Date of Award

8-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Communications Media

First Advisor

Luis C. Almeida, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Mark J. Piwinsky, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Jay Start, Ph.D.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of learning strategies in a gaming environment. A sample of 207 students was recruited from an undergraduate business college in the fall of 2013 at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. A pilot study tested the effectiveness of the instrument and an item analysis tested the efficacy of the questions. The study was a 1x1 post-test design with one independent variable, learning strategies in a gaming environment with two levels Audio (narration) and Audio with Mnemonics. A one-way ANOVA analyzed the difference of means on achievement (test scores), between the three levels of the dependent variable. The levels were, the control group (CG) which did not receive any learning support, treatment group one (TG1) that received audio (narration) support and treatment group two (TG2) that received audio and mnemonic support, for two levels of the criterion tests, procedural (PKT) and conceptual (CKT) knowledge test consisting of twenty questions each. The study was to determine (a) if there was any significant difference in scores between the two treatment groups and (b) if there was any significant difference in scores between the control group, treatment group one and treatment group two. The experiment showed a significant main effect with respect to modality for procedural and conceptual items when compared to the control group. The results indicated a significant difference in test scores for the three different levels of participants (CG, TG1 and TG2). F(2,204) = 191.792, p < .0005, w2= .65 ) Post-hoc results using Scheffes' test for the main effect revealed that the increase from the CG to TG1 was 12.01, was statistically significant (p = .0001), and the CG to TG2 was12.30, was statistically significant, p = .0001). The results suggest that students receiving learning support in a gaming environment score significantly higher compared to students in the control group not receiving support. It would be worthwhile to consider adding content to gaming environments along with traditional learning strategies to improve comprehension & retention.

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