The design and development of an education-designed massively multiplayer online role-playing game (EDD MMORPG) for young Taiwanese Mandarin-speaking learners learning English vocabulary words
Kuo-Hsun Hung, Teachers College, Columbia University, United States
Teachers College, Columbia University . Awarded
This study was based on an iterative design cycle that designed and developed an educational and motivational education-designed (EdD) MMORPG called Ed-Wonderland, which was tested in use as an after-school learning platform for Taiwanese students learning English vocabulary words. The study's two central research questions were (1) do Mandarin-speaking Taiwanese students interact differently with the EdD-MMORPG versus a Multimedia Instructional System (MIS), and (2) is there a difference in time and patterns of use in Ed-Wonderland between students who improved the most and the least, as determined by gains in English vocabulary word knowledge from pre- to post-test?
A design-based research method called Design Science Research (Vaishnavi & Kuechler, 2007) was utilized as the basis for conducting this research and constructing Ed-Wonderland. Two design research cycles were completed. A total of 20 and 239 fifth-grade students participated in the evaluation for the first and the second design research cycles, respectively. Comparisons of students' motivation levels, learning performance, and vocabulary retention between the Ed-Wonderland and MIS groups were analyzed using t-tests; the prefixSpan algorithm (Pei et al., 2004) was used to analyze the participants' Ed-Wonderland play histories.
The results suggest (1) that students were significantly more motivated to use Ed-Wonderland than the MIS, (2) while there was no significant difference in learning between Ed-Wonderland and the MIS for students who played for 50 minutes over 3 weeks, students who played for a longer period outperformed the MIS group, (3) the patterns of play in Ed-Wonderland for the top and the bottom performing students were similar; both groups spent most of their gameplay time in meaning-related practice activities within the EdD MMORPG. The top group, however, engaged more in spelling practice and roll-over text areas than the bottom group.
The value of this study is noted in three areas. First, it provides implications and suggestions to educators, EdD game designers, and design-based study researchers. Second, the artifact from this dissertation may be a better long-term English vocabulary-learning platform than other existing tools. Finally, Ed-Wonderland learners should be encouraged to carry out more spelling-related practice and roll-over text learning activities.
Hung, K.H. The design and development of an education-designed massively multiplayer online role-playing game (EDD MMORPG) for young Taiwanese Mandarin-speaking learners learning English vocabulary words. Ph.D. thesis, Teachers College, Columbia University.
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