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Putting yourself in someone else's shoes: The impact of a location-based, collaborative role-playing game on behaviour

Birgit Schmitz, Petra Schuffelen, Karel Kreijns, Roland Klemke, Marcus Specht


The goal of this study was to probe the effectiveness of a mobile game-based learning approach in modifying behavioural outcomes and competence. The experiment was set against the background of low rates of laymen providing CPR during sudden cardiac arrests. A post-test control group design was used to contrast and evaluate the effects of the two different types of learning. Two hundred two students were randomly assigned to two conditions, a game-based variant simulating an emergency situation (experimental group), and an instruction-based approach (control group). After the intervention participants completed a questionnaire assessing self-prediction, self-efficacy, attitude, subjective norm, empathy and competence. The largest arguably significant difference between the two groups showed in self-prediction and capacity beliefs. Results further revealed a positive relationship between self-prediction and the variables attitude and self-efficacy. The type of scenario did not translate into the other concepts we assessed, though, and results were inconclusive regarding the effectiveness of the type of learning scenario and CPR knowledge. We explain the small effect size partly by the experimental procedure and the design of the game intervention, which is discussed in the course of this article.
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