Using Game-Based Cooperative Learning to Improve Learning Motivation: A Study of Online Game Use in an Operating Systems Course

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DOI: 10.1109/TE.2012.2207959
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Abstract
Many researchers have studied the use of game-based learning. Game-based learning takes many forms, including virtual reality, role playing, and performing tasks. For students to learn specific course content, it is important that the selected game be suited to the course. Thus far, no studies have investigated the use of game-based cooperative learning in an operating systems course. For this study, an online game was developed to enable students to learn cooperatively. The findings indicate that students' desire to win the game motivates them to learn from online course materials before they play, which in turn can enable them to achieve better learning outcomes.
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IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON EDUCATION, VOL. 56, NO. 2, MAY 2013 183
Using Game-Based Cooperative Learning to Improve
Learning Motivation: A Study of Online Game Use
in an Operating Systems Course
Bin-Shyan Jong, Chien-Hung Lai, Yen-Teh Hsia, Tsong-Wuu Lin, and Cheng-Yu Lu
Abstract—Many researchers have studied the use of game-based
learning. Game-based learning takes many forms, including vir-
tual reality, role playing, and performing tasks. For students to
learn specic course content, it is important that the selected game
be suited to the course. Thus far, no studies have investigated the
use of game-based cooperative learning in an operating systems
course. For this study, an online game was developed to enable
students to learn cooperatively. The ndings indicate that stu-
dents’ desire to win the game motivates them to learn from online
course materials before they play, which in turn can enable them
to achieve better learning outcomes.
Index Terms—Cooperative learning, game-based learning, game
questionnaire, learning achievement, learning motivation.
I. INTRODUCTION
TRADITIONAL classroom teaching tends to be didactic.
Therefore, when students do not nd course materials
interesting, they become less motivated to learn. In order to
resolve this problem, many instructors employ teaching aids
to augment the impact of the classroom period; game-based
learning is one such tool. When instructors integrate course
materials with the content of a game, and then allow students to
play the game in class, the students acquire important knowl-
edge through their gaming experience [1]–[3]. With advances
in computer and network technology, many courses can now
be held or supplemented online, and students can use their own
computers to access course content on the Web. This makes
it possible to use game-based learning in the development of
learning technology [2]–[4] such that students are no longer
conned to a classroom setting when learning. For example,
it is possible to stimulate students’ algorithmic thinking by
asking them to program simulations in a game; in this way,
they develop their ability to write efcient program code [5].
Some researchers also combine game-performing tasks with
Manuscript received February 24, 2012; revised May 10, 2012; accepted June
25, 2012. Date of publication July 18, 2012; date of current version May 01,
2013.
B.-S.Jong,C.-H.Lai,Y.-T.Hsia,andC.-Y.LuarewiththeDepartment
of Information and Computer Engineering, Chung Yuan Christian University,
Taoyuan, Taiwan (e-mail: bsjong@ice.cycu.edu.tw; soulwind@cycu.org.tw;
hsia.yenteh@gmail.com; bruce81tw@gmail.com).
T.-W. Lin is with the Department of Computer Science and In-
formation Management, Soochow University, Taipei, Taiwan (e-mail:
twlin@csim.scu.edu.tw).
Color versions of one or more of the gures in this paper are available online
at http://ieeexplore.ieee.org.
Digital Object Identier 10.1109/TE.2012.2207959
course content; by performing such tasks in a game setting,
students acquire course-related knowledge step by step [2].
The work reported in this paper is based on such research.
This study experiments with the use of games as a teaching
aid in an Operating Systems course taught to juniors in the
Department of Information and Computer Engineering, Chung
Yuan Christian University, Taiwan. The purpose of the study
is to improve student motivation, thereby helping students to
achieve better learning outcomes.
The various units of the Operating Systems course are the
following: computer system architecture, operating system ar-
chitecture, processing unit, synchronization, CPU scheduling,
deadlock, memory management, and le system management.
Students in the course must also complete several course-related
projects. Most nd it difcult to master the course; in addition to
memorizing essential course materials, they must tackle difcult
concepts in computer system architecture, operating system ar-
chitecture, memory management, and le system management.
They also need to understand topics such as processing units,
synchronization, and deadlock. Perhaps their most difcult task
is to complete the course projects [6], which are related to CPU
scheduling, memory management, and processing units. As a
result of all these factors, students can become frustrated in
their learning and often lose motivation as the course proceeds,
causing many to give up the course. Therefore, in this study,
an online learning game was developed and integrated with the
Operating Systems course contents. Students’ desire to win the
game motivates them to study course-related materials before
playing. When they win rounds of the game, they become even
more motivated and, as a result, they achieve better learning
outcomes.
II. RELATED WORK
A. Game-Based Learning
In game-based learning, course content is presented to
learners while they are engaged in game playing. The primary
goal of this approach is to improve learner motivation [4].
Thegamei
tself is not the main focus of the course; its use is
only part of the teaching strategy. For example, educational
games can be integrated with cooperative learning [7]. When
students are shown an abundance of colorful screen designs
coupled with sound effects and instructional materials, they
are motivated to learn, and they learn better. Researchers
have applied game-based learning in a variety of educational
settings [2], [8], [9]. For example, “Re-Mission” is used to help
0018-9359/$31.00 © 2012 IEEE
184 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON EDUCATION, VOL. 56, NO. 2, MAY 2013
patients understand cancers in medical therapy [10], the “Chief
Knowledge Ofcer (CKO)” is used to teach students about
knowledge management [11], and “River City” is used to teach
environmental science [12].
Several characteristics of game-based learning have been
identied [13].
By participating in games, students are motivated to re-
view the knowledge they have just acquired.
— The instant feedback provided by the gaming environment
allows instructors to see the progress of individual students
and give suitable suggestions in a timely manner.
— Through game playing, students can exchange knowledge
with one another.
— Game playing enables students to learn in an informal way,
so that they do not feel bored.
Game playing is often accompanied by discussions and
social activities.
B. Cooperative Learning
Cooperative learning emphasizes mutual dependency and
cooperation; in performing each learning task, group members
work together to achieve the same learning goal. There are
different notions of cooperative learning; cooperative learning
groups were have been formed in various ways. Despite this,
the general consensus is one of group discussion, member
interaction, and peer assistance [14]. Compared to individual
learning and competitive learning, cooperative learning is
better in raising the level of learning achievement for students;
it also helps to improve both the learning motivation and the co-
operation skills of students [15]. In addition, group discussion
stimulates deep thinking [16]. To make cooperative learning
more effective, there are important elements to consider [17].
To start with, students should realize the importance of co-
operatively achieving the learning goals. Second, assessment
should include how students divide their tasks, share resources,
take responsibilities, and work together. Third, students should
engage in discussion with, and provide assistance to, each
other. By fullling their roles, they gain a sense of responsi-
bility. Finally, the instructor should always provide appropriate
assistance when needed.
C. Game-Based Learning by Digital Design
Motivation is crucial for learning. When learners have low
motivation, they may not learn at all despite participating in
learning activities. Researchers can add the element of game
playing to a course to increase learners’ motivation and attract
their attention, thereby helping them focus [18]. It is not easy
to design a game that is both integrated with existing course
contents and interesting. Echeverria et al. [19] propose a design
methodology for integrating the characteristics of a game with
the various elements of a course. They identify the various ele-
ments of games and course contents: a Ludic Dimension is the
set of elements of a game, whereas an Educational Dimension
is the set of elements of a course [19]. The integration of the
Ludic and Educational Dimensions combines mechanics with
cognitive processes, type of knowledge, pedagogical model, and
story.
To include game playing in learning activities, instructors
should consider the nature and content of the course and who
their students are. For example, students of different age levels
have different game preferences. Primary school students may
like single-player games. For them, playing simple task-per-
forming games and performing better than their classmates can
bring about a sense of achievement [20], [21]. High school
students prefer games with an abundance of video images and
sound effects. Apart from their requirement for systematic
scenarios, they also have higher expectations for software
quality [2]. College students, on the other hand, prefer multi-
player online games in which they can interact with others.
The content of such games evolves according to the manner
in which the players interact [22]. Past works on game-based
learning have focused mainly on primary and high school
courses [23], but rarely on college courses. For college stu-
dents, a game has to have a reasonable degree of sophistication
to be “playable.” Therefore, the principal issue here is how
game-based learning can be designed to improve college
students’ learning motivation, thereby helping them achieve
better learning outcomes. This study develops a peer interac-
tion game with a competitive cooperative learning style and
integrates the game with the course content. By playing the
game, students participate in a group process; members of
the same group coordinate, discuss, and share their thoughts,
whereas different groups compete with one another. From the
perspective of course nature and content, the Operating Systems
course requires programming practices, along with concept
understanding and memorization. It is generally considered a
boring course, and many of the students who enroll have low
motivation. Therefore, there is a strong incentive to include
game-based learning in the teaching of this course.
III. PEER INTERACTION GAME
A. Game Method
The study described here develops a peer interaction game
for six players. The players are divided into two competing
three-person teams. A team size of three persons was selected
so that every team member can be fully involved. It also makes
it possible for skills to be used at appropriate times and ensures
that the game does not take too long to complete. This design
accords with Lou et al. [24], who suggest that the best arrange-
ment is to have three to four persons per team. This also ensures
that the game-playing system provides adequate room for all
players to participate.
Students log in to the game online. Once they are logged in,
each team of three must decide who will play which role, with
each player taking one role. When all six players have chosen
their roles, the game automatically begins. Different roles corre-
spond to different professions, and each profession has its own
set of attributes and skills. For example, the main skill of a war-
rior is to attack. The design of this role emphasizes the amount
of blood loss for each attack, as Fig. 1 shows. In contrast, the
wizard’s role emphasizes assisting team members, as Fig. 2
shows. Lastly, the main emphasis of the archer is on helping
team members attack opponents more effectively. Therefore, in
the design of this role, emphasis is placed on controlling the time
JONG et al.: USING GAME-BASED COOPERATIVE LEARNING TO IMPROVE LEARNING MOTIVATION 185
Fig. 1. Warrior skills.
Fig. 2. Wizard skills.
Fig. 3. Archer skills.
for answering questions, as shown in Fig. 3. Assigning different
attributes to each role means that students can not only hold dis-
cussions via the Web, but also make use of the different skills
to dramatically increase their interest in playing the game. This
results in a better learning effect.
Fig. 4 presents a snapshot of the gaming interface. The two
participating teams are labeled as the Union and the Tribe. As
the game starts, the system randomly decides whether it is the
Union’s or the Tribe’s turn to attack. The game is played round
by round. Assume that it is the Union that attacks and the Tribe
that defends. Then, one Union team member chooses a ques-
tion for a Tribe team member to answer. Subsequently, a Tribe
team member chooses a question for a Union team member to
answer. Fig. 5 presents this question and answer sequence. The
questions used are multiple-choice, and each has its own time
limit. Each player can use the skills associated with his/her role
Fig. 4. Game interface.
Fig. 5. Game sequence.
to improve the effect of attack or defense for his/her team. The
use of a skill by a player always costs some magic point (MP)
value.
As they play, all players can see the full set of available game
questions listed in the Candidate Question Area of the center
of Fig. 4. Within a prespecied time limit, the attack team can
discuss which question they want to use for their attack, and
the defense team can discuss which one they will select in the
next round. They do this in the area titled “Discussion with the
group” (Fig. 4, lower left). Once the attack team has selected
the “attack question,” members of the defense team can see it in
their Question-to-Answer areas, and the answer choices will ap-
pear in their Answers-to-Question areas. However, only the des-
ignated defender can answer the question. The other two mem-
bers of the defense team can only discuss the answer choice with
the designated defender. Once the designated defender has se-
lected an answer, the system checks it for correctness. If the an-
swer is correct, the blood level of the attack team is lowered. If
the answer is incorrect, the blood level [health point (HP) value]
of the defense team is lowered. If the blood level of a player
reaches zero, that player is forced to retire from the game and
he/she will no longer be able to use his/her skills or participate
in the discussions. When the blood levels of all three players on
a team reach zero, the game is over.
186 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON EDUCATION, VOL. 56, NO. 2, MAY 2013
The peer interaction game used in this research encourages
team members to cooperate with one another when competing
with another team. By incorporating competition, the game mo-
tivates participants to win. Moreover, by providing a means for
team members to discuss a question posed to any one of them,
the game allows the other two team members to provide timely
assistance. These factors—cooperation, competition, and dif-
ferent skills attributed to different roles—are what make the
game appealing to students.
The peer interaction game used in this study is specically
designed for students in the Operating Systems course. Its most
important characteristic is peer interaction, followed by the de-
sign of skill sets assigned to different player roles and the ef-
fects of using these skills in game playing. Consider peer inter-
action, for example. Teammates discuss which attack questions
to choose, as well as answers to questions assigned to them by
the opponent; they also discuss which skills they should use and
when, according to whether they believe their answer to a ques-
tion is correct and whether their opponent will encounter dif-
culties in answering an attack question. When players use a skill
at the appropriate time, their likelihood of winning the game in-
creases. For example, when a player attacks the opposing team’s
wizard, the player’s teammate who is playing the warrior role
can use his/her “No Match” skill to decrease the blood level of
the wizard to zero. In this manner, the wizard will not be able
to use his/her skill to supply more blood to his/her team. Thus,
using the different skills provided in the game allows for var-
ious ways of playing, which makes the game much more fun
for learners.
B. Design Rationale of the Peer Interaction Game
In this study, the design rationale of the game is based on the
architecture proposed by Echeverria et al. [19], which combines
elements of the game with those of the course. Table I contrasts
the game design with the design principles proposed by Echev-
erria et al. Table II explains the various characteristics of the
peer interaction game.
IV. EXPERIMENTS
A. Participants
In this experiment, the participants were 128 students
enrolled in the Department of Information and Computer En-
gineering, Chung Yuan Christian University. The participants
took the Operating Systems course in the Spring semester
of 2011. The two classes of this course naturally became the
experimental group and the control group, with 63 participants
in the experimental group and 65 in the control group. The par-
ticipants’ learning motivation, process, and achievement were
evaluated both before and after the experiment. A learning
motivation questionnaire was used to assess the change in
motivation. The MSLQ used by Pintrich et al. [25] assesses
three dimensions of learner attitude and includes 31 questions.
Wilke [26] indicates that only the rst dimension of attitude
pertains to learner motivation. Therefore, only 14 questions
relevant to the assessment of learner motivation were included
in the questionnaire used in this study. It was very difcult to
obtain ofine learning records. Therefore, a learning feedback
TAB L E I
GAME DESIGN CONFORMS TO ECHEVERRIA et al. [19]
form (Table III) was used to ask the participants about their
learning processes. From this feedback form, and by retrieving
learning portfolios recorded online, it was possible to assess the
learning processes of the participants. Pretest and post-test were
performed to assess the participants’ learning achievements.
An additional questionnaire was used to ask the participants
whether they considered the game attractive and how they
evaluated it. There were 12 questions in this questionnaire
(Table IV).
B. Procedure
The experiment lasted eight weeks. The 63 participants in the
experimental group were randomly divided into 21 groups, with
three participants in each group, and the 65 participants of the
control group were randomly divided into 22 groups, with one
group containing only two participants.
There were three kinds of learning activities for the experi-
mental group: didactic teaching, asynchronous e-learning, and
peer interaction games. The control group did not participate in
JONG et al.: USING GAME-BASED COOPERATIVE LEARNING TO IMPROVE LEARNING MOTIVATION 187
TAB L E I I
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PEER INTERACTION GAME
TAB L E I II
EXPLANATION OF THE FEEDBACK RESULTS
the peer interaction game; they went through traditional coop-
erative learning instead. Figs. 6 and 7 present the experimental
procedure for the experimental and control groups, respectively.
The procedure comprised six stages. Stage 1 was the pretest:
Both groups took an exam and answered the learning motivation
questionnaire. No signicant differences were found between
the two groups. Stage 2 consisted of cooperative learning. The
experimental group engaged in cooperative learning by playing
the peer interaction game, whereas the control group did so in
the more traditional way, that is, face-to-face. Both groups used
the same set of questions designed by the instructor. All ques-
tions were multiple-choice. In Stage 3, the same learning mo-
tivation questionnaire was administered to determine whether
TAB L E I V
RESULTS OF THE GAME QUESTIONNAIRE
Fig. 6. Experiment procedure for the experimental group.
Fig. 7. Experiment procedure for the control group.
there was a signicant difference in learner motivation. Stage 4
was the post-test. Both groups retook the exam that they had
taken in Stage 1 as a measure of their learning achievements.
The set of questions used in the pretest was redesigned for the
post-test, so that members of the experimental group could not
benet from viewing more of the questions used in Stage 2. In
188 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON EDUCATION, VOL. 56, NO. 2, MAY 2013
TAB L E V
ANOVA OF LEARNING QUESTIONNAIRE RESULTS
TAB L E V I
ANOVA OF PRETEST AND POSTTEST RESULTS
the test, there were multiple-choice questions as well as prob-
lems that required answers. In Stage 5, all the participants com-
pleted a learning feedback form, and their online learning per-
formances were calculated. In Stage 6, only the experimental
group lled out a questionnaire for the game.
As a result, the following data were collected: learning mo-
tivation questionnaire results from Stages 1 and 3, pretest and
post-test scores, online performance scores, learner feedback,
and questionnaire results for the game. After participants who
dropped out of the course or who did not participate in some
of the tests or questionnaires were excluded, 41 participants re-
mained in the experimental group and 40 in the control group.
The data collected for these 81 participants were subsequently
analyzed.
C. Data Analysis
Table V presents the ANOVA of learning motivation ques-
tionnaire results. In Stage 1, the F-value is no greater than the
critical value. This means that before the cooperative learning
activities, there was no signicant difference in learning mo-
tivation between the two groups. In Stage 3, the F-value is
greater than the critical value. This means that after members of
the experimental group participated in game-based cooperative
learning, their learning motivation signicantly increased; as a
result, there was a signicant difference in learning motivation
between the groups. This nding indicates that the game-based
cooperative learning used in the study is more effective than
traditional face-to-face cooperative learning for improving
learning motivation.
Table VI presents the ANOVA of pretest and post-test results.
For the pretest result, the F-value is not greater than the crit-
ical value, which means that there was no signicant difference
in learning achievement between the experimental and control
groups. For the post-test result, the F-value is greater than the
critical value, which means that there was a signicant differ-
ence in learning achievement. This, in turn, means that students
who participated in game-based cooperative learning achieved
more when compared to those who participated in traditional
face-to-face cooperative learning.
When students learn online, their learning activities can be
recorded in portfolios [27]. Translating these learner records
TAB L E V II
WEIGHTS OF THE EIGHT ONLINE BEHAVIOR ITEMS
TAB L E V III
ANOVA OF STUDENTS’ONLINE PERFORMANCE SCORES
into overall online performance scores can help instructors un-
derstand how individual students perform online. In the past,
instructors have had to dene a weight for each item of online
behavior period. However, the resulting scoring scheme may be
too objective and may not correspond to real learner situations.
Li [27] suggests a method for computing overall online
performance scores based on Principal component anal-
ysis [28], [29]. Principal component analysis redistributes the
weights of all attributes and makes the attributes as independent
as possible. It is therefore suitable for revealing differences
between the attributes.
In this study, eight online behavior items were considered:
total number of logins, number of days logins occur, number of
course discussion posts, number of special topic posts, number
of clicks as related to course materials, hours spent studying
course materials, number of clicks related to course discussions,
and number of clicks related to special topic discussions. These
items were automatically recorded by the system when students
accessed the e-learning platform. Li’s method is used to trans-
form each student’s online behaviors into an overall online per-
formance score. Table VII presents the weights for these eight
items.
The students’ online performance scores were computed and
analyzed to see whether they performed better in learning activi-
ties when they participated in game-based cooperative learning.
First, the students’ overall online performance scores were com-
puted for System Programming (a required course taught by the
same instructor during the Fall of 2010); these scores served as
the pretest. Then, the overall online performance scores from
the experiment were computed; these served as the post-test.
Table VIII presents the two ANOVA results of these scores. As
the table shows, there is no signicant difference in the pretest
scores between the groups. However, the post-test scores show
a signicant difference, suggesting that the use of game-based
cooperative learning is superior to traditional face-to-face co-
operative learning with regard to stimulating students’ online
learning activities.
JONG et al.: USING GAME-BASED COOPERATIVE LEARNING TO IMPROVE LEARNING MOTIVATION 189
TAB L E I X
SUMMARY OF LEARNER FEEDBACK
TAB L E X
STUDENT FEEDBACK ON LEARNING STRATEGIES
In Stage 5 of the experiment, students lled out feedback
forms. Table IX presents a summary of the results. Table III
gives an explanation of the results.
Table IX shows that members of the experimental group spent
more time on learning activities as compared to their control
group counterparts. This suggests that game-based cooperative
learning provides further stimulus for learning. As it happened,
the instructor of this course also gave students the chance to
make up their homework at the end of Spring 2011. Table IX
shows that members of the experimental group were much more
aggressive than their control group counterparts in taking ad-
vantage of this chance.
In addition, when asked to describe how they learned for
the course, members of the two groups gave different answers.
Table X shows that members of the experimental group dis-
played a more positive learning attitude. In contrast, members of
the control group were not so uniform in terms of their learning
attitudes. Some learned actively, some passively, and some even
failed to keep up with the course. Overall, the ndings indicate
that game-based cooperative learning provides a better stim-
ulus for learning than does traditional face-to-face cooperative
learning.
After the experiment concluded, members of the experi-
mental group were given a questionnaire. A total of 46 ques-
tionnaire results were collected. A reliability analysis of these
46 questionnaire results found a Cronbach’s alpha value of
0.900. Table IV presents the results of the game questionnaire.
It shows that students had good interactions with their peers
during the game and were satised with these interactions.
The students also agreed that their interactions with the game
helped them to learn. This suggests that the game motivated
them to learn more. Overall, the students were interested in
the game and indicated that they would recommend it to other
students in the department. Moreover, students highly agreed
that they found it pleasant to win. This means that winning the
game can give students a sense of condence and achievement,
and it motivates them to learn more about operating systems.
The students also expressed that they were not satised with
the visual and sound effects of the game, but were otherwise
satised with how the questions were presented.
V. C ONCLUSION AND FUTURE STUDY
The goals of this research were to do the following.
— Develop a game integrated with the course content of, and
use it in teaching, the Operating Systems course. In playing
this game, team members cooperate with one another to
compete with another team.
Evaluate whether the use of peer interaction games im-
proves student learning motivation, performance, and/or
learning outcomes.
— Analyze the extent to which students are satised with this
pedagogy.
To that end, this study investigated the differences in motiva-
tion, achievement, and activities between game-based coopera-
tive learning and traditional face-to-face cooperative learning.
It was found that game-based cooperative learning excels in
all these aspects. Therefore, the kind of online, multiplayer,
game-based cooperative learning used in this research is effec-
tive for improving learning achievement, and it has a positive
effect on the learning process as well.
The following qualitative observations were made regarding
the process of cooperative learning in the two groups. Driven
by the desire to win (Table IV, Item 10) students participating
in game-based cooperative learning try to nd answers through
online group discussions whenever they are being “attacked”
by questions with which they are unfamiliar; they also carefully
plan the use of the skills to maximize their chances of win-
ning. Even if the answers they give are wrong, they continue
playing the game, and they are more likely to study unfamiliar
course content afterwards. In contrast, students participating in
the traditional face-to-face cooperative learning tend to rely on
the more capable students in answering the given questions.
The activity easily becomes centralized learning, with only the
more capable students actually participating. Those who rely on
the more capable students tend not to realize that they lack the
necessary knowledge, and they are less likely to study more in
private.
This seems to be the reason why members of the experi-
mental group spent more time on various learning activities
(Tables VIII and X). It also explains why they learned more in
general (Table VI).
There are also some conclusions that can be drawn from
the participant feedback. Since members of the experimental
group were more willing to spend time on learning activities,
this shows that game-based cooperative learning can stimulate
active learning. Many control group members relied on others
to answer questions. Therefore, it is only natural for these
students to be less active in learning.
190 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON EDUCATION, VOL. 56, NO. 2, MAY 2013
In the future, the goal is to apply game-based cooperative
learning in different courses and for various types of participants
in order to gain a broader understanding of the applicability of
this pedagogy.
Future versions of the game should improve the visual and
sound effects. More dynamic pictures and skills can be added
as well to further motivate the students to play.
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Bin-Shyan Jong received the B.S. degree in electronic engineering from
Chung Yuan Christian University, Taoyuan, Taiwan, in 1978, and the M.S.
and Ph.D. degrees in computer science from National Tsing Hua University,
Hsinchu, Taiwan, in 1983 and 1989, respectively.
He is a Professor with the Department of Information and Computer Engi-
neering, Chung Yuan Christian University. His research interests include com-
puter graphics and computer-aided education.
Chien-Hung Lai received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in information and com-
puter engineering from Chung Yuan Christian University, Taoyuan, Taiwan, in
2008 and 2010, respectively, and is currently pursuing the Ph.D. degree in elec-
tronic engineering at Chung Yuan Christian University.
His research interests include computer-aided education.
Yen - Te h H s i a received the B.S. degree in navigation technology and marine en-
gineering from National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu, Taiwan, in 1978, and
the M.S and Ph.D. degrees in computer science from the University of Kansas,
Lawrence, in 1986 and 1989, respectively.
He is now an Associate Professor with the Department of Information
and Computer Engineering, Chung Yuan Christian University, Taoyuan,
Taiwan. His research interests include computer-aided education and articial
intelligence.
Tsong-Wuu Lin received the B.S. degree from Tamkang University, Taiwan,
in 1985, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from National Tsing Hua University,
Hsinchu, Taiwan, in 1987 and 1991, respectively, all in computer science.
He is now a Professor with the Department of Computer and Information Sci-
ence, Soochow University, Taipei, Taiwan. His research interests include com-
puter graphics and computer-aided education.
Cheng-Yu Lu received the B.S. and the M.S. degrees in information and com-
puter engineering from Chung Yuan Christian University, Taoyuan, Taiwan, in
2009 and 2011, respectively.
His research interests include computer-aided education.
  • ... The research of collaborative learning has also shown that students' peer interactions can contribute to their shared understanding of knowledge (Forman, 1989;Ke, 2008;Kumpulainen & Mutanen, 1999;Webb, 1989;Zhao et al., 2014). However, although many GBL environments for collaboration have been introduced and implemented empirically, relationships among students' peer interactions, task efficiency, and learning engagement are still murky (Jong et al., 2013;Romero et al., 2012). Therefore, it is warranted to examine whether and how students' peer interactions predict task efficiency and learning engagement. ...
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    Background. Middle school students’ math anxiety and low engagement have been major issues in math education. In order to reduce their anxiety and support their math learning, game-based learning (GBL) has been implemented. GBL research has underscored the role of social dynamics to facilitate a qualitative understanding of students’ knowledge. Whereas students’ peer interactions have been deemed a social dynamic, the relationships among peer interaction, task efficiency, and learning engagement were not well understood in previous empirical studies.
  • ... The research of collaborative learning has also shown that students' peer interactions can contribute to their shared understanding of knowledge (Forman, 1989;Ke, 2008;Kumpulainen & Mutanen, 1999;Webb, 1989;Zhao, Sullivan, & Mellenius, 2014). However, although many GBL environments for collaboration have been introduced and implemented empirically, relationships among students' peer interactions, task efficiency, and learning engagement are still murky (Jong, Lai, Hsia, Lin, & Lu, 2013;Romero, Usart, Ott, Earp, & de Freitas, 2012). Therefore, it is warranted to examine whether and how students' peer interactions predict task efficiency and learning engagement. ...
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    Background. Middle school students’ math anxiety and low engagement have been major issues in math education. In order to reduce their anxiety and support their math learning, game-based learning (GBL) has been implemented. GBL research has underscored the role of social dynamics to facilitate a qualitative understanding of students' knowledge. Whereas students’ peer interactions have been deemed a social dynamic, the relationships among peer interaction, task efficiency, and learning engagement were not well understood in previous empirical studies. Method. This mixed-method study implemented E-Rebuild, which is a 3D architecture game designed to promote students’ math problem-solving skills. For data analyses, we collected a total of 102 50-minutes gameplay sessions performed by 32 middle school students. Using video-captured and screen-recorded gameplaying sessions, we implemented behavior observations to measure students’ peer interaction efficiency, task efficiency, and learning engagement. We then used association analyses, sequential analysis, and thematic analysis to explain how peer interaction promoted students’ task efficiency and learning engagement. Results. Overall, this study found that students’ peer interactions were negatively related to task efficiency and learning engagement. The study also demonstrated that there were different gameplay patterns by students’ learning/task-relevant peer-interaction efficiency (PIE) level. Interestingly, the students in the low PIE group tended to progress through game tasks more efficiently than those in the high PIE group. The results of qualitative thematic analysis suggested that the students in the low PIE group showed more reflections on game-based mathematical problem solving, whereas those with high PIE experienced distractions during gameplay. Discussion. This study confirmed that students’ peer interactions without purposeful and knowledge-constructive collaborations led to their low task efficiency, as well as low learning engagement. The study finding shows further design implications: (1) providing in-game prompts to stimulate students’ math-related discussions and (2) developing collaboration contexts that legitimize students’ interpersonal knowledge exchanges with peers.
  • ... For example, integrating educational games with cooperative learning. When learners are shown many display with full-color design combine with sound effects and learning resources, learners are motivated to learn, and they learn better (Chen & Law, 2016;Ebner & Holzinger, 2007;Jong et al., 2012), the researchers have applied Game-Based Learning in various levels of education and learning materials at Game-Based Learning using as an attempt to create a pleasant atmosphere and increase the learning motivation of learners to learn. Media is a tool or nonpersonal form of communication that functions as a lesson information to be presented to the learners (Allen, Otto, & Hoffman, 1996;Mayer & Mayer, 2005;Setyosari, 2005), Learning media as a bridge to attract the interest and attention of learners to achieve the learning objectives are well (Allen et al., 1996;Arends & Castle, 1991), An assortment of media that can be used by teachers, both media made by the teachers themselves and the media provided by the campaigners education. ...
  • ... Furthermore, when integrating educational concepts within a game, all students acquire relevant knowledge through their gaming experience [1]. Using games for educational purposes not only increases learning but also enhances collaboration between classmates. ...
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