In 2007 I completed my PhD thesis, enitited ‘An Investigation into the Potential of Collaborative Computer Game-Based Learning in Higher Education’. My research questions were:
- What is the rationale for using computer games in Higher Education?
- How can computer games be designed to be usable and enhance learning?
- How can the educational effectiveness of games be measured?
- How does the educational expereince differ when different types of game-based learning are used?
More detail is available in the abstract (pdf).
The complete thesis consists of ten chapters (these are all in pdf format):
- Introduction – an overview of the thesis and research questions.
- Literature review – review of literature on games and learning.
- Research design – discussion of the methodology and ethics.
- Background research – an initial study into student motivations to play games.
- Developing design criteria – the creation of educational and interface design criteria for learning games.
- Designing computer game-based learning – discussion of the design process of the two games produced as part of the study.
- Developing computer game-based learning – discussion of the iterative development process for the games produced.
- Evaluating the educational effectiveness of games – description of the model and tool developed to measure engagement.
- Comparative study – a study to compare the educational effectiveness of two different types of game-based learning.
- Conclusions – revisiting the research questions, discussion of contribution to knowledge and ideas for future research.
The reference list and the appendices can also be downloaded here. Aside from the relief at finally finishing this thesis, it’s my own personal triumph that I have managed to successfully complete a PhD that contains references to both badgers and sausages.