About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 6486-6494
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-617-5895-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2016.0482

Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain

GAMES HIT THE BOOKS: HOW PHYSICAL GAMES CAN IMPROVE HIGHER EDUCATION STUDENTS’ CLASS-ENGAGEMENT AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

M. Mattera, V. Baena, A. Pinto

European University of Madrid (SPAIN)
The use of games for learning in higher education contributes to making complex theoretical knowledge more approachable. Considering games include problem solving, unknown outcomes and collaboration with other players, while adding competition and chance. These factors are especially important to understand real-life events as in any field of knowledge there are always competitors (whether at an organizational or individual level) as well as situations outside of a firm’s control (positive or negative).

In recent years, there has been an increase in online games and applications aimed at improving higher education learning experience as well as connecting with student’s virtual day to day activity. However, it has not been considered in equal level of importance how traditional non-electronic related games help improve the student’s knowledge acquisition through experiential learning.

These games bring students back to tangent situations instead of virtual ones, creating a greater engagement between participants and their communication skills.

The present study evaluates the implementation of two games as a means to improve student’s theoretical knowledge-acquisition, and the implementation of such to practical cases. One of the games is digital while the other is a board game with no electronic complements.

This experiential learning methodology was carried out during the Innovation Management spring course 2016 and twenty students in total took part. The first game being a board game where the life of a company was simulated with positive and negative situations, while the second one tested students ability to solve for specific conflictive situations.

Students’ learning outcomes were evaluated by comparing their grades with a control group, who was undertaking the same course and during the same period of time. In addition, a focus group was carried out with the involved students to evaluate their perceptions on gamification and whether or not it contributed to greater understanding. It was in addition evaluated whether they considered non-electronic games were better than digital games.

Results show on average students in the gamification group obtained better grades than the control group, and their attendance rate was higher. The Final exam in both groups was a company’s case study that each student had to solve according to Strategic Management and Intellectual/Industrial Property principles, which were both addressed on the games played in class. On a 1-10 scale, student’s grade in the Final exam was 1,13 higher than the control group.

In addition, during the two focus group sessions, most students agreed they had learned more thanks to the games, and their final learning outcome had been more tangible. When comparing digital games vs. non-electronic based ones, 80% of them considered playing physical games was better than digital ones because they had to focus fully on the game and had no alternative of being distracted. In this sense, they believe that online/digital versions implies using a device and this element enables them access to other Apps/websites and their attention could be distracted. Lastly, students concluded they interact more with their peers and exchange opinions more in non-digital environments, leading to greater knowledge discussion and learning outcomes.
@InProceedings{MATTERA2016GAM,
author = {Mattera, M. and Baena, V. and Pinto, A.},
title = {GAMES HIT THE BOOKS: HOW PHYSICAL GAMES CAN IMPROVE HIGHER EDUCATION STUDENTS’ CLASS-ENGAGEMENT AND LEARNING OUTCOMES},
series = {9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2016 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-5895-1},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2016.0482},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2016.0482},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {6486-6494}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Mattera AU - V. Baena AU - A. Pinto
TI - GAMES HIT THE BOOKS: HOW PHYSICAL GAMES CAN IMPROVE HIGHER EDUCATION STUDENTS’ CLASS-ENGAGEMENT AND LEARNING OUTCOMES
SN - 978-84-617-5895-1/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2016.0482
PY - 2016
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2016
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2016 Proceedings
SP - 6486
EP - 6494
ER -
M. Mattera, V. Baena, A. Pinto (2016) GAMES HIT THE BOOKS: HOW PHYSICAL GAMES CAN IMPROVE HIGHER EDUCATION STUDENTS’ CLASS-ENGAGEMENT AND LEARNING OUTCOMES, ICERI2016 Proceedings, pp. 6486-6494.
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