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A model for selecting serious games for the computer science class
Prinsloo, Johan Willem
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Serious games have the potential to add value to the teaching and learning environment but are currently not used to its full potential in the Computer Science class. Many reasons why serious games are not used are debated in the literature and a particular problem identified from the literature is that educators find it difficult to select appropriate serious games for use in the classroom environment. The research philosophy adopted for this study included the Critical Social Theory paradigm and action research as the research method. The five phases of the action research process, namely diagnosing, action planning, action taking, evaluating and specifying learning were used to provide educators with a useful model to help with the selection of serious games for the Computer Science class. During the diagnosing phase, the problem for this study was identified and a questionnaire was used to determine educators‘ perceptions of serious games that confirmed the problem identified during the literature survey. During the action planning phase the evaluation of three serious game selection models, namely the four-dimensional framework, the RETAIN model and the Magic Bullet model were planned. Participants were provided with a checklist in the form of tables so that they could familiarise themselves with the models. During the action taking phase participants evaluated the four-dimensional framework, the RETAIN model and the Magic Bullet model using the checklists and examples provided to them. During the evaluation phase the three different models were evaluated by the participants and a questionnaire was used to gather data. The data were analysed and results were reported. A major problem was identified and it was decided to initiate a second cycle of the action research process. This time participants were provided with serious games and in a joint effort of the participants the problem was addressed. During the second cycle the problems identified in the first cycle was resolved. Finally this study is concluded with a reflection on all the research questions identified, a report on the findings, recommendations and a discussion of the limitations of the research project.
- Engineering