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Towards motivation modelling within a computer game based learning environment: an empirical study

Methaneethorn, Jutima (2008) Towards motivation modelling within a computer game based learning environment: an empirical study. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

This thesis addresses the issue as to how to model a student’s motivation when using a learning environment. Currently, this is considered as an important topic since a) motivation is regarded as key to successful learning by educationalists, b) those building computer-based learning environments are attempting to design in features that will assist in motivating learners while using their systems, c) researchers in the areas of intelligent learning environments (ILEs) and intelligent tutoring systems (ITSs) are looking for methods to detect a student’s motivation during their interaction with an adaptive system, and d) researchers in ITSs are looking for strategies that a learning environment could use to motivate a student or to scaffold his/her motivation. A well-founded model that partially explains the way in which motivation changes during an interaction with an ILE is potentially very valuable to these different goals. In particular, the model should prove to be of great benefit when creating learning environments that take into account the motivational aspects of the learners since it represents the process of how they are motivated through the use of an ILE. In this thesis the focus is on the construction of a learner’s motivational structure for an ILE grounded in the context of an educational game. The thesis reports the development of a qualitative model of the motivation of learners during their interaction with the ILE. One of the main issues is the specification of the context as the motivational structure of learners cannot be assumed to be the same in different contexts. A preliminary causal model showing the relationships between a learner’s motivational characteristics and features of the ILE was developed. Two computer-based research instruments were then built: a game prototype aiming to teach some concepts in databases (Alex’s Adventure) and a computer program (MoRes). Alex’s Adventure was developed in such a way that it included all features of the ILE presented in the model whereas the other parts of the model were implemented through MoRes. Six detailed case studies were performed in order to validate the preliminary model. The validation resulted in changes to the preliminary model which are believed to produce an improved model. The analysis also resulted in a number of key points and condition–action rules which are considered to be of use for the implementation of future adaptive computer systems that could manage and support learners. The thesis makes an original contribution to the Artificial Intelligence in Education (AIED) community, particularly in terms of the method of case study analysis and the new model of motivation.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Copyright of the thesis is held by the author.
Keywords: Motivation, Educational game, Case study analysis
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Supervisor's Name: Brna, Prof Paul and Elliot, Dr Dely
Date of Award: 2008
Depositing User: Miss Jutima Methaneethorn
Unique ID: glathesis:2008-250
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 30 May 2008
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:17
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/250

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