Learning analytics in serious gaming: uncovering the hidden treasury of game log files

Wim Westera*, Rob Nadolski, Hans Hummel

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingAcademicpeer-review

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    This paper presents an exploratory analysis of existing log files of the VIBOA environmental policy games at Utrecht University. For reasons of statistical power we’ve combined student cohorts 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011, which led to a sample size of 118 students. The VIBOA games are inquiry-based games, which offer a lot of freedom of movement. Our premise is that this freedom of movement is accompanied by behavioural variability across individuals, which may influence the efficiency of learning. Descriptive statistics of our sample revealed such variability of diverse game parameters. We have identified “switching behaviour”, defined as the number of game objects (videos, resources, locations) accessed per unit time, as a relevant behavioural pattern. Multiple regression analysis showed that switching rates of videos and locations explain 54 % of the variance of learning efficiency (defined as final score per unit time). Both the model and the model coefficients were significant beyond the 0.001 level. The same switching variables also account for 45% of the variance of total time spent T. Predictive models of final score weren’t found. We conclude the paper by critically evaluating our findings, making explicit the limitations of our study and making suggestions for future research that links learning analytics and serious gaming.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationGames and Learning Alliance
    Subtitle of host publicationLearning Analytics in Serious Gaming
    EditorsAlesandro De Gloria
    Place of PublicationCham
    ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-12157-4
    ISBN (Print)978-3-319-12156-7
    Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2014
    Eventthe GALA Serious Gaming Conference - Paris, France
    Duration: 23 Oct 201325 Oct 2013

    Publication series

    SeriesLecture Notes in Computer Science


    Conferencethe GALA Serious Gaming Conference


    • Learning analytics
    • Logging
    • Serious game
    • Behavioural patterns
    • Observed behaviours
    • Assessment


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