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Game-based learning and the role of feedback. A case study

Burgos, D., Van Nimwegen, C., Van Oostendorp, H., & Koper, R. (2007). Game-based learning and the role of feedback. A case study.

Educational electronic games and simulations (or simply educational eGames) engage players. They are attractive to awake and keep the focus of a user, and are useful for learning while covering learning objectives and playable goals. In eGames, feedback can improve learning and help the learner to take decisions about his strategy and it also encourages the learner’s motivation. However, too much feedback can in some situations lead to a weaker strategy by the learner to solve the problem presented, resulting in a lower performance. In this paper, we first show the relevance of eGames for learning and its relation with feedback. We introduce the need for appropriate feedback in order to get a better performance, but we also state that feedback depends on the context and on the game and that it is not always required in order to achieve the best performance while solving a problem. We carried out a case study (Planning Educational Task) with real learners/players, to study the differences between having and not having instant destination feedback while solving a problem. We discuss the results and implications of the case study, namely that in the context of our planning game, leaving feedback out improved performance.