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Changing attitudes with new learning methods Serious games and e-learning. Eline Leen Innovation in Learning Institute University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. Outline. New learning methods: - E-Learning and blended learning - computer based serious games as special form

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changing attitudes with new learning methods serious games and e learning

Changing attitudes with new learning methodsSerious games and e-learning

Eline Leen

Innovation in Learning Institute

University of Erlangen-Nuremberg

  • New learning methods:

- E-Learning and blended learning

- computer based serious games as special form

of E-Learning

- Example: CAVA e-Learning course for


  • Changing attitudes: Why and how?
  • Changing attitudes with serious games: a good idea?
learning with e learning
Learning with e-learning


E-learning is a learning method which uses electronical or digital media for the presentation and distribution of learning material or/and as a support for communication in the learning context (Kerres, 2001)

blended learning
Blended learning

A combination of


and face-to-face


(Margie, 2003)

advantages of using e learning
Advantages of using e-learning
  • Studies show that students learn better with e-learning than face-to-face (Means, Toyama, Murphy & Bakia, 2009)
  • E-learning is flexible in time and place
  • Learning material that is already known or less relevant can be skipped (personalized paths)
  • Everything can be rehearsed as often as one wants or needs -> Learning in your own time
  • Media elements can enrich the learning material (Videos, Audio, Links)
  • Communication /collaboration tools can be added (forum, chat, email) to enhance exchange between learners and with tutors
  • Gaming elements can be added
disadvantages of using e learning
Disadvantages of using e-learning
  • No direct face to face contact with teachers/tutors and other learners -> some learners might miss direct social contact

Blended learning might be a solution

  • Self-regulated learning skills are required -> not all learners already have them
  • E-Learning material with only reading material etc. might not add much to classical learning forms -> Multimedia elements should be added
principles for good e learning material dain dincic wheeler 2007 rivera roland 2008
Principles for good e-learning material(Dain, Dincic & Wheeler, 2007, Rivera & Roland, 2008)
  • Encourage interaction of the learner: communication between learners, feedback with tutor, self-tests
  • Encourage self-regulated learning strategies (when, how, where and to some extent what to learn)
  • Reflection of learned content (summary and test at the end of every learning unit)
  • Appropriate, appealing design for the target group
  • Evaluation of the material and the course on a regular basis

These principles should be integrated in the

CAVA e-learning and serious game material

serious games
Serious games


Serious games try to connect playing with learning. They are used to train social, intellectual or emotional skills. Today serious games are usually computer based. (Kerres, Bormann & Vervenne, 2009)

In school serious games are usually blended learning programs, not purely e-learning

When serious games are played in school, students usually need to apply their science or language skills to solve problems like building a new city or rescue the world. In an engaging and entertaining way students learn how to apply their knowledge in a new context.

serious games1
Serious games
  • Social skills can be trained with serious games (team work, making friends, taking care of others) (Brezinka, Götz & Suter, 2007)
  • Treatment of psychological problems: The game creates a save environment where threats and worries are not present in reality (Coyle, 2004) Example: ‚Earthquake in Zipland‘: Helps children to cope with divorce
advantages of using serious games in school stapelton 2004 behr klimmt vorderer 2008
Advantages of using serious games in school(Stapelton, 2004, Behr, Klimmt & Vorderer, 2008)
  • Interactivity: This can lead to a greater attention and to a deeper learner process
  • Motivation: if the game is entertaining and engaging, the students are intrinsically motivated to master the game
  • Autonomy: when students can play on their own, they can decide the speed of learning etc.
  • Safe environment: The students can try out different behavior in a safe environment without consequences
  • Emotion: Games can create different emotions better than by only reading/hearing about a topic
  • Identification: Adolescents can identify themselves easier with an avatar than with a teacher
disadvantages of using serious games in school
Disadvantages of using serious games in school
  • Negative aspects of gaming in general: should gaming be enforced in school?
  • Acceptance: Games are less favored by female teenagers (depends on the content of the game)
  • Accessibility: Enough computers are needed
  • Time: Playing games in school takes a lot of time
  • Only game playing is not enough: Reflecting after playing is necessary!
  • Attractiveness: If the game is not appealing to the students, motivation and emotional attachment to the topic might be low!
new learning methods in cava
New Learning Methods in CAVA

An e-Learning platform for teachers

A serious game for adolescents

Not only information, but also enough input to change attitudes of adolescents

Also emotional and behavioral components need to be addressed

more than just a

platform with

material is needed

  • Giving the teachers all relevant information
  • Possibility to learn in their own time and comfortable
  • Adding helpful material like PDFs, Handouts and useful links
example the cava e learning platform
Example: The CAVA e-learning platform
  • Online self-registration for all interested teachers via CAVA website ( ) (coming soon!)
  • 4 courses in 4 languages
  • 4 Modules per course
      • Introduction into the use of the platform
      • How to use the CAVA game in class and lesson material
      • Background information about dating violence in adolescents
      • Background information about serious games
  • Forum for teachers in all courses
  • Printable material (Handouts etc.)
why a cava e learning platform for teachers
Why a CAVA E-Learning Platform for Teachers?
  • Teachers need to feel save to work with the game and with the topic of dating violence

-> A game without the acceptance of the teachers is worthless because it is not used in schools

  • Therefore material and possibilities to discuss and ask questions is necessary

->teacher training concept

example the cava e learning platform1
Example: The CAVA e-learning platform

Link to the English course:

CAVA English course

The links to all the courses will be available soon on the CAVA website!

the cava package
The CAVA Package
  • Website
  • E-Learning platform
  • Learning material for teachers
  • Communication tools for teachers
  • Serious game for adolescents
changing attitudes what are attitudes
Changing AttitudesWhat are attitudes?
  • Attitudes are the evaluations and associated beliefs and behaviors towards an object/topic (McGuire, Lindzey & Aronson, 1985)
  • With attitudes we can categorize/structure our environment and our experiences -> important function for daily life
  • They are not stable
  • They are learned and based on experiences and assumptions
  • Components of attitudes:

1. Cognitive (thoughts, ideas, beliefs)

2. Affective (emotions, feelings)

3. Behavioral (tendency to act in a certain way)

(4. Social: influence of others)

why is changing attitudes important
Why is changing attitudes important?

Our main aim in the CAVA (changing attitudes to dating violence in adolescents) project is to change attitudes towards dating violence in adolescents if necessary

  • The adolescents should not only know why dating violence is wrong
  • But also belief this
  • Act like this -> behavior can only be changed if attitudes are changed (interventions that change behavior is most effective)
  • Develop new values if necessary
changing attitudes base for attitudes change
Changing AttitudesBase for attitudes change:

3 different processes are possible (Kolman, 1938)

  • Compliance: Change of behavior changes because of expectation of a certain reward: Attitudes are not necessarily changed only the visible behavior is
  • Identification: Change of attitudes because of identification with the attitudes of somebody the person admires (e.g. Children adopt attitudes of older siblings)
  • Internalization: the attitude is intrinsically rewarding: Real attitude change

the attitude fits into the value system of someone

changing attitudes influence of emotions
Changing AttitudesInfluence of Emotions:

Usually only new information is not enough to change attitudes: Emotion is also important:

  • Positive feelings/emotions in favor of the new attitude are created or negative feelings against the old attitude
  • E.g. Advertising often uses this: e.g. Advertising against smoking (facts and pictures that produce fear and a negative attitude)
  • Identification with the messenger of the new attitude can influence emotions about attitudes, too (I like the messenger, he might have an attitude towards something I might like too)
changing attitudes
Changing Attitudes:

The source / the messenger needs to be:

  • Believable
  • Proficient
  • It helps if a messenger is similar to the receptor of the message
  • If helps if a messenger is liked by the receptor

And: The receptor needs to be open towards new attitudes!

attitude change the elaboration likelihood model
Attitude changeThe Elaboration Likelihood Model

True attitude change only happens if cognitive and affective components are addressed (Berkowitz, 1989)

This means that only information or a lesson is

not enough to change attitudes, but that also

emotions should be addressed

A serious game might help here!

changing attitues with persuasion
Changing attitues with persuasion

Persuasion is an attempt to change attitudes:

Process of persuasion (McGuire, 1989):

Adapting new attitudes and behavior is a complicated process that takes some time! The new attitude has to be integrated in existing value systems!

cognitive dissonance theory
Cognitive Dissonance Theory
  • Experience of unease/ guilt if two linked attitudes are inconsistent or it an attitude and behavior do not match

people are motivated to change one

attitude or behavior to reach consistency

(Festinger, 1957)

Example: Someone smokes and knows it is not healthy: stops (changes behavior) or changes attitude (it won’t harm me because I do a lot of sports)

Example: Someone knows violence is not good: stops or changes attitude (it is not good but what I do is not really violent as long as I only insult my girlfriend and do not hit her)

changing attitudes with the cava game
Changing Attitudes with the CAVA game:
  • Attention and interest: Game has to be appealing / interesting for the target group
  • The new attitudes must be understood (cognitive component): Game has to be informative
  • Emotions need to be addressed (positive emotions towards not using dating violence): Game has to create positive emotions
  • Intrinsically rewarding (fit into existing values or value system needs to be adapted too)
  • Acceptance of new attitudes is important: Identification with the avatars/ messenger of the game
  • Behavior that fits to positive attitudes against dating violence should be practiced in the game
changing attitudes with the cava game1
Changing attitudes with the CAVA game

A game might be better than a lesson with pure information, as more components of an attitude can be addressed with a serious game!

But: If the game is not suited for the target group attitudes might not be changed because the emotional and the identification component are not addressed by the game

Know your target group!

  • E-Learning can be a good solution for communicating information to teachers as teachers like the possibility to learn self-regulated in their own time
  • Serious games can be a good way to interest adolescents for serious topics and give them opportunities to try out different behaviors
  • Attitudes against dating violence might be created with a serious game if some principles are fulfilled (appealing, new information, positive emotions, identification, train behavior)