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Relevant academic research


Written by: Hege Merete Somby, Odd Rune Stalheim, Christina Niemi Mølstad , Kari Myren Bjørnsrud & Aurora Johanne Isaksen. Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences.

This article presents findings from a study focused on using technology as a learning tool in education. Educational research on game-based learning argues that technology-based learning tools effectively enhance learning and memory. Augmented reality (AR) technology is attracting significant attention; its importance will continue to increase as new learning environments are exploited and new possibilities for promoting flexible and playful learning are revealed. This study investigated pupils’ experiences with an AR application by comparing experiences and reflections from pupils who learned mathematics using the Wittario game-based learning application with pupils exposed to more traditional instructional methods. 72 pupils in 5th and 6th grade, divided into three different test groups, and 5 teachers were interviewed. The study revealed that the application provided more subjectoriented interactions, and pupils expressed a high level of motivation and peer affiliation when using the application. Our findings, therefore, reveal that using the application, especially when facilitating tasks that involve peer collaboration and interaction with a specter of features available, contributes to a positive learning environment. Also uncovered was that the teacher’s presence and positioning of the activity in a pedagogical context are essential to this process.

Physical activity, cognition and academic performance: an analysis of mediating and confounding relationships in primary school children

Adrian McPherson et.al

The aim of this study was to develop and test a conceptual model that explains the associations among physical activity, cognition, academic performance, and potential mediating factors in children. The cross-sectional study demonstrates a direct association between physical activity and academic performance. Furthermore, and importantly, this study shows the relationship between physical activity and academic performance is supported by an independent relationship between physical activity and cognition.

Success factors for serious games to enhance learning: a systematic review

Ravyse, W., Seugnet Blignaut, A., Leendertz, (2016)

"There is no doubt that an abundance of factors exist that makes learning with serious games successful.  Research articles reporting on these factors however, tend to focus on select serious game elements and do not combine all salient factors for successful learning with serious games. This article examines existing academic literature from 2000 to 2015, extracting shared serious game success factors that have had an encouraging impact on gameful learning experiences. The researchers analyzed a total of 63 articles from a variety of recognized electronic libraries and databases.  Through this analysis they revealed five central serious game themes: backstory and production; realism; artificial intelligence and adaptivity; interaction; and feedback and debriefing, all of which require deliberate intertwining with pedagogical content to ensure successful learning.  This review unravels each of the five themes into their constituent factors and consequently presents the factors as practical guidelines that serious games producers should strive to include in their game productions. Applying these recommendations whenever serious games are considered will provide a foundation for effective gameful learning experiences". Karl M. Kapp

Digital games for learning energy conservation: A study of impacts on motivation, attention, and learning outcomes

Szu-Wei Chen et.al

This research created two digital question-and-answer games and compared them with a traditional paper-and-pencil learning method to explore how different learning approaches would affect college students’ learning for knowledge of energy conservation. This research conducted a between-subject experiment with random assignment to examine short-term effects of the three different learning methods on motivation, attention, and learning outcomes.

Physical Activity, Fitness, Cognitive Function, and Academic Achievement in Children: A Systematic Review.

The relationship among physical activity (PA), fitness, cognitive function, and academic achievement in children is receiving considerable attention. The utility of PA to improve cognition and academic achievement is promising but uncertain; thus, this position stand will provide clarity from the available science. The purpose of this study was to answer the following questions: 1) among children age 5-13 yr, do PA and physical fitness influence cognition, learning, brain structure, and brain function? 2) Among children age 5-13 yr, do PA, physical education (PE), and sports programs influence standardized achievement test performance and concentration/attention?

Effectiveness of virtual reality-based instruction on students' learning outcomes in K-12 and higher education: A meta-analysis

The purpose of this meta-analysis is to examine overall effect as well as the impact of selected instructional design principles in the context of virtual reality technology-based instruction (i.e. games, simulation, virtual worlds) in K-12 or higher education settings.

The effect of acute treadmill walking on cognitive control and academic achievement in preadolescent children

Charles H. Hillman et.al

The study measured the behavioral and neuroelectric , and the resulting cognitive effect, of 20 minutes of threadmill walking amongst children 9-10 years old. Results indicated an improvement in response accuracy, larger P3 amplitude, and better performance on the academic achievement test following aerobic exercise relative to the resting session.