Designing videogames to improve students’ motivation

P. Molins-Ruano, C. Sevilla, S. Santini, P.A. Haya, P. Rodríguez, G.M. Sacha

Computers in Human Behavior 31 (2014) 571–579 [download] (JCR, IF 2012: 2.067, Q1)

The use of new technical tools as a mean to increase the motivation and improve the education of students is an intriguing and pressing issue. Specifically, great interest has been shown in the use of videogames since they constitute a common leisure-time activity of many young students, a circumstance that shows their motivational, if not their educational, potential. In this paper we suggest that the design of videogames can be a very effective activity. To demonstrate this, we have used game design as a test-bed for an experience involving Computer Science and History students: interdisciplinary teams have cooperated in the design of a video-game on an historical theme. The experience has been repeated along three academic years. The students’ motivation has been evaluated in the last 2 years, demonstrating that it is higher when they use the interdisciplinary design of videogames as a way of learning instead of traditional learning methods.