The Role of Curiosity-Triggering Events in Game-Based Learning for Mathematics

Pieter Wouters, Herre van Oostendorp, Judith ter Vrugte, Sylke Vandercruysse, Ton de Jong, Jan Elen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)


In this study, we investigate whether cognitive conflicts induced by curiosity-triggering events have a positive impact on learning and motivation. In two experiments, we tested a game about proportional reasoning for secondary prevocational students. Experiment 1 used a curiosity-triggering vs. control condition pretest–posttest design. The control condition received the game without curiosity-triggering events. The results provided evidence that the game improves proportional reasoning skills. Although game performance was positively related to posttest performance, the hypothesized higher increase in learning and motivation after curiosity-triggering events was not found. Based on the results of Experiment 1, the game was adapted. Experiment 2 showed basically the same pattern of results, but we did not find a learning effect after playing the game. In the Discussion, we suggest additional research with think-aloud and/or eye-tracking to map the actual thoughts after the curiosity-triggering events. In addition, we propose some alternative implementations to evoke cognitive conflicts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDescribing and Studying Domain-Specific Serious Games
EditorsJoke Torbeyns, Erno Lehtinen, Jan Elen
Place of PublicationCham
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-20276-1
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-20275-4
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Publication series

NameAdvances in Game-Based Learning


  • Curiosity
  • Game-based learning
  • Cognition
  • Motivation
  • Mathematics


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