Serious Games Analytics

Part of the series Advances in Game-Based Learning pp 181-208

Examining Through Visualization What Tools Learners Access as They Play a Serious Game for Middle School Science

  • Min LiuAffiliated withThe University of Texas at Austin Email author 
  • , Jina KangAffiliated withThe University of Texas at Austin
  • , Jaejin LeeAffiliated withThe University of Texas at Austin
  • , Elena WinzelerAffiliated withThe University of Texas at Austin
  • , Sa LiuAffiliated withThe University of Texas at Austin

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This study intends to use data visualization to examine learners’ behaviors in a 3D immersive serious game for middle school science to understand how the players interact with various features to solve the central problem. The analysis combined game log data with measures of in-game performance and learners’ goal orientations. The findings indicated students in the high performance and mastery-oriented groups tended to use the tools more appropriately relative to the stage they were at in the problem-solving process, and more productively than students in low performance groups. The use of data visualization with log data in combination with more traditional measures shows visualization as a promising technique in analytics with multiple data sets that can facilitate the interpretation of the relationships among data points at no cost to the complexity of the data. Design implications and future applications of serious games analytics and data visualization to the serious game are discussed.


Serious games Problem-based learning Middle school science Learner behaviors Goal orientation