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ERIC Number: EJ1136206
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 51
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1050-8406
Using Tutors to Improve Educational Games: A Cognitive Game for Policy Argument
Easterday, Matthew W.; Aleven, Vincent; Scheines, Richard; Carver, Sharon M.
Journal of the Learning Sciences, v26 n2 p226-276 2017
How might we balance assistance and penalties to intelligent tutors and educational games that increase learning and interest? We created two versions of an educational game for learning policy argumentation called Policy World. The game (only) version provided minimal feedback and penalized students for errors whereas the game+tutor version provided additional step-level teaching feedback and immediate error correction. A total of 105 university students played either the game or game+tutor version of Policy World in a randomized, controlled, two-group, between-subjects experiment, during which we measured students' problem-solving abilities, interest in the game, self-reported competence, and pre- and posttest performance. The game+tutor version increased learning of policy analysis skills and self-reported competence. A path analysis supported the claim that greater assistance helped students to learn analysis better, which increased their feelings of competence, which increased their interest in the game. Log data of student behavior showed that debate performance improved only for students who had sufficiently mastered analysis. This study shows that we can design interesting and effective games to teach policy argumentation and how increasing tutoring and reducing penalties in educational games can increase learning without sacrificing interest.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 530 Walnut Street Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Tel: 215-625-8900; Fax: 215-207-0050; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED)
Authoring Institution: N/A
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: R305B040063