Educational games for creating awareness about health issues: the case of educational content evaluation integrated in the game

Patty Kostkova, Andreea Molnar

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review

Abstract

Background: There are few health campaigns aimed at creating awareness about health issues aimed at children. Educational games have been shown to be an effective and enjoyable means of creating awareness, however little research was done on how to assess and quantify their educational potential. Most educational game evaluations assessed the effectiveness of the game at delivering
certain learning objectives through a knowledge test given prior and after the game playing session. However it has been shown that this interrupts the game flow and negatively affects the players’ game experience.

Objective: The aim of this study is to assess whether an integrated assessment in the game or an assessment using online questionnaires is better when looking at the game experience.

Methods: Two different versions of the same game were implemented, one having a questionnaire integrated before and after the game and another one which did not. The integrated quiz was similar to “How to be a millionaire” show, whereas the quiz outside the game was delivered through an online
survey. The game was tested in a controlled environment either at after school children clubs or at a toys museum. The children were divided randomly in two groups; however they were free to withdraw from the study at any time either at their request or at their guardian’s request. A total of 49 children with ages from 6 to 13 were considered for the evaluation.

Results: There was no statistically significant difference in the way children perceived the game as being “fun” (p=0.34, CI=95%), “having fun by playing the game” (p= 0.27, CI=95%), and “nice to play” (p=0.65, CI=95%) between the group of children that played the game with the evaluation integrated and the one who did not have the evaluation. A total of 63% of the children who played the game with the evaluation integrated said that they prefer this type of evaluation whereas the rest prefer to take quiz. A total of 20% reported that the integrated evaluation increased their game experience, 30% said that it made the game more interesting, another 30% did not affect them in any way, 15% stated that the quiz did not affect their game experience but prefer not to have it integrated in the game and 5% reported that they do not want the quiz as part of the game. A total of 60% did not notice that their knowledge was evaluated through the integrated evaluation.

Conclusions: For children that were given the version of the game with the quiz integrated, the results showed that most of them preferred to have the quiz integrated in the game as opposed to taking a quiz. Moreover, most of children saw the quiz as a positive enhancement to the game experience. No statistical difference on how the students perceived the game as being “fun”, “having fun by playing the game” or the game being “nice to play” was obtained between the group who played the game with the evaluation integrated and the one who did not.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014
EventMed 2.0 - Malaga, United Kingdom
Duration: 9 Oct 201410 Oct 2014

Conference

ConferenceMed 2.0
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityMalaga
Period9/10/1410/10/14

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