The role of surprising events in a math-game on proportional reasoning

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

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

14 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Reviews regarding serious games show that the effect on learning can be qualified as moderately positive. Despite the active involvement of players it seems that they sometimes refrain from relevant cognitive processes during game play. This study addresses a technique involving the generation of manageable cognitive conflicts to stimulate these cognitive processes. Surprise comprises events that undermine an expectation which trigger players to evaluate the new situation more extensively. Participants (N = 94) played a game in which they practiced proportional reasoning skills. The pretestposttest design involved two factors: Surprise (surprise vs. no surprise) and Expectancy (strong vs. weak). Surprise was implemented as an appearing game character that modified some parameters of a problem while the player was solving that problem. We expected that this would prompt players to evaluate their solution strategy and decide whether another strategy was more appropriate. Expectancy pertains to the type of problems that players expect. In the strong expectancy version players received a series of problems with the same structure as before. In the weak expectancy version problems with different structures are randomly presented to the players and each problem may involve a different solution strategy. We hypothesized an interaction between Surprise and Expectancy, next to a main effect of Surprise. The results show that participants learned from the game. We also did find a weak positive effect of Surprise, but no effect of Expectancy nor interaction effect on learning. The facilitating effect of Surprise was stronger when existing proportional reasoning skill was included as factor. These results indicate that surprise as implemented in the game has effect on learning regardless whether expectancy was weak or strong. We discuss some suggestions for finding stronger effects of surprise such as the fact that the repetitive nature may have weakened the 'surprisingness' of the surprises and the observation that our sample may not have possessed a sufficient level of metacognitive skills to interpret the changes caused by the surprises.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 9th European Conference on Games Based Learning, ECGBL 2015
Subtitle of host publicationNord-Trondelag University College, Steinkjer, Norway, 8-9 October 2015
EditorsRobin Munkvold, Line Kolas
Place of PublicationReading, UK
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International
Pages613-620
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-910810-59-0
ISBN (Print)978-1-910810-58-3
Publication statusPublished - 8 Oct 2015
Event9th European Conference on Games Based Learning, ECGBL 2015 - Nord Trondelag University College Steinkjer, Steinkjer, Norway
Duration: 8 Oct 20159 Oct 2015
Conference number: 9

Conference

Conference9th European Conference on Games Based Learning, ECGBL 2015
Abbreviated titleECGBL
CountryNorway
CitySteinkjer
Period8/10/159/10/15

Fingerprint

Surprise
Expectancy
Cognitive processes
Factors
Nature
Interaction effects
Interaction
Serious games
Problem solving
Trigger

Keywords

  • IR-99406
  • METIS-315806

Cite this

Wouters, P., van Oostendorp, H., ter Vrugte, J., de Jong, T., Vandercruysse, S., & Elen, J. (2015). The role of surprising events in a math-game on proportional reasoning. In R. Munkvold, & L. Kolas (Eds.), Proceedings of the 9th European Conference on Games Based Learning, ECGBL 2015: Nord-Trondelag University College, Steinkjer, Norway, 8-9 October 2015 (pp. 613-620). Reading, UK: Academic Conferences and Publishing International.
Wouters, Pieter ; van Oostendorp, Herre ; ter Vrugte, Judith ; de Jong, Ton ; Vandercruysse, Sylke ; Elen, Jan. / The role of surprising events in a math-game on proportional reasoning. Proceedings of the 9th European Conference on Games Based Learning, ECGBL 2015: Nord-Trondelag University College, Steinkjer, Norway, 8-9 October 2015. editor / Robin Munkvold ; Line Kolas. Reading, UK : Academic Conferences and Publishing International, 2015. pp. 613-620
@inproceedings{6c3f068ea612462183d10c89b1738b56,
title = "The role of surprising events in a math-game on proportional reasoning",
abstract = "Reviews regarding serious games show that the effect on learning can be qualified as moderately positive. Despite the active involvement of players it seems that they sometimes refrain from relevant cognitive processes during game play. This study addresses a technique involving the generation of manageable cognitive conflicts to stimulate these cognitive processes. Surprise comprises events that undermine an expectation which trigger players to evaluate the new situation more extensively. Participants (N = 94) played a game in which they practiced proportional reasoning skills. The pretestposttest design involved two factors: Surprise (surprise vs. no surprise) and Expectancy (strong vs. weak). Surprise was implemented as an appearing game character that modified some parameters of a problem while the player was solving that problem. We expected that this would prompt players to evaluate their solution strategy and decide whether another strategy was more appropriate. Expectancy pertains to the type of problems that players expect. In the strong expectancy version players received a series of problems with the same structure as before. In the weak expectancy version problems with different structures are randomly presented to the players and each problem may involve a different solution strategy. We hypothesized an interaction between Surprise and Expectancy, next to a main effect of Surprise. The results show that participants learned from the game. We also did find a weak positive effect of Surprise, but no effect of Expectancy nor interaction effect on learning. The facilitating effect of Surprise was stronger when existing proportional reasoning skill was included as factor. These results indicate that surprise as implemented in the game has effect on learning regardless whether expectancy was weak or strong. We discuss some suggestions for finding stronger effects of surprise such as the fact that the repetitive nature may have weakened the 'surprisingness' of the surprises and the observation that our sample may not have possessed a sufficient level of metacognitive skills to interpret the changes caused by the surprises.",
keywords = "IR-99406, METIS-315806",
author = "Pieter Wouters and {van Oostendorp}, Herre and {ter Vrugte}, Judith and {de Jong}, Ton and Sylke Vandercruysse and Jan Elen",
year = "2015",
month = "10",
day = "8",
language = "English",
isbn = "978-1-910810-58-3",
pages = "613--620",
editor = "Robin Munkvold and Line Kolas",
booktitle = "Proceedings of the 9th European Conference on Games Based Learning, ECGBL 2015",
publisher = "Academic Conferences and Publishing International",
address = "United Kingdom",

}

Wouters, P, van Oostendorp, H, ter Vrugte, J, de Jong, T, Vandercruysse, S & Elen, J 2015, The role of surprising events in a math-game on proportional reasoning. in R Munkvold & L Kolas (eds), Proceedings of the 9th European Conference on Games Based Learning, ECGBL 2015: Nord-Trondelag University College, Steinkjer, Norway, 8-9 October 2015. Academic Conferences and Publishing International, Reading, UK, pp. 613-620, 9th European Conference on Games Based Learning, ECGBL 2015, Steinkjer, Norway, 8/10/15.

The role of surprising events in a math-game on proportional reasoning. / Wouters, Pieter; van Oostendorp, Herre; ter Vrugte, Judith ; de Jong, Ton; Vandercruysse, Sylke; Elen, Jan.

Proceedings of the 9th European Conference on Games Based Learning, ECGBL 2015: Nord-Trondelag University College, Steinkjer, Norway, 8-9 October 2015. ed. / Robin Munkvold; Line Kolas. Reading, UK : Academic Conferences and Publishing International, 2015. p. 613-620.

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

TY - GEN

T1 - The role of surprising events in a math-game on proportional reasoning

AU - Wouters, Pieter

AU - van Oostendorp, Herre

AU - ter Vrugte, Judith

AU - de Jong, Ton

AU - Vandercruysse, Sylke

AU - Elen, Jan

PY - 2015/10/8

Y1 - 2015/10/8

N2 - Reviews regarding serious games show that the effect on learning can be qualified as moderately positive. Despite the active involvement of players it seems that they sometimes refrain from relevant cognitive processes during game play. This study addresses a technique involving the generation of manageable cognitive conflicts to stimulate these cognitive processes. Surprise comprises events that undermine an expectation which trigger players to evaluate the new situation more extensively. Participants (N = 94) played a game in which they practiced proportional reasoning skills. The pretestposttest design involved two factors: Surprise (surprise vs. no surprise) and Expectancy (strong vs. weak). Surprise was implemented as an appearing game character that modified some parameters of a problem while the player was solving that problem. We expected that this would prompt players to evaluate their solution strategy and decide whether another strategy was more appropriate. Expectancy pertains to the type of problems that players expect. In the strong expectancy version players received a series of problems with the same structure as before. In the weak expectancy version problems with different structures are randomly presented to the players and each problem may involve a different solution strategy. We hypothesized an interaction between Surprise and Expectancy, next to a main effect of Surprise. The results show that participants learned from the game. We also did find a weak positive effect of Surprise, but no effect of Expectancy nor interaction effect on learning. The facilitating effect of Surprise was stronger when existing proportional reasoning skill was included as factor. These results indicate that surprise as implemented in the game has effect on learning regardless whether expectancy was weak or strong. We discuss some suggestions for finding stronger effects of surprise such as the fact that the repetitive nature may have weakened the 'surprisingness' of the surprises and the observation that our sample may not have possessed a sufficient level of metacognitive skills to interpret the changes caused by the surprises.

AB - Reviews regarding serious games show that the effect on learning can be qualified as moderately positive. Despite the active involvement of players it seems that they sometimes refrain from relevant cognitive processes during game play. This study addresses a technique involving the generation of manageable cognitive conflicts to stimulate these cognitive processes. Surprise comprises events that undermine an expectation which trigger players to evaluate the new situation more extensively. Participants (N = 94) played a game in which they practiced proportional reasoning skills. The pretestposttest design involved two factors: Surprise (surprise vs. no surprise) and Expectancy (strong vs. weak). Surprise was implemented as an appearing game character that modified some parameters of a problem while the player was solving that problem. We expected that this would prompt players to evaluate their solution strategy and decide whether another strategy was more appropriate. Expectancy pertains to the type of problems that players expect. In the strong expectancy version players received a series of problems with the same structure as before. In the weak expectancy version problems with different structures are randomly presented to the players and each problem may involve a different solution strategy. We hypothesized an interaction between Surprise and Expectancy, next to a main effect of Surprise. The results show that participants learned from the game. We also did find a weak positive effect of Surprise, but no effect of Expectancy nor interaction effect on learning. The facilitating effect of Surprise was stronger when existing proportional reasoning skill was included as factor. These results indicate that surprise as implemented in the game has effect on learning regardless whether expectancy was weak or strong. We discuss some suggestions for finding stronger effects of surprise such as the fact that the repetitive nature may have weakened the 'surprisingness' of the surprises and the observation that our sample may not have possessed a sufficient level of metacognitive skills to interpret the changes caused by the surprises.

KW - IR-99406

KW - METIS-315806

M3 - Conference contribution

SN - 978-1-910810-58-3

SP - 613

EP - 620

BT - Proceedings of the 9th European Conference on Games Based Learning, ECGBL 2015

A2 - Munkvold, Robin

A2 - Kolas, Line

PB - Academic Conferences and Publishing International

CY - Reading, UK

ER -

Wouters P, van Oostendorp H, ter Vrugte J, de Jong T, Vandercruysse S, Elen J. The role of surprising events in a math-game on proportional reasoning. In Munkvold R, Kolas L, editors, Proceedings of the 9th European Conference on Games Based Learning, ECGBL 2015: Nord-Trondelag University College, Steinkjer, Norway, 8-9 October 2015. Reading, UK: Academic Conferences and Publishing International. 2015. p. 613-620