Effects of Using Avatars in a Game-Based Learning Environment

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Abstract

Peer reviewing is an approach often used in digital (higher) education as it represents a possibility to provide feedback to large student groups. However, especially in digital learning contexts, students feel being disconnected from the anonymous group of learners, leading to low-quality feedback. When feedback is open, and counterparts are known, this knowledge can lead to biases when commenting on each other’s work. We developed a game-based learning environment called ‘The Great Library’ that we used to analyse the effect of avatars as game element to limit the effects of both fully anonymous and fully open feedback. Students and teachers using the new game-based learning environment were asked to provide feedback on their experiences with the learning environment and the use of avatars. The responses were compared to the same course provided without game elements. The qualitative data analysis reveals that the introduction of avatars still lacks acceptance on the side of the students, yet that they feel a sense of community in the GBL. Open and direct feedback is still used and appreciated by the students. The anonymity of the peer reviews resulting from the use of the avatars represents a challenge for the student-teacher interaction. The environment and set-up of the course in a whole still needs some adjustment in order to fully support the learning process of the students.
Original languageEnglish
Pages441-449
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event13th European Conference on Games Based Learning, ECGBL 2019 - University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
Duration: 3 Oct 20194 Oct 2019

Conference

Conference13th European Conference on Games Based Learning, ECGBL 2019
CountryDenmark
CityOdense
Period3/10/194/10/19

Keywords

  • game-based learning
  • avatar
  • gamification
  • peer feedback
  • peer review
  • Game-based learning
  • Peer feedback
  • Peer review
  • Gamification
  • Avatar

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