The Experiences of gamer and non-gamer mining engineering students in playing simulation game for educational purposes: a phenomenological study

Sevim, Neşe
Games can be an effective educational tool which increases the engagement and motivation of the students while they are having fun. But, how these games should be adapted for education in engineering department remains a challenge. In the literature, there are few studies that investigate the effectiveness of simulation games in engineering education. However, these studies did not reveal the experience of students in game based learning environment in details. The purpose of this phenomenological study is to investigate of gamer and non-gamer mining engineering students’ experiences of using simulation games for educational purpose. It investigates how they perceive and describe their experience in detail and seek the essence of their experience. To achieve this, three non-gamer and three gamer participants were requested to play a game related with mining. Their opinions about the usage of games in educational settings, the strength and weakness of the game used in this study, the motivational elements in the game environment and their suggestions to improve the effectiveness of the game were investigated. The vi participants were selected by criterion sampling method and the data was collect through in-depth phenomenological interviews, focus group interview and observation. This study showed that participants enjoyed their experiences and supported the integration of these kinds of games to the educational settings. Visualization, learning by doing and motivation were the common themes given by the participants for the benefits of the game usage in educational settings. The nongamers focused on the strengths of the game whereas gamers focused on weaknesses. All the participants were affected by similar motivational elements especially challenge, curiosity and control and similar constructs shaped their experiences namely information seeking, observation, assessment, hypothesis building and decision making but their effects changed based on personal characteristics and interest of the students. The findings of this study might help educational researchers to gain insight about how the learning opportunities provided by games helps the learners from the learners’ perspectives. In addition, this study might inform the educational game designers about what they should consider to create effective educational games specifically for mining engineering education. Finally, it may help instructors to reconsider appropriateness of usage of simulation games in their courses especially in mining engineering department.
Citation Formats
N. Sevim, “The Experiences of gamer and non-gamer mining engineering students in playing simulation game for educational purposes: a phenomenological study,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2014.