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Design and evaluation of a computer game for the learning of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) concepts by physical education and sport science students

Abstract

This study addresses the learning of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) concepts by physical education and sport science students through a computer game. Its aims are: (a) the design of the prototype of a computer game aimed at supporting the development of an appropriate mental model about how a computer works by the students, and (b) the evaluation of the impact of the use of this prototype on students as to appeal, basic usability issues and learning outcomes. The most significant elements of the game prototype (narrative, characters, interface, scenarios, puzzles, gameplay) are presented in connection with the constructivist learning principles that guided the game design. A hundred and three (103) physical education and sport science students participated in the evaluation of the game prototype, which was conducted through pretest and posttest written questionnaires that elicited both quantitative and qualitative data. The data analysis showed that the game prototype was well-accepted as an alternative learning tool for ICT, compared to traditional learning tools, and that most game elements elicited average to positive responses from the students. It was also found that the game prototype had a significant positive effect on students’ knowledge regarding the concepts of input, program, output and their interplay, and that it helped certain students overcome their misconceptions and form more scientifically acceptable and elaborate mental conceptions about basic functions of a computer. Future improvements and extensions to the game as well as future research perspectives are discussed on the basis of the findings.

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Correspondence to Marina Papastergiou.

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Couceiro, R.M., Papastergiou, M., Kordaki, M. et al. Design and evaluation of a computer game for the learning of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) concepts by physical education and sport science students. Educ Inf Technol 18, 531–554 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10639-011-9179-3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10639-011-9179-3

Keywords

  • Computer game
  • Digital game-based learning
  • ICT
  • Physical education
  • Sport science
  • Constructivism