Computer based training : the effects of game characteristics on motivation and learning


ABSTRACT This study was performed to examine whether adding game-like characteristics (e.g., the characteristics of fantasy, challenge, and curiosity) to an interactive training task would increase learning, as well as motivational appeal, of complex instructional material. Participants' pre-training disposition or preference toward the material (i.e., math and science related concepts) was measured as being either low or high. Forty students, who participated in this research on a voluntary basis, were randomly assigned to one of two conditions. In one condition, the instructional material was presented in a format that allowed interaction with the various variables that affected underwater sound propagation (the topic to be learned). In the other condition, the same instructional material was presented in a game format that also allowed interaction with the variables. An equal number of both high and low disposition people were assigned to each of the conditions. The results of this research indicated that pre-training disposition produced a significant effect with respect to amount learned and post-training disposition. Furthermore, the type of instructional environment (i.e., non-game vs. game) and pre-training disposition (i.e., low vs. high) produced a significant effect with respect to user attitudes tow a rd the medium of instruction. Additionally, those participants who received the game condition stayed in the lesson beyond the required training time significantly longer than those who received the non-game condition. Thus, it was concluded that individual differences in disposition played a greater role in amount learned and post-training disposition than the type of instructional environment. However, the type of instructional environment influenced the individual's motivation to continue in the lesson. If individuals have a low disposition or preference for the type of material to be learned, presenting the material in a game format may help to increase an individual's motivation to spend time with the lesson.


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Graduation Date





Turnage, Janet J.


Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Arts and Sciences






162 p.



Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)




Arts and Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic; Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Sciences

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