates the consequences of the different solutions,
judges and compares them, and then chooses the ‘‘best” or most effective solution based on the potentiality or utility. While the first three
skills cover the process of finding a solution, the final step, solution implementation and verification, refers to the performance or carrying
out of the solution. The problem solver carefully monitors and evaluates the outcome of the chosen solution after attempting to implement
in the real-life problematic situation. This skill includes self-reward for satisfactory outcome or recycling back to the previous problem
solving step for unsatisfactory outcomes (D’Zurilla & Goldfried, 1971; D’Zurilla & Nezu, 1999; D’Zurilla et al., 2002).
Social problem solving skills are very similar to skills needed in game play. Begg, Dewhurst, and Macleod (2005) proposed that the
descriptive sequence of game play might be read as a model paradigm of problem-based learning. Problems in problem solving are equal
to missions in game play. The three characteristics of problems in learning are: givens, goals, and obstacles (Davidson, Deuser, & Sternberg,
1994) which can be replaced with missions in a game, because game missions have these same characteristics.
Squire (2004) described the emergence of games as an entertainment medium and the increased recognition of games as complex prob-
lem solving spaces. In fact, problem solving is the essence of a player’s actions in a computer game (Jørgensen, 2003). Jørgensen showed her
philosophical approach to it by presenting the process of problem solving in a computer game as follows: the player’s first task is to com-
prehend the nature of the problem. Second, the player develops a strategy linking comprehensive activity and physical action. In the third
phase, the player’s mental activity is realized as physical attempts to solve the problems, otherwise known as intentional action. In addi-
tion, most game’s problems are social in nature. Barab, Thomas, Dodge, Carteaux, and Tuzun (2005) found the design of Quest Atlantis (QA)
reflects the need for both action and reflection in evaluating its relevance to real-world problems, in constructing meanings in authentic
settings, and in justifying the credibility of assertions. Schrader, Zheng, and Young (2006) argued that a degree of interactive collaboration
should be a goal of classroom education. Grundy (1988) found that adventure games do have the potential to be an effective problem solv-
ing environment. Curtis and Lawson (2002) found that computer-based adventure games are productive environments for the develop-
ment of general problem solving ability.
Dodge (1986) said that there are five stages in social problem solving such as encoding social cues, representation/interpretation of cues,
response search, response decision, and enactment. He focused on determining and understanding social cues. Slaby and Guerra (1988)
presented six steps for social problem solving: information seeking, defining the problem, selecting a goal, generating alternatives, gener-
ating consequences, and prioritizing responses. Dise and Lohr (1998) also presented six steps as follows: identifying relevant dimensions of
a problem, generating alternatives, choosing a strategy, using feedback from the environment to determine efficacy, maintaining set while
the strategy is working, and changing strategy when it is no longer working.
Begg et al. (2005) described game play as the following six processes. (1) When entering a gaming environment, a player adopts a char-
acter role or assumes an identity appropriate to the environment. (2) Once within the gaming environment, the player perceives tasks to be
completed and, consequently, progress to be made. (3) In order to progress through the game’s more complex levels, the player learns the
necessary game vocabulary. (4) The player explores intriguing hidden corners and alluring vistas. (5) The player adapts to the gaming envi-
ronment by interacting with it. (6) The player realigns expectations and judgments through each exploration and interaction, reappraising
Table 1
Procedure in game play and problem solving.
Procedures of problem solving
Procedures of game play
Problem definition and formulation Adopting a role and an identity appropriate to the environment. Perceiving tasks to be completed and the progress to be made
Generation of alternatives Learning the necessary game vocabulary and exploring intriguing hidden corners and alluring vistas
Decision making Adapting and interacting
Solution implementation and
Realigning expectations and judgments through each exploration and interaction, reappraising the cause and consequence of each
Source: Begg et al. (2005).
Source: Chang, D’Zurilla, and Sanna (2004).
B. Kim et al. /Computers & Education 52 (2009) 800–810 803
the cause and consequence of each experience accordingly. Procedures in game play can be matched to those in problem solving. Table 1
summarizes this comparison.
Identifying a task or mission in game play is similar to problem definition and formulation in problem solving. Obtaining items and
exploring hidden threats/expectations are similar to generating alternatives in problem solving. The environment in the game changes
according to each progress in game play, requiring player’s decision making at each transition. At the end of each phase of the game play,
realigning and reappraising happen and this helps the player to move forward in the game. These processes in game play also happen in
problem solving. In particular, online games facilitate social interactions between players and provide an environment for enhancing
player’s social problem solving ability.
2.3. Developing meta-cognitive strategies for the study
2.3.1. Considerations in implementing meta-cognitive strategies
There are several considerations when implementing meta-cognitive strategies. First, meta-cognitive strategies should be implemented
after the student has acquired an understanding of the concept/skill. Second, meta-cognitive strategies must be taught. Pressley and Asso-
ciates (1990) mentioned that meta-cognitive strategies need to be taught since they are not an automatic response. Wood and Anderson
(2001) wrote that meta-cognition does not occur automatically; ‘‘it is the result of long-term development of the cognitive system (p. 4)”.
Third, meta-cognitive strategies provide students the opportunity to practice independently, which, in turn, builds fluency and mastery of
the skill. Fourth, student use and performance using strategies should be monitored. Lin (2001) asserted that teachers need to model meta-
cognitive strategies since ‘‘students need to be taught these strategies, they are not born with them (p. 23)”. After the teacher models the
strategies, the students need time to practice them in an environment that promotes their learning. Games can be a good environment that
provides students with the opportunity to practice meta-cognitive strategies.
2.3.2. Three meta-cognitive strategies in game play
This study supports the definition of meta-cognitive strategies as ‘‘the specific activities activating meta-cognition.” However, it is not
easy to control learners’ meta-cognition because it has no physical form. Therefore, physical activities such as watching, listening, speaking,
writing, and operating are needed to control and activate meta-cognition. In this aspect, game play is a fascinating activity for activating
meta-cognition, because it is a series of activities of watching, listening, speaking (writing), and operating. In this study, three meta-cog-
nitive strategies were developed for game play based on three dimensions of meta-cognition: self-planning, self-monitoring, and self-eval-
uation (Blakey & Spence, 1990; Hacker, 2006). These are depicted in Fig. 2.
The meta-cognitive strategies developed in this study are self-recording, modeling, and thinking aloud. The self-recording is a writing
activity, the modeling is a watching activity, and thinking aloud is a listening and speaking activity to facilitate students’ meta-cognition. Self-recording. Self-recording is a strategy to record experiences related to the learning plan, learning process and learning out-
comes. In other words, students record their plans and are engaged in a process of reflective thinking by looking back on their gaming activ-
ities to improve their meta-cognition. Self-recording has three phases in this game-based learning process. The first phase is recording their
prior knowledge before they start game play. The teacher presents the 20 learning concepts about economics that should be learned
through playing Gersang. Students choose one learning concept and write on their recording sheets what they already know and what they
do not know yet. The second phase is recording their activities every 10 min. On the teacher’s signal, players have to record their activities
of the past 10 min and determine if their activities were related to the game mission or not. They can have time for self-monitoring and
avoid time-consuming activities for achieving game mission. The third phase is recording reflections. In this phase, upon finishing their
game play, students write a short reflective journal about their game play. Modeling. Modeling is a self monitoring activity which takes place through observing others and is of great help to players in mak-
ing strategies their own. There are five modeling strategies that players follow: first, they identify the game missions and the activities
required to achieve those missions. Second, students determine the target player to observe during game play. Third, they observe the tar-
get player’s game play and conceptualize their own strategies. This helps player’s gaming by observing and adopting effective strategies
from the target player. Fourth, students play the game-based on their own strategies during the game play. Fifth, students evaluate their
Fig. 2. Meta-cognitive strategies that facilitate meta-cognition.
804 B. Kim et al. /Computers & Education 52 (2009) 800–810
efficiency of game play according to level, power, and items compared to the target player. In this study, students had a 10 min break dur-
ing every gaming session to observe other players’ gaming. They then analyzed and recorded others’ game activities and obtained the infor-
mation they needed. Students were also asked to talk about their activities and behavioral solutions regularly for them to verify their plans
and degree of modeling the activity process. Thinking aloud. ‘‘Thinking aloud” is a verbal expression of the normally covert mental processes. Caldwell, Jennings, Lerner, and
Richek (1996) found that students learn comprehension strategies when ‘‘teachers model the thinking process out loud to his or her stu-
dents.” They said that this modeling could be on predictions, mental images, correcting misunderstandings, or main ideas and details. Stu-
dents should talk to their fellow students about their game play during every game session. Students apply the thinking aloud strategy in
the game through the following steps: first, the teacher makes a cooperative gaming group and explains how to use the thinking aloud
strategy. Second, students relate their game plan to the learning objectives using several glossaries before they commence game play.
For example, ‘‘I will learn about ‘inflation’ through game play today. ‘Inflation’ is a general increase in the level of prices accompanied
by a fall in the purchasing power of money.” Third, students explain their game process to their fellow players throughout the game play.
They explain what is on mission, what is off mission, and what they will do in the next game session using several glossaries. For example,
‘‘I should have money for getting a good house,” ‘‘It is a good job that I did sell the item,” and ‘‘I will deal with the Japanese merchant until
the game is over.”
3. Research method
3.1. Participants
The subjects used for this experiment were drawn from a middle school located in Incheon, South Korea. The participants were com-
posed of 132 ninth grade students who had never played the game Gersang. Their age ranges from 15 to 16. Informed consent to participate
in this study was obtained from the parents of the students before the implementation of the experiment.
3.2. Instruments
3.2.1. The on-line game
There are many genres of computer games including action games, adventure games, strategy games, role playing games, and so on. In
this study we used a commercially available MMORPG known as Gersang. The word Gersang means ‘wealthy merchant’ in Korean. Gersang
is a popular MMORPG in Korea that is set in the economic context of the Choseon Dynasty about 200 years ago. Gersang has two separate
subscenarios: an economic scenario and a battle scenario. Players receive a variety of quests from Non-Player Characters (NPCs) and have
to solve these quests to become a wealthy merchant. In the economic scenario, Gersang allows the players to experience economic activities
such as inflation, deflation, currency exchange, investment, international trade, and factory management for goods production. In the battle
scenario, Gersang allows players to battle for better weapon items and an upgraded player level. Gersang has been used as a main activity in
Strategic Management courses in the College of Business Administration at Chung-Ang University, South Korea.
The learning goal of Gersang is to understand and apply the principles of a market economy. For the purpose of this study, Gersang was
reviewed by three separate experts: an economics expert, a gaming expert, and an educational technology expert. These experts extracted
twenty economic concepts relevant to the ‘‘Understanding a Market Economy” lesson from ninth grade social studies in middle school.
These concepts include, scarcity of resources, opportunity cost, productivity, economic freedom, currency exchange, supply and demand,
international free trade, and so on.
3.2.2. Social problem solving ability inventory
The social problem solving inventory-revised (SPSI-R) by D’Zurilla et al. (2002) was selected and adapted by the authors. SPSI-R consists
of 52 items and five subscales such as positive problem solving (PPS), negative problem solving (NPS), rational problem solving (RPS),
impulsivity/carelessness style (ICS), and avoidance style (AS). The authors revised the SPSI-R by selecting 28 items from the original 52
and translating these to Korean. Those items in the questionnaire that ended in negative predicates were changed to end in positive pred-
icates. The Cronbach’s
value of the inventory was .921.
3.2.3. Achievement test
An achievement test prepared by the Incheon Metropolitan Office of Education was administered to participants. The achievement test
was used to measure students’ achievement in learning. This test was used to assess the students’ knowledge of economic principles cov-
ered in the game Gersang. This achievement test was composed of 20 multiple-choice questions and each question was weighted equally.
The Cronbach’s
value of this test instrument was .941. The items of this test are related to educational objectives and learning content of
ninth grade social studies as shown in Table 2.
Table 2
Achievement test.
Educational objective Learning content Items
Economic knowledge Economic facts 1, 5, 6
Concepts 7
Generalization 3, 8, 9, 10, 11
Theory 2, 4, 17
Economic function Scientific thinking process 12, 13, 16
Decision making process 14, 15, 18, 19, 20
B. Kim et al. /Computers & Education 52 (2009) 800–810 805
For example, item no. 8 tests ‘generalization’ and is related to ‘economic knowledge’. Item no. 8 is as follows:
[Item 8] Which of the following does not correctly explain pricing in a market economy?
The government decides.
The supply decides.
The demand decides.
It influences production.
It acts like traffic si
3.2.4. Game scores
Participants’ gaming ability was measured by the game’s level scores. Gersang’s scoring system includes credit scores and battle scores.
The two scores have a positive correlation; the more players gain credit scores, the more players win battles. The achievement score in
gaming was the sum of the two scores. The two scores produced a scoring range from 0 to 100.
3.3. Procedure
The experiments began with pre-tests on academic achievement and social problem solving ability being administered to the
participants. After the pre-tests, the teacher explained how to play the game and the how to use meta-cognitive strategies. The participants
then played Gersang until they all reached the third level. This was done to ensure that players have the same gaming ability. Also,
the meta-cognitive strategies were explained to the participants in detail. They played the online game, Gersang, 45 min a day, twice a
week, for 10 weeks. They were given three checklists for the meta-cognitive strategies. Game-based learning session can be described
as below:
Before each session, the teacher presents the 20 economic concepts that should be learned. Players choose one concept and record it on
their sheet. They then make a list of what they already know about this concept and what they do not know yet. Next, they have to identify
the game missions and the activities required to achieve those missions. Players are now ready to select the target player to be observed.
During play, the participants play Gersang and apply the three meta-cognitive strategies of their own. After play, players complete the three
checklists, measuring how often or how much they used the meta-cognitive strategies during game play. They evaluate themselves and
complete these checklists every 20 game-based learning sessions. The post-test for social problem solving ability was administered on
the last session. The post-test for academic achievement was also completed by players on the last session. Game scores obtained in Ger-
sang were used as a score for their gaming achievement.
The social problem solving ability post-test was administered on the last day of class. Likewise, the academic achievement post-test was
also completed by the students on the last day of class. Game scores were drawn after the class as a score for their gaming achievement.
3.4. Data analysis
The primary dependent variable is the achievement in learning economic principles. The secondary dependent variable is the achieve-
ment in gaming. Quantitative data were collected and analyzed using SPSS 15.0 for Windows and AMOS 7.0. The independent variables in
this study are three meta-cognitive strategies: self-recording, modeling, and thinking aloud. The mediating variable is social problem solv-
ing ability. In this study, the structural equation model, not multiple regressions, was applied for data analysis. Because multiple regression
analysis does not explain relative effects of independent variables, it cannot explain each variable’s variance among total variance. As an
alternative, path analysis was used. Path analysis was conducted to examine the correlations and causal relations between the independent
and dependent variables. Developed by Sewell Wright in the 1930s, path analysis is usually used to understand the relationships among
variables. In path analysis, covariance or correlation coefficient is used to do causal analysis. It can be used to understand direct and indirect
effects as well as quasi-effects that are hard to observe in multiple regression analysis. This means of analysis is used to find the regression
coefficient of the linear structure formula among the variables set by the investigator.
Table 3
Correlations between variables.
Self-recording Modeling Thinking aloud Achievement in learning Achievement in gaming Social problem solving ability
Self-recording 1
modeling .171
Thinking aloud .171
.136 1
Achievement in learning .460
Achievement in gaming .225
.138 .491
Social problem solving ability .173
.064 .481
Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level.
Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level.
Correlation is significant at the 0.001 level.
806 B. Kim et al. /Computers & Education 52 (2009) 800–810
The descriptive statistics are presented in Table 4 with Estimates, SE and CR. Fitness indices are provided because they have their own
4. Results
4.1. Analysis of correlations between variables
A correlation analysis was performed to determine the relationship among all the variables. Table 3 shows the correlation coefficient
among variables.
Of the meta-cognitive strategies, thinking aloud and self-recording appear to be significantly related to the social problem solving abil-
ity. Self-recording and modeling are significantly related to the achievements both in gaming and learning. The social problem solving abil-
ity has a statistically significant relation to the achievements both in gaming and learning.
4.2. Path analysis between the variables
The research model was established based on the idea that the meta-cognitive strategies have an effect on the social problem solving
ability and that the social problem solving ability have an effect on the achievements of both in gaming and learning. The path model is
presented in Fig. 3.
In assessing the model, the authors relied on several standard fit indices to examine the overall model fit: the change in the chi-square
relative to the change in degrees of freedom, the ratio of chi-square to degrees of freedom (
/df), goodness of fit (GFI), and adjusted good-
ness of fit (AGFI). Fit indices for the measurement models are presented in Table 4. These indices indicate a satisfactory fit for the model.
Goodness of fit of structural equation model used in this study was to prove fidelity between data model and research model.
To evaluate the appropriate the fitness of the measurement research model, the fitness indices such as
(p), Q(
/df), goodness-of-fit-
ness index (GFI), adjusted goodness-fitness index (AGFI), CFI, and RMSEA were calculated as in Table 4. The chi-square (
) was 14.169, p
(probability level) = .007, Q(
/df) = .3.542. The chi-square/degrees of freedom ratio was 3.542, the GFI = .964, the CFI was .953, and the
RMSEA was .000, indicating that our structural model was a satisfactory fit for the data. The normed fit index shows 93.9% of goodness
of fit and the relative fit index .770 is close to 1. Because these statistics satisfy the criteria to prove the model fidelity, it is concluded that
this model is acceptable for analysis about the model goodness of fit.
4.3. Path analysis model
In order to verify the research model, path analysis was performed using AMOS version 7.0. The technique was performed using analysis
of moment structures maximum likelihood estimation. Results of the path analysis of the relationship between the variables are displayed
in Table 5. In this table, ‘Estimate’ means ‘regression parameter’, ‘S.E.’ means ‘Standard Error’ and ‘C.R.’ means ‘Critical Ratio’. Significance
can be evaluated by the values of 1.96, because the ‘C.R.’ is ‘t’ value of regression analysis.
Generally, if the C.R. value is higher than 1.96 in
= .05, the effectiveness is regarded as significant. The authors tested all null hypoth-
eses at the
= .05 level with data. The findings show that the thinking aloud strategy has a significant effect on social problem solving abil-
ities in this game-based learning (.411, p< .05). Furthermore, social problem solving ability has a significant effect on both the achievement
in learning and the achievement in gaming (.372 and .414, p< .05).
Fig. 3. Path model among variables.
Table 4
Summary of fit indices for measurement models.
Fitness index
Research model 14.169 3.542 .964 .953 .809 .000 .824 .955 .770 .939
B. Kim et al. /Computers & Education 52 (2009) 800–810 807
Results of the path analysis are shown in Fig. 4. Hypothesis 1, which stated that the meta-cognitive strategies have a significant effect on
both the achievement in gaming and the achievement in learning, was supported by the effects of self-recording (b= .35, p< .001) and
modeling (b= .32, p< .001) on the achievement in learning and the effects of modeling on the achievement in gaming (b= .67, p< .001).
Hypothesis 2 was that the meta-cognitive strategies have a significant effect on social problem solving. As expected, thinking aloud was
one of the meta-cognitive strategies that had a positive and significant effect on the social problem solving (b= .47, p< .001). But the
remaining strategies of self recording and modeling did not have a significant effect on social problem solving. The proposed hypothesis
3 stated that the meta-cognitive strategies have a significant effect on both the achievement in gaming and the achievement in learning
via social problem solving. As predicted, social problem solving had positive effects on both the achievements in gaming and in learning
(Fig. 4).
5. Conclusions and implications
Through this study, the researchers sought to investigate the effects of meta-cognitive strategies on problem solving ability and achieve-
ments in game-base learning. This study revealed that among three meta-cognitive strategies developed for effective game-based learning,
the ‘thinking aloud’ strategy is the strongest variable affecting social problem solving ability. In other words, discussing game play with
peers during break sessions positively affects their social problem solving ability. The second strongest variable is ‘modeling’. Modeling
is also an activity that students do with peers. The weakest variable is ‘self-recording’, where students record their game activities during
break sessions. These results were as expected because self-recording is an individual activity rather than a social one. Social problem solv-
ing, which is the mediating variable, affected both achievements in learning and gaming very strongly. One of the possible reasons why
social problem solving has such significant effects on both achievements is that the game-based learning deployed a MMORPG in which
players have to use social interaction and social skills a part of the game mission.
Conclusions which can be drawn from this study are as follows. First, a commercial off-the-shelf game in game-based learning in con-
junction with meta-cognitive strategies can be an effective learning environment for increasing students’ performance. Therefore, it is
desirable for teachers to find the educational aspects of commercial off-the-shelf games, map them onto their curriculum objectives,
and apply meta-cognitive strategies for players in order to secure learning effectiveness. This study suggests that teachers and parents need
to change their primary views regarding game-based learning. They need to focus less on the elements of violence and addiction which
have been major obstacles for using games in the classroom and focus more on the educational potential of commercial games by adopting
teaching strategies such as meta-cognitive strategies. If this is done, then commercial off-the-shelf games might be accepted as an effective
teaching and learning tool in formal educational settings. Second, talking and watching strategies such as thinking aloud and modeling are
Table 5
Estimate of path coefficient.
Paths Estimate S.E. C.R. p
Social problem solving ability self-recording .061 .048 1.262 .207
Social problem solving ability modeling .011 .051 .213 .832
Social problem solving ability thinking aloud .411 .067 6.129 .000
Achievement in gaming social problem solving ability .414 .083 5.015 .000
Achievement in learning social problem solving ability .372 .089 4.187 .000
Achievement in gaming self-recording .237 .046 5.210 .000
Achievement in gaming modeling .118 .077 1.527 .127
Achievement in gaming thinking aloud .047 .072 .658 .510
Achievement in learning self-recording .065 .049 1.334 .182
Achievement in learning modeling .229 .048 4.763 .000
Achievement in learning thinking aloud .572 .052 11.027 .000
Fig. 4. The path analysis model.
808 B. Kim et al. /Computers & Education 52 (2009) 800–810
more effective than writing activities in enhancing the students’ performance in game-based learning as long as the game is social. This
finding urges teachers to devise certain strategies such as meta-cognitive strategies to help students’ activities in game-based learning.
Talking and modeling are socially interactive and have more significance, while writing is very individual and less effective in promoting
achievement. This may be because this study is designed to enhance social problem solving ability with a view to increasing achievement.
For this reason, teachers have to identify the types of proposed learning outcomes in game-based learning and choose proper gaming activ-
ities suitable to them before bringing any commercial games into their classroom. The critical point for this would be to develop strategies
in order to help player’s active and effective cognitive activities according to the game genre as well as the learning content. In this sense,
other strategies such as self-regulation are to be developed and deployed for increased performance in gaming and learning. The possible
interpretation of this result is the mediation by Vygotsky. According to the Vygoskian view, mediation is the mechanism through which
external and social activities are transformed into internal and mental cognition (Vygotsky, 1978). Karpov and Haywood (1998) said that
Vygotsky’s writings suggest meta-cognitive mediation and cognitive mediation as the mechanism of children’s learning and development.
Among them, meta-cognitive mediation refers to the acquisition of semiotic tools of self-regulation. Karpov and Haywood discussed about
‘‘guided discovery in a community of learners (GDCL)” based on the Vygotsky’s idea that the basis for development of children’s self-reg-
ulation is their experience in regulating the behavior of others. Matching these views, the three meta-cognitive strategies could mediate
between their game-playing and cognition. Thinking aloud and modeling could transform into self-regulation in learning. Another possible
interpretation of this result is the interaction in peer-assisted learning. Thinking aloud and modeling strategies are assumed to play a role
in peer-mediation. These two strategies allow students to interact with one another more than a self-recording strategy could. Fuchs et al.
(2001) found that Kindergarten-Peer Assisted Learning Strategies make students outperform on students’ phonological awareness and
reading skills. Shamir and Lazerovitz (2007) found that peer mediation groups scored significantly higher than did the control group in
both the process and outcome of self-regulated learning. They attributed this result to the meta-cognitive level. In other words, they as-
sumed that the child’s greater self-regulated learning capacities came from the heightened levels of meta-cognitive knowledge, meta-cog-
nitive experience, and meta-cognitive control acquired throughout the peer mediation intervention.
Most educators have been worried that game play has a negative effect on academic achievement while students spend a great deal of
time playing commercial games. However, even commercial game play can be helpful to the academic achievements of players in addition
to enhancing their social problem solving ability. This may justify educators’ participation in designing, developing, and utilizing educa-
tional games as well as commercial games not just for fun, but with serious strategies.
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... Therefore, all studies within this age range were included in the present review. However, it should be noted that the children included in scientific studies vary greatly from those in kindergarten (e.g., Danby et al., 2018;Lorusso et al., 2018) to high school (e.g., Kim et al., 2009;Yang, 2015). ...
... For instance, Craig et al. (2016) found that children's (aged 7-11 years) knowledge of social skills and their confidence in using this knowledge developed significantly using the ZooU game-based training program compared to children who did not have access to ZooU games during the period. Kim et al. (2009) reported that combining "thinking aloud strategy", which is one of meta-cognitive strategies with videogame play, had an effect on children's SPS ability and SPS ability had an effect on their achievement of both in gaming and learning. Yang (2012) reported that digital game-based learning effectively promoted students' SPS skills while the control group showed no improvement. ...
... More studies using active control groups are needed in order to demonstrate whether intervention designs utilized for control group are effective regarding children's SPS skills and to compare their effects with the videogames or traditional games that children play. Furthermore, it was found that the implementation process of the studies reviewed varied between a few minutes (i.e., Chen et al., 2015;Huang et al., 2010) to a few weeks (Kim et al., 2009;Yang, 2015). However, there was no information about how children's SPS skills would be affected (significantly or not) or what the effect size would be if the games were used by children over a long period (a few months or years). ...
Full-text available
Playing games can be one of the most important activities for children to improve their social problem-solving (SPS) skills. Studies that have examined the empirical evidence of playing games concerning children’s SPS skills have tended to focus on the function of a single game. Therefore, an overview study is needed to generalize the data by the game content and production purpose. Twelve databases were systematically searched. Four basic criteria were sought for studies to be included. A total of 35 studies meeting all the inclusion criteria were reviewed. The results showed that (i) experimental designs were the most utilized, and (ii) more studies using active control groups are needed to compare the effectiveness of the game playing. In non-traditional games research, half of the videogames used in the studies reviewed and classified, were primarily produced for educational purposes, followed by serious games (30%) and entertainment games (20%). These three types of videogames were effective in promoting children’s SPS skills. Moreover, simulation games were the most preferred videogame genre utilized by the researchers. In studies using videogames, children’s SPS skills did not differ significantly by gender, whereas in a study using traditional games (non-video games), male participants’ problem-solving ability progressed significantly more than that of females. Almost all the studies concluded that playing both videogames and traditional games positively influenced children’s SPS skills. However, only three studies utilizing traditional games were conducted during the two-decade period (2000–2019) and more studies are needed for comparable and generalizable results.
... Games are uniquely poised to provide such a problem-solving learning experience because of the authentic environment that they present to the gamers. [25]. This is a skill that can be picked up from games and can be applied to real-life problems. ...
... Computer Scientists have been talking about computational thinking for a long time. Games encourage students to utilize their reasoning, algorithmic, reflective thinking and problem-solving skills in authentic contexts and thus could improve computational thinking [25]. There was a study conducted among high-school students to measure the difference in different skills acquired in these students with respect to the types of games they play. ...
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... Furthermore, video games can help develop reasoning, creativity, problem-solving, spatial awareness, and critical thinking (Fabricatore, 2000;Fazeli et al., 2020;Hisam et al., 2018;Hsiao, 2007;Nuyens et al., 2019). Games are also known to be crucial to the evolution of social processes and cognition in children, which can extend to video games (Hwang & Wu, 2011;Kim et al., 2009). ...
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Amidst lockdown policies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many used video games as a method to maintain a connection with others while ensuring social distancing. A new edition of the Animal Crossing series of games had been released in March 2020 and beat sales and downloads records. The game focuses on living in a natural environment, building a house and a village, as well as capturing, exhibiting, and selling species to progress. Here we examine whether players gain species identification skills and whether it is transferred to real-life models. We used the results from a survey conducted from the end of March to early April 2020 on 200 people (72 players and 128 nonplayers of Animal Crossing). Participants were first asked to rank their personal interest in nature and then to identify species from photos. The photos displayed both organisms present in the game and organisms that were not. We expected players to obtain a slightly higher score than nonplayers for questions related to the species present in the game and a similar score in both groups for questions related to species not present in the game. Multivariate analyses (multiple linear regression and principal components analysis [PCA]) showed that players were better than nonplayers at identifying real-life species that were present in the game. The role of the species in the game design impacts the ability to identify the species in real life, such as plants having mainly a role of ornamentation. Additionally, this study suggests that survey participants could correctly assess their naturalistic knowledge in general. This article shows that video games can help enhance ecological learning, improve organisms identification, and might be used as a tool for education in conservation biology.
... The active manipulation of symbols combined with the immediate feedback on students' actions may help students ground their algebraic knowledge in physical experiences, developing perceptual and embodied routines for algebraic reasoning (Abrahamson et al., 2020;Alibali & Nathan, 2012;Goldstone et al., 2017;Kellman et al., 2010). This dynamic design may also provide students with a personalized learning experience (Andersen, 2012;Turkay & Kinzer, 2014), and allow space for graceful failure (Hoffman & Nadelson, 2010;Kim et al., 2009). ...
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Background Prior work has shown that middle school students struggle with algebra and that game‐based educational technologies, such as DragonBox and From Here to There!, are effective at improving students' algebraic performance. However, it remains unclear which aspects of algebraic knowledge shift as a result of playing these games and what game design features support algebraic learning. Objective Using the data from a randomized controlled trial conducted in the 2020–2021 academic year, we (a) examined students' relative performance on assessment items measuring conceptual knowledge, procedural knowledge and procedural flexibility in algebraic equation solving, and (b) identified changes in these aspects of algebraic knowledge after playing DragonBox or From Here to There!. Methods Eight hundred eighty‐seven seventh‐graders were randomly assigned to playing DragonBox or From Here to There! for nine 30‐min sessions throughout the school year. Students also completed a pretest, midtest and posttest measuring their algebraic knowledge. Results and Conclusion First, prior to the intervention, students scored the highest on procedural knowledge and lowest on conceptual knowledge. Second, students significantly improved and maintained learning gains on conceptual knowledge throughout the intervention. Their performance on procedural knowledge and procedural flexibility items increased at midtest but decreased at posttest. Third, the pattern of results was consistent for students in the DragonBox and From Here to There! conditions, suggesting that both games may support students' conceptual understanding of algebra. The findings have implications for research and practice on supporting algebraic learning through game‐based technologies during and beyond educational disruptions.
... In a real environment, game-based learning typically involves children in a game world that allows them to interact with the learning material while motivating them to improve their knowledge and skills through competitive activities with rules, objectives, feedback, interactions and results (Kim et al. [11]). These objectives remain unchanged in our proposal, since the learning material takes the form of ICT resources that are available both in the classroom and at home. ...
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During the recent period of confinement, educational institutions and teachers worked together to provide online teaching to enable students to acquire the competencies of each educational level. Efforts mainly focused on secondary and higher education and, to a lesser extent, on primary education. Although these efforts have been useful, it is important to take advantage of them and continue using both the resources developed and the know-how obtained during this period. In this paper, we present an online education proposal with a focus on preschool education that was initially developed during the lockdown period for students between three and five years old, and which continues to form an important part of the curricular content in current face-to-face teaching. We discuss the adaptation and successful use of this proposal in the post-confinement period, in which a return to face-to-face education has taken place. It is important to note that this proposal is aimed at a generation of students who are already digital natives, and it is necessary to pay attention to both the content and the design of the proposed computer games, in addition to maintaining the motivation of the students. One of the differentiating characteristics of this proposal is that the interactive resources developed here were designed, developed and adapted by the preschool children’s teachers themselves, without requiring computer science skills. The proposed methodology provides dynamic resources that evolve alongside the students. Therefore, our proposal is composed of both the methodology for the development of the computer games of the game-based part of our curricular project, and the project itself. Two examples of this project are presented. We show how the methodology allows the design and adaptation of computer games for specific school groups at specific learning stages.
... This is because motivated learners are more likely to make the effort needed to understand what is being taught as well as how it can be applied into their own lives (Omrod, 2014.) There is a growing body of work in the area of gamebased learning, focusing on different aspects such as meta-cognitive strategies (Kim et al., 2009,) the effects on attitudes towards mathematics (Çankaya & Karamete, 2009) or the psychology of learning mathematics (Sedighian et al,. 1996.) ...
In this paper I describe elements of Game-Based Learning that can be used to support mathematics teaching using games. After creating a game that incorporates the elements described, the game was playtested against a small number of people who answered a questionnaire focusing on user experience, learning motivation and game design. The results are attached separately as well as the analysis. I believe that with further development this game-based approach can be a powerful tool to gamify common learning tools and increase learning motivation and appreciation.
... In addition, researchers believe that metacognitive engagement is the key to developing a deeper conceptual understanding of scientific ideas (e.g., Anderson and Nashon 2007;Wang & Chen, 2014). Therefore, different methodological context was taken into account in the educational practices field, ones that could lead to student metacognitive development, such as: project and reflection methods (Glava & Glava, 2011), critical thinking (Ku & Ho, 2010), play-based learning (Kim, Park & Baek, 2009) or problem solving (Downing et al., 2009). Avargil, Lavi and Dori (2018) sum up the results of applied researches that used metacognition-based pedagogical intervention in some science field disciplines. ...
"The aim of the study is to highlight the efficiency of a program of activities implemented to develop the level of learning metacognitive awareness of students with low academic performance. The study was conducted on a total of 28 students from the Faculty of Social Humanistic Sciences, University of Oradea, Romania, equally divided into two groups, experimental and control. The didactic strategy used for the experimental group used tools of the mind in activities having the role of support learning for the coursebook content units of Theory and Methodology of Teacher Training. The entire program of activities took place outside classes and seminars, in online. The research tool was Metacognitive Awareness Inventory, validated on the Romanian population by A. Glava, having a number of 53 items. The research findings partially validate the research hypothesis. The program of activities contributed to the improvement of the level of metacognitive awareness of the students in the experimental group, in the posttest stage as compared with the pretest. In the intergroup comparisons, in the posttest, there were statistically significant results only for the Information Management Strategies subscale, with higher mean values in the experimental group. The research findings emphasize the need for an active involvement of teachers, managers of universities in identifying and using teaching strategies to support students with low academic performance in learning, to reduce their risk of dropping out."
We are now in the post-confinement phase, a confinement decreed by the authorities in many countries due to COVID-19, which has led to the suspension of face-to-face teaching at all educational stages. Educational institutions and teachers have worked together to provide online teaching to enable students to achieve the required competencies at each educational level during the period of confinement. In this paper we show an online education proposal focused on preschool education that began to be developed in the period of confinement, for students between 3 and 5 years old. The adaptation and successful use of this proposal for the post-confinement period is presented, in which the return to face-to-face education has taken place. This proposal is a significant part of a curriculum design conceived as a game-based project in which the part related to computer games is presented here. It is important to note that this proposal focuses on generations that are already digital natives, so it is necessary to pay attention to both the content and the design of the proposed computer games, as well as to maintain the motivation of the students. The methodology presented allows for live resources that evolve along with the trainees.KeywordsGamificationOpen resources3–5 years-oldOnline learning
This chapter reflects on pre-service teacher (PST) education by bringing together two different but interconnected science education research areas: gaming and emotions. There are few studies on PSTs as game designers. In this chapter, the difficulty of balancing elements of game design with pedagogical aims in gaming activity is documented. Paralleling this paucity of research on gaming is a lack of research focusing on PST’s sense-making about their pedagogy through their emotions. From a hermeneutic phenomenological research approach, these two issues are examined by presenting an exploratory study. Qualitative analysis of three focus-group discussions with three groups of three elementary PSTs focused on the group member’s emotional experiences while designing and implementing science game activities in a teaching and learning sequence. The nature of the PST’s emotional experiences serves as the background to identify the challenges of introducing game design in pre-service teacher education. Planning moments of implementation in science education courses allow the opportunity for reflection on how PSTs react to students’ emotions.
In this chapter, the authors discuss the Newby Chinese game-based learning (GBL) platform for group-based teaching of beginners Mandarin Chinese as a second language. Details are provided on the design of games within the platform, the pedagogical theories which they support, and the ways that theories of fun and teaching intersect to produce an effective learning experience which students actually enjoy. While aspects of the games within the platform have been designed to specifically support modern Chinese-learning pedagogy, the approaches taken and lessons learned should be useful for a range of GBL content. Newby Chinese has been used by thousands of students over the last three years, and its continued development has been informed by this practical experience.
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L. S. Vygotsky's (1978, 1981, 1983, 1934/1988) writings suggest 2 major types of mediation as the main mechanism of children's learning and development. Metacognitive mediation refers to the acquisition of semiotic tools of self-regulation. Cognitive mediation refers to the acquisition of scientific concepts representing the essence of some class of phenomena. Some approaches taken by American researchers, characterized as guided discovery in a community of learners, are relevant to L. S. Vygotsky's concept of metacognitive mediation but are in sharp contrast to his concept of cognitive mediation. The "theoretical learning" approach taken by Russian followers of L. S. Vygotsky incorporates his concept of cognitive mediation but fails to emphasize adequately the concept of metacognitive mediation. Analysis of these approaches shows that it is advisable to develop an instructional procedure that incorporates both of L. S. Vygotsky's types of mediation.