Game-based learning


Henny Leemkuil

Game-based learning (GBL) has a long tradition in education. In most GBL domain information is not transferred directly to learners. Instead, learners must abstract the domain characteristics from their problem-solving experiences during gameplay. Notwithstanding the long tradition of GBL, there are still many unanswered questions regarding the instructional design of educational games.

A central research issue revolves around the provision of leamer support. Several authors have concluded that games alone are not sufficient for learning. Rather, they must be coupled with some kind of learner support for effective learning to occur. All kinds of support can be included in a game, but a support can also address the context in which the game is used.

This research theme focuses on the effectiveness of learner support in GBL. Besides, the possibility of designing a (prototype of a) game for a specific learning objective, students can investigate the following research questions in this program:


Does the inclusion of worked examples and/or self-explanation questions in a game enhance learning outcomes?


What is the effect of giving learners specific hypotheses before they start playing on game performance and learning outcomes?


Does the inclusion of an advanced organizer in drill-and-practice games enhance learning?


What are design guidelines for serious games?