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Assessing Verbal Creativity with Digital Educational Games

Author Stephen Howell and Tony Veale,
Abstract There is growing interest in utilising digital educational games for assessment of traditional classroom learning, but the challenge of adapting the game difficulty to the individual ability of the player remains. A critical aspect of successful game design is to ensure that the player is placed in a state of flow, such that they are neither frustrated by the difficulty of the game nor bored by its simplicity. In digital educational games, this means that the difficulty of the game must be tailored to the individual learner's ability. This paper presents an Intelligent Tutoring System which features a digital educational game that assesses the player's verbal creativity, specifically in the area of word association skills. By designing the game as a casual game (a casual game employs common game modalities such as simple control systems and immediate feedback), there is a reduced learning curve to the game play. The Intelligent Tutoring System implements dynamic difficulty adjustment and allows a wide range of players with different verbal abilities enjoy the game. To examine the effectiveness of this assessment strategy, a pilot experiment was performed where third level computing students undertook a traditional verbal creativity test (Remote Associates Test) and then played the digital learning game. This paper examines the pertinent game design issues and presents the findings from the pilot experiment.
Keywords Digital Educational Games, Intelligent Tutoring Systems, Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment, Verbal Creativity
Published In ICEP Proceedings 2010
Date 2010
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