Research: Playing Educational Games Together Enhances Learning

Playing education games cooperatively with others can motivate students to learn according to a new study from New York University. A study New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development found that when students played a math game collaboratively with another student it motivated them to learn even more, compared to students who played the game alone. The study also found that students' interest and enjoyment of the game increased when playing with another student.

"We found support for claims that well-designed games can motivate students to learn less popular subjects, such as math, and that game-based learning can actually get students interested in the subject matter and can broaden their focus beyond just collecting stars or points," said Jan Plass, a professor in New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development and one of the study's lead authors.

"Educational games may be able to help circumvent major problems plaguing classrooms by placing students in a frame of mind that is conducive to learning rather than worrying about how smart they look," added co-lead author Paul O'Keefe, an NYU postdoctoral fellow at the time of the study.

Researchers had middle-school students play the game FactorReactor, which is designed to build math skills through problem solving.

Students were randomly assigned to play the game alone, competitively against another student, or collaboratively with another student. The findings revealed that students who played the math game either competitively or collaboratively reported the strongest "mastery goal orientations," which indicated that students adopted an optimal mindset for learning while playing the video game with each other.

The study recently appeared in the Journal of Educational Psychology. No doubt researchers want to do further research on the subject to show the importance of video games and cooperative play released to enhancing education.

Source: NDTV

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