Structures For A Successful Game Play Education Essay

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It is crucial for players to provide feedback and structures for a successful game play especially a successful educational learning game play (Fisch, 2005). Besides that, one of the determinants of showing the interactivity in games is the user control over the game environment. Other than that, based on Swartout and Lent (2003), in order to have the best game boosting students' interest towards learning, it must be "highly interactive, deliberately generating tension between the degree of control the story imposes and the player's freedom of interaction". Without all these criteria, he believes that it will not only kill the students' interest towards game learning, it will cause the learning experience of the students become boring and unchallenging. Besides that, there should not be too much restriction to be imposed in a game or it will cause students to be only passive observers (Swartout and Lent, 2003).

Therefore, in order to have an effective game learning experience to stir students' interest towards learning, games must strike a balance of no interactivity and too much interactivity hence producing an effective game design for the students (Swartout and Lent, 2003). Besides, Gee (2003) believes that games should constantly challenge the students so that it will push the players/students to maximize their abilities. He calls this as the concept of "Regime of Competence" Principle.

In order to allow games to be an effective learning tool, Zagal, Nussbaum, and Rosas (2000) has discovered that interactivity is a crucial part of a game. Interactivity might not only be in communication form, but it can be cooperation, competition or the combination of these elements (Zagal, Nussbaum and Rosas 2000). Besides, they suggest that in order to build students' interest towards learning through games, game designers should try to make the rules of game, props of games, tools of games and natural social interaction of games to be more interesting. Other than that, it is important to have synchronicity or coordination in an effective learning game to build students' interest towards learning. These allow students/players to sort out their own strategy in the game. Based on Zagal, Nussbaum, and Rosas (2000), Figure 2.2 shows an overall diagram structure needed in order to design an effective game learning tool in order to build the students' interest towards learning.

Figure 2.2 Characteristic of an Interaction Game

Salzman, Loftin, Dede, and McGlynn (1996) further confirms that multisensory cues is a key to develop an effective game learning tool to boost students' interest towards learning. They believe that interaction will be able to help students who are slightly slow to understand complex phenomena.


Educational interaction is a kind of learning way which it empower the learners to focus on practical experience, meta- cognition and self evaluation through interactions in a small group (Brown, 1998). Besides that, through social interaction, students are able to generate ideas and knowledge through a proper social environment (Doolittle and Camp, 1999). Students can also know more about each other through social interaction when they interact either face to face or in a smaller group in the process of learning (Vanderstraeten, 2004). Cobb and Yackel (1996) concludes that knowledge is the result of social interaction rather than of individual experience Due to different personalities of different people, Vanderstraeten says that people are able to identify different ways of respond towards a stimulus and eventually learn from the different people's stimulus.

Based on Strangor (2001), there are three ways to identify social influence through social interaction namely:

Informational Approach

 For the informational approach, according to Hardin and Higgins (1996), people attempt to establish a shared reality that allows them to know the self and their world through the shared perceptions. People then turn to each other to seek for information and validation when they face uncertainty. Therefore, social influence is based on the assumption of individuals' feelings of certainty or confidence.

Identification Approach

 Identification approach suggests that people are influenced by other group members because they desire identification or affiliation with the group (Deutsch and Gernard, 1955).

Cultural Approach

Cultural approach suggests that a stronger societal outcome can be built by increasing the sharing beliefs among group members and a sense of similarity because people feel more confident when they know the beliefs are shared by group members (Bar-Tal, 2000).

It is clear that social interaction helps students to share their different insights and reasoning processes, discover weak points in reasoning, correct one another, and adjust their understandings on the basis of other's understandings (Yu, 1996). Based on Yu, there are several advantages of interaction:

 The limitation of individual work is addressed while opportunities for intellectual challenge are provided.

Students are provided with the opportunities to integrate and apply the knowledge and skills acquired in the subject to respond or react to simulated scenarios

Students learn how to solve problems rather than seeking "model' answers which it can achieve a true in-depth learning.

Wing and Wai (2007) classify social interaction into two aspects which are interaction with the facilitator of the enterprise activity and interaction among the team members in the enterprise activity.

Interaction with the facilitator of the enterprise activity is often believed to be one of the key factors in the smooth delivery and hence successful learning in enterprise education through the provision of concern, support, interaction and encouragement (Hytti and O'Gorman, 2004; Lewis and Massey, 2003). It is also an element in enterprise education by which the education provider can intervene by offering "train-the-trainers" activities so as to enhance the outcomes.

 Interaction with team members is all about the social interaction takes place in the context in which one works with closely, so that members can develop their enterprising competencies by sharing their experience, feedback, suggestions and even criticisms from each other (Collins and Robertson, 2003; Garavan and O'Cinneide, 1994; Schelfhout, 2004).

  There are three important dimensions related to social interaction among organisation members which are structural, relational and cognitive dimensions (Nahapiet and Ghoshal, 1998).

The structural dimension concerns the properties of the social system (Granovetter, 1992) and it refers to the impersonal configuration of linkages between people or units. Besides that, structural dimension influences the creation of knowledge through ways which directly impact the condition of accessibility to information and knowledge (Nahapiet and Ghoshal, 1998). Among the significant facets of structural dimension are the presence or absence of social ties with other organisation members (Scott, 1991; Wasserman and Faust, 1994) and the network configuration (Krackhardt, 1989) which describes the pattern of linkages in terms of measures such as density and connectivity (Coleman, 1988).

Coleman (1988) noted that information is important in providing a basis for action but it is sometimes costly to be gathered. However, social relations, often established for other purposes, constitute channels that reduce the amount of time and investment required to gather information and knowledge. The network configuration properties such as density and connectivity are features associated with flexibility and ease of knowledge exchange through their impact on the level of contact or accessibility they provide to organisation members (Krackhardt, 1989).

The relational dimension describes the kind of personal relationships individuals have developed with each other through a history of interactions (Granovetter, 1992). The focus is on the particular relations people have, such as respect, friendship and the bond they have built among themselves. There are three key facets of the relational dimension, namely, the level of care (Putnam, 1993; Von Krogh, 1998), the norms of cooperation among organisation members (Coleman, 1990; Putnam, 1995), and the sense of identification to a group (Kramer, 1996).

Cognitive dimension refers to those resources providing shared representations, interpretations, and systems of meaning among parties (Cicourel, 1973). Cognition is receiving substantial attention in the strategy domain (Conner and Prahalad, 1996; Grant, 1996). The key facets of this dimension include shared language and codes (Cicourel, 1973; Monteverde, 1995) and shared narratives (Orr, 1990).