Reflection and integration in math game-based learning for vocational students

Pieter Wouters, Judith ter Vrugte, Sylke Vandercruysse, Herre van Oostendorp, Jan Elen, Lieven Verschaffel, Wim van Dooren

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


In Game Based Learning (GBL) environments addition, players act and see how the system responds, which may lead to intuitive learning. GBL learning lacks the deep and integrated structure that is characteristic for sustainable knowledge. Cognition-based instructional scaffolds and support may facilitate the acquisition of sustainable knowledge in GBL environments. How can we implement such support effectively without hampering the motivating character of the GBL environment? We introduce a game that implements two cognition-based principles in an integrated way. First, Integration, suggests that cognitive activities used for game play also improve the learning of arithmetic and enhance intrinsic motivation. Second, Reflection, enables players to explicate their knowledge. In a pilot study, we tested a basic version of the game and measurement instruments (using only Integration). Motivation and perception questionnaires proved to be reliable (N = 81). However, a small-scale pretest-posttest group showed no increase in performance after playing the game (p > .05). After revisions, 3 additional game versions were created: a structured reflection version (information about math problem solving strategies and then reflection prompts), an open reflection version (only reflection prompts) and an information-only version (information about math problem solving strategies). Currently pretest-posttest experiments are testing the hypothesis that the combination of Integration with Structured Reflection will outperform the other conditions on performance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIntegrating cognitive principles to improve mathematics instructional design
EditorsS. Schneider
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event15th Biennial EARLI Conference for Research on Learning and Instruction 2013: "Responsible Teaching and Sustainable Learning" - Munich, Germany
Duration: 27 Aug 201331 Aug 2013
Conference number: 15 (European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI))


Conference15th Biennial EARLI Conference for Research on Learning and Instruction 2013
Abbreviated titleEARLI
Internet address


  • METIS-308475
  • IR-93853


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