Research: Active Video Games Can Enhance Learning

Playing "active" video games such as those found on the Wii (and now via Kinect and Move) can enhance learning for students, says a new study by Dr Andrew Manley from Leeds Metropolitan University in London. Manley presents his findings today at the British Psychological Society’s Division of Sport and Exercise conference in London.

The study used 130 sports and exercise undergraduates to test the effectiveness of AVGs. Subjects played traditional games such as quoits/hoopla and darts, and multiple Nintendo Wii games (Sports Resort, PDC Championship Darts, Sonic and Mario at the Olympic Games). Afterwards, students completed questionnaires that gauged their levels of enjoyment, satisfaction, engagement and academic motivation.

The findings showed that active video games (AVGs) were as effective as traditional games in creating a learning environment that students found exciting.

Students comments included:

"More Nintendo Wii!!"

"Really good and different way of putting the information across"

"I like these seminars…they are fun whilst putting across an educational aim"

"The increased sophistication of AVG technology provides teachers with new ways to engage students," said Manley. "As AVGs can increase motivation and interest, they represent an effective resource for enhancing students’ understanding of new and complex ideas."

Source: Leads Metropolitan University

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One comment

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    edmoss87 says:

    Interesting. I wouldn’t have thought that motion-controlled games had much educational merit, but I’m probably the worst possible judge of that since I have hardly played any. Games that I played growing up such as Zelda and Final Fantasy, with their swathes of text, certainly helped my reading ability. I remember that I always had to set the text speed to it’s fastest setting (on games that had such a setting) since I found the default too slow. Also, fast-paced games are known to increase hand-eye co-ordination and manual dexterity.

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