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Title: Development of design heuristics for digital educational games for school children of 7 to 11 years old
Author: Khanana, Kornchulee
ISNI:       0000 0004 5919 5308
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 2016
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To design a digital educational game (DEG) for children aged 7-11, it is necessary to know which game features are powerful for motivating them to play and learn. In the Pilot Study of my research project, playability heuristics of the GameFlow model were employed as an analytic tool. The heuristics, which were translated into a set of understandable statements for children, were useful for identifying preferable as well as less preferable game features. Based on the reviews of relevant theoretical frameworks from psychology, pedagogy and design, gaps of the GameFlow model were analysed. This led to the development of a set of eight design heuristics named DEG-7-11 v1. The heuristics were then applied to guide the creation of two new DEGs: FoodGroups-A following all the eight heuristics whereas FoodGroups-B following only two of them. To verify the hypotheses that FoodGroups-A was more educationally effective and enjoyable than FoodGroups-B, the Main Study involving two methods was conducted. For the first method, 182 participating children were randomly assigned to play FoodGroups-A or FoodGroups-B on an individual basis. By comparing the results of pre-tests and post-tests, the educational effect of FoodGroups-A was found to be higher than that of FoodGroups-B. Similarly, based on the results of the validated questionnaire KidsGEQ and the child-friendly statements derived from the GameFlow model, the experiential value of FoodGroups-A was perceived to be higher than that of FoodGroups-B. For the second method, the participating children were asked to rate their agreement with a set of child-friendly statements converted from the heuristics of DEG-7-11 v1, and the children agreed with most of them. The method of producing a child-friendly version of design heuristics originally meant for professional users was shown to be an alternative useful evaluation approach. Furthermore, Heuristic Evaluation was also employed to evaluate fifteen existing DEGs. The results implied that if game designers considered DEG-7-11 v1 in designing DEGs, the games could have a higher level of user acceptance. Finally, the wording of some DEG-7-11 v1 heuristics was modified to improve their understandability, resulting in DEG-7-11 v2.
Supervisor: Law, Effie ; Walkinshaw, Neil Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available