1 Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel (HUB) (BELGIUM)
2 Katholieke Hogeschool Limburg (KHLIM) (BELGIUM)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 5631-5639
ISBN: 978-84-614-2439-9
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain
More and more, video games are considered to be promising tools to educate new generations of pupils and students. Educational games are expected to have a considerable learning potential. More specifically, they are supposed to motivate students, promote discovery-based learning and empower students to deal with ill-structured problems. Since future generations will be “digital natives”, having different learning attitudes, skills and preferences, these students will likely benefit the most from the learning potential of educational games.

However, it has been reported that teachers at present are not eager to use games and that they are not sufficiently aware of their possibilities. In order to stimulate the future usage of educational games in classrooms and to understand possible barriers and enablers, we surveyed 302 teachers and apprentice teachers. The survey was administered in several Belgian schools, and it is a part of the G4-project (“Gimme, Gimme, Gimme a Game”) of the educational department of the “KHLIM”, a college in Limburg, Belgium. This two-year project mainly aims at (i) stimulating (future) teachers to apply and integrate educational games into their lectures, and (ii) offering them suitable learning strategies in order to increase learning outcomes.

The survey is an essential step to gain more insight into the perceptions, attitudes and preferences of teachers. Next to demographical characteristics, and questions on computer usage and gaming behavior, we measured several factors such as: perceived self-efficacy, dgaming and computer skills (in general), the perceived ease of use and usefulness of educational games, their perceived learning potential, and the respondents’ preference to deploy them in the future. Most of the concepts are derived from the Technology Acceptance Model and the pedagogical literature.

The results show that teachers evaluate the perceived usefulness (the degree to which they belief educational games can help them in their educational tasks), and the perceived ease of use rather positively. Scores on the perceived learning potential are significantly lower. Additionally, statistical tests mainly indicate significant and serious gender differences in most concepts; with male respondents being more favorable to gaming. The gender effects are mainly due to differences in gaming skills and perceived self-efficacy.

In general, respondents reveal that they lack sufficient knowledge on educational gaming and that they are interested in receiving more information. The validation of an explanatory model (using Partial Least Squares) further shows that self-efficacy, perceived usefulness and learning potential are important determinants of the respondents’ intentions to exploit gaming in the future.

These findings have important ramifications for the training of future teachers in general and the G4-project in particular.
Educational Games, serious games, learning potential, TAM, field study.