Potential prejudice against mobile learning
games in Croatian University students
Project full title
Informational society technologies
Schul und Ausbildungsberatung
Anglia Polytechnic University higher education corporation
University of Rijeka
Faculty of Maritime Studies
University of Rijeka
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Dipartimento di Elettrotecnica, Elettronica e Informatica, University of
Societa consortile per azioni
Univerza v Mariboru
Andragoski zavod Maribor ljudska univerza
To improve efficiency and effectiveness of learning in young adults
24 through the development of innovative learning models
based on mobile games.
design, develop and trial a prototype game platform that can be
used to efficiently develop games for m
learning, whereby the focus is
on the support of decision making in critical situations, not only in a
cognitive but also in an emotional way
tools for teachers
which supports the choice of mobile games suitable for
Different learning aims and conditions
Different kinds of students
Platform and templates for teachers
Possibility of own materials implementation
Distribution of games to students via mobile technologies
Multiple user gaming
Examples from e
career guidance areas
social constructivist theoretical framework
health and e
commerce content for the user trials
in the transnational environment (end
expert evaluations and laboratory usability tests)
experiences with user
requirements and new pedagogic/didactic approaches for the
development and adoption of new innovative services
wide target group diversified by involving young people from
different societal fields, from different regions and countries.
based learning is an emerging field.
mobile games offer considerable potential for supporting social
the pedagogical role of fun in learning
strategic use of games can contribute
a ‘flow’ experience that is a
characteristic of successful learning processes
despite some important psychological and cultural relationships to games, the
academic community has a history of bias present from the beginning
regarding the value of games as an instructional tool or strategy in the learning
process (Rieber, 1996).
reports findings that are coming to light from our initial user
trial and the following research showing that Croatian students,
although not statistically very different from any other partner
, may not readily embrace the concept of
mobile learning games.
D 6.4 Final user trial
D 6.3 Second user trials
D 6.2 First user trials
D 6.1 Detailed user trials plan
Initial review questionnaire results
Statistical analysis of quantitative data gathered prior to the
first user trials
no significant difference between Croatian respondents and the respondents
from other countries regarding the use of technology in learning
slight difference between Croatian and Austrian respondents; Croatian
students want more technology in learning than Austrian students.
significant difference between Croatian respondents
and the respondents from
other countries regarding the
daily time spent using the computer; Croatian
students spend less time using the computer than respondents from other
they do prefer delivery of the lectures via technology. The result of “desire for
average of 35% of technology lessons” shows that students are aware of
technology and future trends.
Initial review questionnaire results (2)
respondents from High schools in Croatia and Great Britain are on the opposite
sides of learning habits; Croatian students and high school pupils are a little
conservative due to education policies in Croatia. 78% of Croatian students
and 90% of Croatian High school respondents like to learn alone, and only
10% like to learn in a group.
All respondents, including Croatian students, are somehow skeptic
about using mobile phones in learning process, and 44% do not know
if mobile phone games can be used for education purposes.
As this is a fairly new idea, 34% of the students think that it is not
possible to use mGBL for education purposes, while 20% think that it
First user trial
sample of 342 respondents
countries: Austria, Croatia, Great Britain,
Italy and Slovenia
in Croatia research was conducted from 26th October to 27th October 2006.
63 respondents, 37 male and 25 female.
tudents from the University of Rijeka, Faculty of Maritime Studies.
professors answered the questionnaires.
All respondents th
that mGBL is interesting as an
idea and a
First user trial
The qualitative analysis of the first two games:
games were described as an
interesting way to reach young people
although they don't have the
traditional game scenario.
overal they were
, but with some faults in the game design.
games were evaluated as very dynamic, interesting and also educational.
they could be used as
to teaching process in order to make the
subject more interesting.
with other players exists.
different types of tasks
could be assigned.
the games present a "normal" situation in the classroom, while the
device is just a support
After first user trials all students are convinced that there is a
potential usage of mobile phones in education.
First user trial
comments primarily directed to interface, and to playability of the
games were described as difficult to understand and not user friendly.
there is no effectiveness, affect, and there was a lack of help feature.
the interaction was very limited.
Some of the comments included the following:
It is very unusual: mobile
games in education?
Very linear, seems a waste on a digital device. It could be easily replicated with
paper and a stopwatch. The graphic style whilst cute, was completely irrelevant
to the game context
why should I take health advice from a fat cat
businessman smoking a cigar??!
This game checks just knowledge. The learning process must develop skills.
Unsuited to a mobile, dull game play, irrelevant scenarios. I find this game hard
It could be more interesting with more options. The third game seemed a much
more adventurous concept that would be fun.
It certainly seemed more appealing, although the activities would need more
support. Also I fear that it is not really a 'game', more an activity. Be careful that
the phones do not distinguish among students regarding their or their families'
Group discussions results
subsequent lively discussions that were initiated by students and
only one structured group discussion within the first user trials with
students on 27th of October 2006. It was held at the Faculty of
Maritime studies, University of Rijeka, with 27 students participating
in the project.
ther discussions were prompted by mGBL presentations at the
University of Rijeka where the project and the concept of mobile
based learning were presented (Mitchell, 2007)
Group discussions results (2)
to be strongly prejudiced against the deployment of
such games within learning programs, considering them at best a
waste of time.
Many students remained unconvinced, arguing strongly on the following
older professors will never use mobile game
use of mobile technologies will only add to the alienation already
perceived as a result of increasing e
learning games are more suitable for school
students already know how to investigate sources and build
how is playing games different?
Why does everything have to be fun?
Second user trials
countries, during August, September and October
3 mGBL games
ontent, in terms of:
elevance to topic
uitability to level
upporting users in developing decision
“Ahead of the game”
“On the Edge”
nalysis of the
Focus Group in Croatia
one mixed focus group was assembled to test the game and the
mGBL platform in Croatia.
t consisted of
6 participants; teachers and students in the area of
maritime distress (2 professors and 4 students).
ll of the participants used the Nokia N80 mobile phones and were
given the consent form at the beginning of the focus group, along
with an USB memory stick as a gift at the end of the test.
After testing the game, participants reported their positive attitude
towards the idea and the game itself
students liked it because the content was familiar to them and they tried to
collect as many points as they could, and were really competitive, comparing
their scores with each other.
found the game content satisfactory, and pertinent to real life; all
participants agreed that they would play the game again, to refresh their
knowledge and to learn new facts, because it contains the type of content that
is used in real life hazardous situations, and can very well save human lives
and property. They also thought it would be an excellent supplement for
students thought that the scores and reports should be good for the teacher
to see what areas the students are good/poor in. That way the teacher could
pay more attention to that area when giving a lecture. They would also like to
go through the analysis of the game play with the professor to help them
advance in that area.
they would play the game again if there were more and different supplements
in the game. Some students said they would play the game such as this after
the lectures to see how much they have learned from the lectures.
thought that this was an excellent tool for learning, not only for students, but
also for experienced sailors who use maritime distress procedures in real life
situations. They all agreed, considering the fact that this is an educational
game, that graphics are not that important.
this can be an interesting way for life
long learning processes, as well as an e
learning tool for any type of distant learning.
here wasn’t much difference in reporting from Croatian students/teachers
compared to Slovenian, Italian or any other partner focus group results
n general, teachers
thought that the game with multiple possible scenarios
and an open
end game would give them an insight on how the students think,
how they make decisions, how they could apply that thinking into »real life«
thought about grouping the students to play group game was mentioned.
That way the game would tackle the collaborating part and team work in
education and real life.
Students and professors, although biased before trying the games,
were in the end content with the usage of the games in the learning
Most of them changed their attitudes about the games, and their
comments were directed towards improving of the process.
Furthermore, the game could be pure fun for the younger target
groups, while for the older target groups a simulation component
should be included.
There is still plethora of challenges that mobile
game based learning
should address, from ethical and legal to technological and financial
issues and maybe most important and most difficult challenge to
encourage officials to take up the mobile games for learning support
in higher education environment.
The third User Trials will take place in the
of 2008, combining both methodologies
which were used in the first and the second User Trials.
Part of the work has already been
done in Austria and Croatia.
Ivana Ilijašić Mišić