Computer games and learning: The relationship between design, gameplay and outcomes

Theo Bastiaens, Claudia Schrader

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    This article provides an insight into the effectiveness of edu- cational computer games. Based on a literature research, the effectiveness is illustrated in detail with regard to the ques- tions: what characterize educational computer games, how do learners learn from it and what are the learning outcomes? although games are connected with the hope of better learn- ing through learners’ activities, its effectiveness has been criticized. To further advance game research and design de- cisions, the question is discussed from a cognitive load per- spective and emotional point of view of learners that consider important variables when designing educational computer games. in line with this question, a literatur review is done on researchers’ own study, in which an exemplary empirical sup- port for learners’ cognitive load through learning with games was found. Finally, the article ends with some comments on the relationship of instructional design to effective games by outlining and discussing implications for educational prac- tice that integrate not only learning outcomes of games but also the cognitive processes and emotions of learners during gameplaying.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)251-271
    Number of pages21
    JournalJournal of Interactive Learning Research
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2012


    • Design of computer games


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