Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: A framework of gameplay for the pedagogical design of educational games
Author: O'Dea, Michael Shaun
ISNI:       0000 0004 2742 1462
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2011
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
This research project was a case study investigating the notion of gameplay and the design of an educational game to teach the 051 (Open Systems Interconnect) model within a blended learning course on Computer networking to university students. The aim of the research was to investigate the use of gameplay to guide the design of educational games. A framework that defined the elements of gameplay and their relationships was developed and was used in conjunction with a model, also developed as part of the research, to map the elements of gameplay against pedagogic functions to create a contextually appropriate educational computer game. The 051 model is the major conceptual framework within the computer networking subject, which describes the computer networking process, the elements of that process and the relationship between those elements. The author is a lecturer in computer networking and had noticed over many years of teaching that some students had difficulties in using the 051 model as a conceptual framework to assist their understanding of the subject, despite its prominence and the frequency of its use within the teaching of the subject. Research suggested that problems arose from a failure to link procedural and conceptual knowledge involved in 051. One of the proposed solutions for these difficulties is to use problem solving to create a problem space that helps learners make the linkages between the two knowledge types. Games have been shown to be effective in providing problem spaces for problem solving exercises. One of the current issues highlighted by research is the contextual mismatches in the use of games within the teaching and learning models in which they are employed. The research resulted in the development of a framework of gameplay where gameplay is the term used to describe the components of a game which influence and enable the playing experience within the game. Further research into the theories and guidelines on integrating teaching elements (e.g. games) appropriately into pedagogy resulted in the development of a model to guide such integration. This was then cross referenced against the gameplay model itself to give a mapping for the blended integration of games into the pedagogical context. Using these models, an 051 role playing game was designed and implemented using the TEs: Morrowind Game Toolkit. The game consisted of a series of quests that corresponded to the layers that comprise the 051 model and success depended on the player's ability to know how to reconstruct the elements of a computer network and on their knowledge ofthe 051 model and computer networking. The case study used a grounded theory methodology and examined the effects of the application of the gameplay framework on the learning processes of the players and their perceptions of those processes in relation to the 051 model. The research findings suggest that the narrative component of gameplay has a significant role to play both in learning how to play the game and in the learning of its content. The data also suggested that the character personalisation of the game and its development was important, in combination with the narrative, to the epistemic framing of learning that takes place when playing the game.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available