Investigating Children’s Immersion in a High-Embodied Versus Low-Embodied Digital Learning Game in an Authentic Educational Setting
Prior research has supported that game-based learning is dependent on the degree of immersion achieved, namely the degree to which children become cognitively and emotionally engaged with a given educational digital game. With the emergence of embodied digital educational games, researchers have assumed that the affordances of these games for movement-based interaction may heighten even more experienced immersion. However, there is lack of empirical research on the investigation of children’s immersive experiences in embodied educational games, warranting this claim. Existing research on immersion is still restricted in highly-controlled laboratory settings and focuses on non-educational embodied games played by mostly young adult populations. Extending prior research in the educational context, this study has investigated children’s immersion in a high-embodied digital learning game integrated in an authentic school classroom (Group1 = 24), in comparison to a low-embodied digital version of the game (Group2 = 20). Our findings did not support previous hypotheses regarding experienced immersion in high-embodied digital games; post-interventional surveys indicated that there was no difference in most dimensions of experienced immersion. Interviews with a subset of the children (n = 8 per condition) resulted in the identification of various (a) media form, (b) media content and (c) context-related factors, which provided plausible explanations about children’s experienced immersion in the two conditions. Implications are discussed for supporting immersion in high-embodied educational digital games implemented in authentic educational settings.
KeywordsEmbodied digital games Children Immersion Educational settings
This work is part of the project that has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 739578 (RISE-Call:H2020-WIDESPREAD-01-2016-2017-TeamingPhase2) and the government of the Republic of Cyprus through the Directorate General for European Programmes, Coordination and Development.
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