Games for Learning
What’s it about?
Have you ever thought that Angry Birds could be used to help learning? Informa Systems is putting this theory to the test and is using games to improve learning within law enforcement agencies. However the question of how effective game based learning is not well know. This research attempts to quantify the efficacy of game based learning.
• The first step was to determine if games improved learn-ing outcomes. Although some research has been done on this issue, the actual definitive answer to this question is not well-known.
• Informa Systems decided to perform some experiments to determine if game-based learning actually improves learning outcomes. A 20 test assessment was created and two online versions of the assessment were created. The first version was a simple multi-choice question, and the second method involved presenting the assessments as part of a duck shoot game were officers were required to shoot a flying duck, in order to access the next ques-tion.
• The assessment was based on the use of force and considers issues such as use of OC pepper sprays, impact projectiles and tasers.
A total of 47 officers were invited to take the regular assessments and 53 officers were invited to take the game based learning version. The questions pre-sented were identical but in the game format the officers were required to per-form a duck shoot exercise prior to answering a question. The questions in the assessment were designed to be reasonably challenging.
The results are presented in this table and show that within statistical variance there is no difference in the scores between the traditional and the game based learning assessments. However the average time to completion for the game based assessments was significantly longer, due to the time required to play the game.
Although the results were show no difference in learning outcomes, one startling finding was that for the game based learning the compliance rate was significantly higher. For the game based learning the compliance rate was 98% (52 out of 53) whereas for the traditional assessment the compliance rate was 89% (42 out of 47).
What it All means...
The results from this limited exercise shows that the learning outcomes for the traditional assessments and the game based learning are practically identical. The average, median and low scores in both cases were very close and well within the limits of statistical variance. However for the game based learning the compliance was significantly higher — officers were simply much more likely to complete the game based learning. This is an important finding since obtaining 100% compliance in agencies can be a significant challenge and presenting the assessments in a more friendly format may address this need.