Year of Publication

2015

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Education

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Dr. Joan Mazur

Abstract

Given the exposure and preference of digital natives for games, along with the proliferation of digital devices, there is a need to determine how effective digital games are in conveying operational knowledge to our youth. This quasi-experimental study examined whether a digital safety game increased high school student operational knowledge of All-terrain Vehicle (ATV) safety in contrast to conventional PowerPoint ATV safety training with commensurate information. The first treatment group consisted of “in class” students participating in the ATV game, the second treatment group was made up of “free play” students playing the game out of class, and finally the third treatment group consisted of “in class” students participating in the digital PowerPoint. A matched control group received no treatment during the study. The analysis of the results of pre- and post-test scores showed that there was no significant difference between the “in class” game and PowerPoint treatments. However, there was significant difference between the “in class” game as compared to both the “free play” game as well as the control. These findings may have been due to the lack of incentive (a grade or extra credit) for the high school students in an out of school setting. Perhaps, the interface or design of the game-based ATV may not have been conducive to digital natives who may expect more interactive games where participants have greater control. Players also noted that game availability on portable devices such as smartphones and tablets would have been desirable. This study demonstrated the effectiveness of an ATV safety game to promote operational knowledge, particularly in instructional or educational settings. School safety classes, agricultural education, ATV safety courses or FFA then may be productive venues for game-based ATV instruction. Future research might explore what additional instructional design features can elicit greater interest for the player.

This study focused on the instructional components of ATV operational safety. Additional Human-Technology Interaction (HTI) research might analyze the planning, design and use of interfaces that include usability experience (UX) other delivery devices, testing, think-alouds, and eye tracking for more detailed information about gamers’ learning experiences in ATV safety games.

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