A Mixed-Method Approach on Digital Educational Games for K12: Gender, Attitudes and Performance

  • Effie Lai-Chong Law
  • Tim Gamble
  • Daniel Schwarz
  • Michael D. Kickmeier-Rust
  • Andreas Holzinger
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5889)


Research on the influence of gender on attitudes towards and performance in digital educational games (DEGs) has quite a long history. Generally, males tend to play such games more engagingly than females, consequently attitude and performance of males using DEGs should be presumably higher than that of females. This paper reports an investigation of a DEG, which was developed to enhance the acquisition of geographical knowledge, carried out on British, German and Austrian K12 students aged between 11 and 14. Methods include a survey on initial design concepts, user tests on the system and two single-gender focus groups. Gender and cultural differences in gameplay habit, game type preferences and game character perceptions were observed. The results showed that both genders similarly improved their geographical knowledge, although boys tended to have a higher level of positive user experience than the girls. The qualitative data from the focus groups illustrated some interesting gender differences in perceiving various aspects of the game.


User experience UX gender differences digital educational game DEG performance attitude 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Effie Lai-Chong Law
    • 1
  • Tim Gamble
    • 1
  • Daniel Schwarz
    • 2
  • Michael D. Kickmeier-Rust
    • 3
  • Andreas Holzinger
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of LeicesterLeicesterUK
  2. 2.TAKOMAT GmbHKölnGermany
  3. 3.Department of Psychology, Cognitive Science SectionGraz UniversityGrazAustria
  4. 4.Institute for Medical Informatics, Statistics & Documentation (IMI), Research Unit HCI4MEDMedical University GrazGrazAustria

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