R. Samaniego1, B. De Benito2, J. Salinas2, J. Encalada1, J. Chamba1

1Universidad Técnica de Machala (ECUADOR)
2Universidad de las Islas Baleares (SPAIN)
Self-regulation of learning is the key in higher education. Students at this level of education, generally take control of their own learning. Scientific research in this field should promote didactic alternatives that favor self-regulated learning. Therefore, the current research work formulated as a general purpose: describe the design principles of a serious self-regulated game in the context of higher education.

Design Based Research (DBR) was used with the following phases:
1) Analysis, this phase served to establish the learning context of the serious game, identify students’ profile who would use the game, select the self-regulation model and the serious game model;
2) Design of Game Prototypes, this phase was considered to make adjustments to the serious game;
3) Application and Game Evaluation, this phase was used to test the developed prototypes in real educational environments of higher education;
4) Implementation and Documentation, this phase was developed in parallel to the three previous phases and was used to keep describing the design principles.

The DBR was developed in a cyclical way (two iterations) in such a way that the results obtained in phase 3, served to return to phase 2 and adapt the game again until obtaining a final prototype of the game.

In the first iteration, the initial prototype was used by 30 university students enrolled in the subject of Scientific Research. In this iteration an interview was applied to the students to measure their self-regulation, the participant observation technique was also used to record facts of interest (field notes) about impressions of the students about the serious game and learning self-regulation; finally, the data tracking methodology was used to obtain computer records of the game sessions.

In the second iteration, the game prototype was redesigned based on the results of the first iteration, mainly considering the field notes. This final version of serious game was re-used with the same students and data collection instruments of iteration one.

Results: During the design of a serious self-regulating game for teaching scientific research, it should be considered:
1) In the sequence and mechanics of the game, attach the self-regulation model,
2) the game should integrate the learning goals and allow the player to select what he wants to learn,
3) in the game, realistic scenarios must be visualized in 3D of scientific research, easily selectable,
4) the game must allow the game area to be configured (environment, sound, images), at any time;
5) the game must be fed back the learning at any time, even at the end of the game,
6) the player must interact during the whole research process set up within the game,
7) The game should favor the player's immersion with attractive play scenarios and elements, easily selectable.

The study is introduced as an alternative of design principles and development of a serious self-regulated game; and provides the researcher, designer and developer of serious games, design principles to develop new games that provides support to self-regulated learning.