Short and long term benefits of enjoyment and learning within a serious game


G. Tanner Jackson, Kyle Dempsey and Danielle S. McNamara

Paper type: 
Full paper
13. 10:30-12:30, Friday 1 July


Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITSs) have been used for decades to teach students domain content or strategies. ITSs often struggle to maintain students’ interest and sustain a productive practice environment over time. ITS designers have begun integrating game components as an attempt to engage learners and maintain motivation during prolonged interactions. Two studies were conducted to investigate enjoyment and performance at short-term (90 minutes) and long-term (3 weeks) timescales. The short-term study (n=34) found that students in a non-game practice condition performed significantly better and wrote more than the game-based practice. However, the long-term study (n=9) found that when students were in the game-based environment they produced longer contributions than when in the non-game version. Both studies revealed trends that the game-based system was slightly more enjoyable, though the differences were not significant. The different trends across studies indicate that games may contribute to an initial decrease in performance, but that students are able to close this gap over time.


Serious Games, Intelligent Tutoring Systems, game-based learning