A case study on the design and development of mini-games for research methods and statistics
Author(s)van Rosmalen, Peter
Van der Baaren, John
Del Blanco Aguado, Ángel
KeywordsResearch methods and statistics
Cognitive Task Analysis
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AbstractResearch methodology involves logical reasoning and critical thinking skills which are core competences in developing a more sophisticated understanding of the world. Acquiring expertise in research methods and statistics is not easy and poses a significant challenge for many students. The subject material is challenging because it is highly abstract and complex and requires the coordination of different but inter-related knowledge and skills that are all necessary to develop a coherent and usable skills base in this area. Additionally, while many students embrace research methods enthusiastically, others find the area dry, abstract and boring. In this paper we discuss the design and the first evaluation of a set of mini-games to practice research methods. Games are considered to be engaging and allow students to test out scenarios which provide concrete examples in a way that they typically only do once they are out in the field. The design of a game is a complex task. First, we describe how we used cognitive task analysis to identify the knowledge and competences required to develop a comprehensive and usable understanding of research methods. Next, we describe the games designed and how 4C-ID, an instructional design model, was used to underpin the games with a sound instructional design basis. Finally, the evaluation approach is discussed and how the findings of the first evaluation phase were used to improve the games.
This project is partially supported by the European Community under the Lifelong Learning Programme project nr. 519023-LLP-1-2011-1-UK-KA3-KA3MP. This document does not represent the opinion of the European Community, and the European Community is not responsible for any use that might be made of its content.
Van Rosmalen, P., Boyle, E. A., Van der Baaren, J., Kärki, A. I., & Del Blanco Aguado, A. (2014). A case study on the design and development of mini-games for research methods and statistics. EAI Endorsed Transactionson Game Based Learning, 14(3): e5. Available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.4108/sg.1.3.e5