Enhancing Deeper Learning Using Empathy and Creativity In Role-Playing Serious Games

Marda, M. 2020. Enhancing Deeper Learning Using Empathy and Creativity In Role-Playing Serious Games. PhD thesis University of Westminster Computer Science and Engineering

TitleEnhancing Deeper Learning Using Empathy and Creativity In Role-Playing Serious Games
TypePhD thesis
AuthorsMarda, M.

Although educational technology has been widely used in education and remarkably supported instruction and assessment in face-to-face instruction, remote teaching and e-learning, teaching approaches have little deviated from the conventional approaches. Since the last decade, there is a shift in education to redesign teaching strategies. Education set priorities in promoting and supporting deeper learning to empower learners in thinking critically and creatively and gain skills and expertise in transferring their knowledge and applying it in other contexts to solve new problems. Concurrently, there is a remarkable interest by educators in harnessing the power of digital games and transferring it in education by designing Serious games. Serious Games are digital games designed to support learning, training, skill acquisition, and social and behavioural change. Serious Games integrate game design elements and gamification elements such as story, characters, score, visual objects, and rewards to create a positive mood while learning, increasing excitement, interest, motivation and engagement. Bridging the necessity for guiding learners in reaching deeper learning with Serious Games, this research thesis proposes the DeLEC pedagogical framework. DeLEC provides a pedagogic model which includes an iterative learning process of instruction, assessment and feedback integrating the elements of empathy and creativity. Aiming to investigate whether the proposed DeLEC framework is valid and indeed supports learners in reaching deeper learning, a Serious Game is designed to apply the phases of the DeLEC framework. The Serious Game is called Stronger and has the form of role-playing designed with a story and characters on a fictitious scenario around domestic violence and abuse (DVA). Stronger was tested with participants in a comparative study with an e-learning course on the same learning material. The results emerged from the data analysis demonstrated higher results in learning and deeper learning compared to the e-learning course leading to conclusions that confirm that the proposed DeLEC framework indeed assists learners in reaching Deeper Learning with Serious Games.

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