ERIC Number: ED323948
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Feb
Reference Count: 0
The Interplay of Interactivity and Motivation in Educational Software.
Schwartz, Daniel L.; Buckley, Jeanne
This study tested the hypothesis that children bring specifiable expectations to their use of interactive computer programs, and that these expectations will determine, to a large extent, which features of a given program will be motivating to a child. It is also argued that the different genres of interactivity relied upon by software designers will elicit different expectations from a child. Subjects were 14 fifth-grade students. Three sets of data were collected by: (1) asking students to sort software titles into piles of "like" programs; (2) asking students to indicate on a scale of one to three how much they like to use each program; and (3) identifying the interactive elements of the favored software genre-adventures through group interviews. The groupings were recorded and children were asked to label each pile. The analysis yielded seven clusters of programs that could be differentiated according to the students' labels, and four ways of interacting in and with the world were identified. To investigate the relationship of motivation to interactive formats, the motivational strength of a program was measured by asking 22 subjects to complete a questionnaire by indicating how often they would choose to use each of the programs in their free time. Adventures and programs which generated printer output were significantly preferred to the other clusters but not to one another. It is suggested that what makes each program so successful is the fit between the reasons the child wants to use the program and the interactive environment it creates, and the similarity between the motivating goal structure for that type of activity in the real world and in the software program. (9 references) (BBM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Proceedings of Selected Paper Presentations at the Convention of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology; see IR 014 535.