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G4LI publishes research report on the Impact of the Mode of Play On Learning, Performance, and Motivation

Published January 31st, 2013

Category Research

By Jan L Plass


G4LI released a report on a study “Impact of Individual, Competitive, and Collaborative Mathematics Game Play  On Learning, Performance, and Motivation,” to appear in the Special Issue on Advanced Learning Technologies in the Journal of Educational Psychology.

This study examined how mode of play in an educational mathematics video game impacts learning, performance, and motivation. The game was designed for the practice and automation of arithmetic skills to increase fluency, and was adapted to allow for individual, competitive, or collaborative game play. Participants (N = 58) from urban middle schools were randomly assigned to each experimental condition. Results suggested that, in comparison to individual play, competition increased in-game learning, while collaboration decreased performance during the experimental play session. Although out-of-game math fluency improved overall, it did not vary by condition. Furthermore, competition and collaboration elicited greater situational interest and enjoyment, and invoked a stronger mastery goal orientation. Additionally, collaboration resulted in stronger intentions to play the game again and to recommend it to others. Results are discussed in terms of the potential for mathematics learning games and technology to increase student learning and motivation, and to demonstrate how different modes of engagement can inform the instructional design of such games.