Task Difficulty and Prior Videogame Experience: Their Role in Performance and Motivation in Instructional Videogames
Final technical rept. July 2005-Dec 2006
ARMY RESEARCH INST FOR THE BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCES ARLINGTON VA
Pagination or Media Count:
Video game-based environments are an increasingly popular medium for training Soldiers. This research investigated how various strategies for modifying task difficulty over the progression of an instructional video game impact learner performance and motivation. Further, the influence of prior video game experience on these learning outcomes was examined, as well as the role prior experience played in determining the optimal approach for adjusting task difficulty. Participants completed a game-based training task under one of four task difficulty conditions static, increasing, adaptive-low and adaptive-high. All participants completed an identical pre-training trial, 10 practice trials varying in difficulty level according to condition, and a final performance trial. Results demonstrate that learner performance and motivation significantly improved in all difficulty conditions. Yet, contrary to expectations, no single condition maximized these outcomes relative to others. There was a significant 3-way interaction between performance, condition, and prior video game experience. Further, prior experience was found to significantly influence these learning outcomes. Learners with greater experience consistently performed better regardless of condition. Experienced gamers also initially reported high task self- efficacy and set higher performance goals for the training task. The results of this research provide information useful to training game developers and instructors utilizing video games as training tools.
- Operations Research
- Computer Programming and Software