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Title: Games-based learning environments in the classroom : attitudes, dialogue and thinking
Author: Orr, Karen Collette
ISNI:       0000 0004 2726 5922
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis addresses two key research questions surrounding games-based learning (GBL). In Part One, three attitude studies are reported. Using confirmatory factor analysis, Study 1 disconfirmed the factor structure of an existing scale (Bonanno & Kommers, 2008). Studies 2 and 3 developed new scales for measuring pupils' ('Pupil attitudes to GBL' scale i.e., PA2GBL) and teachers' attitudes towards GBL . ('Teacher attitudes to GBL' scale, i.e., TA2GBL) in general. Exploratory factor analysis across both studies revealed three similar sub-scales measuring: learning benefits of GBL, perceived self-efficacy, and boastfulness! confidence (pupils) and confidence with IT use (teachers). Factors affecting attitudes were examined. The key finding was the importance of gaming experience on GBL attitudes. Both GBL and spare time gaming experience were important factors for the pupils, but for teachers, GBL experience was more important. In all instances, those with more experience were more positive. In Part Two, three pairs of pupils were observed over three time points interacting with a game designed specifically for the Northern Ireland curriculum, focussed on the topic of Citizenship. A coding framework was created to code their behaviour and dialogue. Different patterns of how the pairs moved through the games were identified as 'systematic', 'tentative yet improving', and 'off-track with guided improvement'. The results demonstrated how greater experience with the games increased higher order dialogue and collaboration, but procedural dialogue did not always decrease. All pairs experienced some confusion with the game; therefore, the importance of teacher support is recognised. The implications from the thesis point to: (1) the importance of gaming! GBL experience for improving attitudes towards GBL and for encouraging collaboration and higher order thinking whilst using GBL; and (2) the importance of pedagogic considerations, namely, the vital scaffolding/guiding role of the teacher in a GBL classroom to ensure educational benefits are realised.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available