Applying Motivation Theory to the Design of Game-Based Learning Environments

  • Jon R. StarEmail author
  • Jason Chen
  • Chris Dede
Part of the Advances in Game-Based Learning book series (AGBL)


Although there has been a wealth of research exploring motivation within game-based learning environments, few of these studies employ frameworks that are grounded in well-established theories of motivation. This chapter brings a rigorous theoretical framework for motivation to the study and design of a game-based learning environment. First, we outline a key motivation construct that has potential value for the design of game-based learning environments—Eccles and Wigfield’s expectancy-value theory. We then provide a description of a game whose design was informed by this motivational theory, where the game was intended to promote students’ interest in and motivation to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers.


Expectancy-value theory Motivation Game-based learning environment STEM 



Parts of this chapter appeared in: Tran, C., Chen, J., Warschauer, M., Conley, A., and Dede, C. (2012). Applying motivation theories to the design of educational technology. In C. Martin, A. Ochsner, and K. Squire (Eds.), Proceedings of the Games, Learning, and Society Conference: Vol. 2 (pp. 291–297). Pittsburgh, PA: ETC Press.

The research was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation (DRL #0929575) to Chris Dede and Jon R. Star. The ideas in this chapter are those of the authors and do not represent official positions of the National Science Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of EducationHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.The College of William and MaryWilliamsburgUSA

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