Digital game-based learning in crisis management decision-making: Unobtrusive assessment measures and intervention evaluation

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

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In DGBL, adaptivity allows for a more efficient and effective learning experience. That means, that the game can change dependent on, for example, the current performance of the players regarding a certain skill. To achieve this, the game needs to know the current performance level of a player. Therefore, we need to assess the players regarding the target skill.
On the one hand, we could interrupt the game and administer a test. However, with this rather obtrusive assessment method we would break the flow of the gameplay and players would be made aware of being tested. On the other hand, players could be assessed without them noticing it, thereby remaining in their flow state. This is called unobtrusive assessment. Through unobtrusive assessment, games can adapt to the players needs and offer instructional interventions depending on the context of the game, on the target skill and on the target group.
In this dissertation the potential use of unobtrusive assessment measures in a DGBL environment is investigated, as well as the potentially beneficial effect of a dashboard-guided self-reflection through social comparison. Therefore, three studies were conducted: Two studies investigated unobtrusive assessment measures for important skills in crisis management decision-making: Analytical skills, stress resistance and information literacy. Additionally, one study investigated the effect a dashboard-guided self-reflection on players’ gameplay behavior.
We observed that less stress resistant players lost accuracy in evaluating information. Furthermore, we found that unobtrusive assessment of skills like information literacy is feasible using players’ in-game behavior, allowing further development of instructional interventions that can be incorporated in DGBL environments. Last, we observed that self-reflection through social comparison can be a valuable tool in triggering change in players in-game behavior.
However, to trigger long lasting behavior change that is reflected in the actual skill level, the dashboard used to guide the self-reflection should be more targeted and more specific. In an optimal case, interpretations on the in-game behavior, supported by specific suggestions for improvement can be displayed to the player. Then can players effectively use the information to critically evaluate their own in-game behavior and adjust it accordingly.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
  • de Jong, Ton, Supervisor
  • Veldkamp, Bernard P., Supervisor
Award date10 Sep 2021
Place of PublicationEnschede
Print ISBNs978-90-365-5194-6
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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