Gender Differences and Digital Learning Games – One Size Does not fit all

Osunde, Joseph; Bacon, Liz and Mackinnon, Lachlan (2018). Gender Differences and Digital Learning Games – One Size Does not fit all. In: International Conference on Gender Research, 12-14 Apr 2018, Portugal.

Abstract

The intrinsic motivation demonstrated towards digital games provides the opportunity for its use as a learning tool irrespective of gender differences. This has resulted in the combination of the motivation of games with curricular content referred to as Digital Game-Based Learning.
While some related studies have argued that there are no gender differences in the motivational appeal of digital educational games, others present an opposing view.
This paper reports the result of an investigation into the motivational appeal of digital educational games for 11-14 years old girls and boys. There is evidence that this age group is pivotal to the shrinking pipeline phenomenon in which fewer females progressively engage with computer science education and careers.
The investigation involved a two stage study composed of a qualitative exploratory study, which identified the key criteria for the successful appeal of some digital entertainment games to young girls and boys and a main study. The main study generate both qualitative and quantitative data to further investigate the motivational appeal of digital educational games for learning basic computer science concepts for both girls and boys of age 11-14 years old. For the main study, two experimental games for learning basic computer science concepts were created based on the key criteria identified from the exploratory study.
The first included the game characteristics that appeared to support the motivational appeal of the girls. The second game was antithetical to the first. Both genders from the participating population engaged with both games and online questionnaires were used to capture data on their perception of both games.
The outcome of the investigation which involved 304 participants (girls = 152 and boys =152) from Southeast England, United Kingdom provided the empirical evidence in support of the argument that there are gender differences in the motivational appeal of digital educational game characteristics which can either support or thwart motivation i.e. one size does not fit all.
The result of this investigation should support educationists, researchers and digital educational game designers in having an inclusive approach towards the creation of digital educational games for learning.

Viewing alternatives

Download history

Item Actions

Export

About

Recommendations