Playful Learning

Research on motivational aspects and knowledge transfer in digital educational games for children aged 10 to 14 years

Current research on serious games allows only little inference about the optimization of knowledge transfer. To fill this gap we develop a research scenario to study motivation and knowledge transfer factors in educational games for children from 10 to 14.

“Ludwig” is an interactive learning game built around a serious topic: renewable energy. It is developed within an iterative didactic design approach developed by Wagner (2009). The development process is following three primary principles of game play: freedom to learn from errors, freedom to experiment, and freedom to make an effort (Osterweil, 2007). Empirical research with both focus and expert groups will be part of this first application. This new design approach allows a scientific discussion of our results, the development of our empiric methods is influenced by the transfer model of Jürgen Fritz (2003). A mixed-method-design with different quantitative and qualitative methods will provide a validation of our scientific insights.

Students and teachers are asked to join the project from the very beginning (conception stage). They will frequently give their inputs in various playtesting sessions during the whole didactic design process. The teachers’ inputs are used to evaluate different aspects of applicability in class. Based on the inputs of students and teachers, we will develop the gaming objects and a research prototype. The students’ inputs strongly influence the progress of "Ludwig" and therefore the outcome as well as the quality of the research project. To allow the students to be aware of the whole research process, they will get feedback on how the findings of the test-settings are implemented in the development process of the gaming objects and the research prototype.

This project has been completed.