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Evaluating cognitive and affective outcomes of a digital game-based math test

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Details

Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2017
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Abstract

Even though digital learning games have become common in education, relatively little is known about the usefulness of game-based assessment. This paper aims to explore if a game-based math test can provide added value to math education with respect to cognitive and affective outcomes. We used in-game measures, embedded in the game called Semideus Exam, focusing on conceptual fraction knowledge. In order to validate the game-based assessment approach, we compared the cognitive outcomes of fifty-one Finnish sixth graders, who completed both paper-based and game-based math tests in a randomized order. In addition, the students’ test anxiety and flow experience were measured to evaluate the affective outcomes. The results indicate that the game-based test scores correlated significantly with the paper-based test scores suggesting that the game-based assessment was successfully implemented and the game provided comparable data with the paper-based test approach. More importantly, the results revealed that game-based assessment lowered test anxiety and increased engagement which is likely to decrease assessment bias caused by test anxiety. In addition, the results show that earlier playing experience and gender did not influence the game-based test score suggesting fairness of the game-based assessment approach. Although we identified several benefits of the game-based assessment approach, more evidence is needed on the usefulness and fairness of game-based assessments.

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland