Gaming the Performance: Massively Multiplayer Online Games and Performance Outcomes in English and Business Courses

Papia Bawa, Sunnie Lee Watson, William Watson

Abstract


The push for technology integration in classrooms calls for examinations of available options, particularly those that have not yet been used to their full potential for various reasons. One such technology is digital commercial games which, though designed for entertainment, may have potential educational benefits. Although there have been several discussions in the literature about the possibilities of such commercial video games as educational assets, there persists a gap in our understanding of the value of such games in the context of Higher Education. This gap is particularly visible when it comes to studies on how commercial games may affect performance outcomes in multiple disciplines. Thus, this study examined Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs), one genre of commercial games, in two disciplines, to discover how, and if, they improved learner performances. This information could help facilitate technology integration in new and interesting ways for institutions, instructors, and instructional designers. Using a True Experimental design that examined the performance scores of 214 students in English and Business courses, the effect of using MMOGs on participation scores was analyzed from multiple statistical perspectives. The findings strongly suggest that using MMOGs helped experimental groups to perform better. Additionally, there are strong indications that game related content like game wikis, blogs, game site information, and game video tutorials was also instrumental in improved performance, irrespective of active gameplay or not. This is significant as it may provide easier-to-integrate options for MMOGs in the curriculum. Practitioner, theoretical and research implications are also discussed.

Keywords


MMOG, performance, higher education, quantitative

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4101/jvwr.v11i2.7291

The full website for the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research can be found at: http://jvwresearch.org