103 paper

Learning, study and review methods 101:
A fun way to learn and study complex theoretical content

Cheryl Howard
Berwick School of Information Technology
Monash University

This paper examines the development and implementation of a collaborative/game-based study format in a university context and the benefits gained by the students involved. The research project compared the established delivery format of lectures and tutorials with an alternative delivery format involving collaborative learning and games-based study tools. It examined the differences that these formats had on student learning outcomes for the heavily theoretical content of the Human-Computer Interaction in Multimedia (HCI) unit, as part of the Multimedia Bachelor Degree at Monash University.

A collaborative/game-based study format was developed to provide an interactive learning environment that allowed the students to explore the unit content using a variety of tools and resources, such as textbooks, internet, and discussion groups. To verify understanding, students contributed questions, based on the content researched, to the game-based study tools designed to enhance the study and review process. The treatment compared the results of students in each group (traditional vs collaborative) to their performance scores in a pre-test and post-test of the content area (short-term retention) and the results of the semester examination (long-term retention). Data gathered by survey was used to ascertain student opinions regarding both methods.

Keywords: games-based study tools, collaborative learning, teaching and learning strategies