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Title: Digital educational games on numeracy for 5-year-olds : application of eye tracking methodology
Author: Mohd Nizam, Dinna
ISNI:       0000 0004 7964 1248
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 2019
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Digital Education Games (DEGs) have been used to support children's learning in various domains. A number of existing studies on DEGs has focused on whether they could improve children's learning performance. However, only a few of them have attempted to address the critical question of how young children interact with DEGs. Bridging this gap is the main motivation for my research work that contributed to the applied body of knowledge in Human-Computer Interaction, Game-Based Learning, and Educational Technology. With the use of state-of-the-art eye-tracking technology, especially its applicability for mobile devices, a better understanding of young children's focused attention and interaction strategies when learning with DEGs can be obtained. Methodologically, my research work demonstrates how eye-tracking methods can be applied with young users. For the empirical studies of this research work, a dedicated DEG and its Cardboard version serving as control were designed with reference to the UK Early Years Foundation Stage Framework on numeracy. The DEG was developed based on the literature on game-based learning and young children's attention span. To validate the learning effect of both versions of the game, the between-subject experimental design was employed and a paper-based knowledge test was created. The research protocols and instruments were pilot tested and were improved, especially the eye-tracking calibration process. In analysing the eye-tracking data, fixation duration was used as proxy for focused attention, and gaze sequences were used to infer interaction strategies with a refined Gaze Sub-sequence Marking Scheme. Overall, the empirical findings provided valuable groundwork and implication for future work. Specifically, a more child-friendly eye-tracker hardware design is required to facilitate data collection with children playing DEGs. Practical game design for 5-year-olds needs to consider different factors, including game duration, game difficulty, voice-based instructions and interactive non-player-character.
Supervisor: Law, Effie ; Erlebach, Thomas Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available