Motivating Distance Learners in Online Gaming Worlds
Michele D. Marvel, Walden University, United States
Walden University . Awarded
Massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) have potential as educational tools. Existing literature shows that MMOG-based courses can foster a more immediate sense of community among students than traditional distance learning interfaces. The immersive technology of MMOGs opens the door for students to be able to virtually walk through the college campus, attend events with students and faculty, and participate in role-playing activities that are typically not possible in distance education. As with any educational platform, participation is a key element to student success. In order to develop educational MMOGs that maximize student participation, it is necessary to understand how individual factors affect participation in existing MMOGs. Through the use of the survey method, this quantitative study addressed a gap in literature by studying the effect of introversion and extraversion, motivation, and gender on participation in adults who currently play MMOGs. Escape theory, experiential learning theory, optimal level of arousal theory, and Yee's model of player motivation grounded this inquiry. A three-way analysis of variance was conducted to determine the main and interaction effects of introversion and extraversion, player motivation, and gender on time spent playing MMOGs. This study found that introverts spent 6.7 more hours playing MMOGs each week than extraverts. A significant interaction effect was found between introversion or extraversion and gender. Implications for positive social include improved design and facilitation of MMOG-based educational platforms, which can result in enhanced distance learning opportunities for students.
Marvel, M.D. Motivating Distance Learners in Online Gaming Worlds. Ph.D. thesis, Walden University.
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