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Foundation for problem-based gaming. Presenter: Hsiao-lan Lee Professor: Ming-Puu Chen Date: 01 / 19 / 2009. Kiili, K. (2007). Foundation for problem-based gaming. British Journal of Educational Technology, 38 (3), 394-404. Introduction (1/3).

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Foundation for problem based gaming

Foundation for problem-based gaming

Presenter: Hsiao-lan Lee

Professor: Ming-Puu Chen

Date: 01 / 19 / 2009

Kiili, K. (2007). Foundation for problem-based gaming. British Journal of Educational Technology, 38(3), 394-404.

Introduction 1 3
Introduction (1/3)

  • Higher education often has not managed to develop students’ abilities to apply their knowledge in complex, ill-defined practical situations.

    • difficulties in applying theoretical subject knowledge in solving ill-defined problems

    • the lack of contextualising or anchoring the content being learned

  • Properly designed games can be used to answer these needs.

    • focus on the game design issues separated from learning

    • not utilize the powerfulness of games as an interactive context-free media

  • The field of educational technology lacks research on how to design game environments.

    • foster knowledge construction

    • deepen understanding and problem solving

Introduction 2 3
Introduction (2/3)

  • Kiili (2005) developed the experiential gaming model:

    • founded on the principles of experiential learning (Kolb, 1984) and constructivism (Phillips, 1995)

    • not provide a clear account for reflective thinking that can be considered as the key factor in problem-based learning

  • The most important contribution of the experiential gaming model to the educational game design is the design principles of engagement (Kiili & Lainema, 2006).

  • The aim of this research is to develop an empirically allocated model about problem-based gaming.

    • provide means to design pedagogically meaningful games

    • evaluate the proposed model

Introduction 3 3
Introduction (3/3)

  • Problem-based gaming model

    • PBG = PBL + Game + Experiential Learning + Constructivism

  • test the strategy and possible hypotheses

  • observe the consequences of the learner’s actions

  • base on learner’sprior experiences

  • form an appropriate playing strategy



  • govern variables in order to generate better playing strategies and solutions to problems

  • base on only one particular strategy

  • strengthens only those schemata that are related to this strategy


  • recapture the experience,

  • think about it,

  • mull it over and evaluate it

  • provide the feedback from a learner’s actions

  • support reflective thinking and knowledge construction by focusing a player’s attention to relevant information

Figure1: Problem-based gaming model describes the learning process with games


  • Participants:

    • 12 students of Turku School of Economics

    • age between 20-30

    • All had some experiences about other business games before.

  • Materials:

    • Realgame business simulation game (Lainema, 2004)

    • give learners a realistic view of business processes through case-based learning

    • reflect realistic time-dependent decision making

  • Measures:

    • semi-structured interviews

    • two themes: games in education and problem-based gaming

Results and discussion 1 4
Results and discussion (1/4)

  • About educational games:

    • Educational games aroused interest among players.

      • All players liked the playing experience of Realgame.

    • The role of the games was seen more like applying previously learned knowledge than studying totally new issues.

    • Games seem to support the perception of things as a whole.

Results and discussion 2 4
Results and discussion (2/4)

  • About the main principles of the PBG approach:

    • Learners saw that authenticity is a very important element in educational games.

      • Some simplifications needed to be made in simulation games, but did not disturb their playing experiences.

      • Gaming strategy is based on trial and error.  aware about their incomplete strategy and realize that they could have utilized a more strategic approach

    • All learners felt that it was fruitful to play the game in teams.

      • Knowledge sharing during gaming facilitated learning.

    • Learners felt that games are effective because they involve learning by doing.

      • involve with the experience

      • not absorb knowledge by rote learning

Results and discussion 3 4
Results and discussion (3/4)

  • About the structure of the PBG model:

    • The results clearly supported the structure of the PBG model.

      • actively form playing strategies and hypotheses and test them

    • Some learners were more sensitive for double-loop learning and were willing to even take risks to discover more optimal strategies.

    • One thing that may lead to single-loop learning is the lack of challenge.

      • virtual players that are challenging to beat in to the game

      • motivate the leading human team to perform better

Results and discussion 4 4
Results and discussion (4/4)

  • About reflection in PBG:

    • It is important to consider the game elements that triggered reflection.

      • The demand of products was experienced as a basic trigger of reflection.

    • The most powerful thing that pushed learners to consider their performance was the conflicts that they faced.

      • The conflicts in the game should be designed properly.

    • Factor disturbing reflection:

      • game design: Too fast playing tempo does not provide a possibility for learners to reflecton the consequences of their actions appropriately.

      • the complexity of the game:

         include new concepts and many changing variables

         The user interface requires much cognitive processing.

cognitive overload


  • PBG model can help to address the gap between pedagogy and game design.

  • Reflection that arouses double-loop learning enhances learning because learners tend to aspire to a better understanding of the problem domain by actively testing different strategies.

  • Conflicts and the performance were found to be the most important triggers of reflection.

  • Too fast a game tempo and cognitive overload can disturb reflection process.

  • Collaboration and learning by doing were found to be most important characteristics of effective educational games.

  • Games were seen as good tools to understand cause and consequence chains.