Old PhD Proposal

A cognitive gaming approach to improving student motivation, engagement and assessment

Billions of hours every year are spent world-wide on playing games. The reasons why people love Gaming are controlled by a series of complex social and psychological dynamics.
The game dynamics that I’m interested in are engagement and motivation. What is it that makes gaming
so attractive both in the short-term, and over the long hours that people put in? This directly relates to the short term goals that students and teachers create, such as passing an exam or assignment and the long term goals of completing their course.

There are many variations to how motivation and engagement can come together in the student and staff experience of learning. Students interact with the curriculum in the following ways:

Content: This is how most students interact with the curriculum. The content should be ‘up to date’ with the discipline’s research.

Student learning outcomes (rather than teacher content input). Students reach the desired levels and attain the required standards described in the curriculum design.

Teaching and learning processes. Technology enriched learning and teaching means that students are learning in new blended ways. They are engaged as critical thinkers using the inquiry processes of their discipline to construct knowledge.

Broader experience of learning beyond courses. In this aspect of an engaged and motivated curriculum we might think about creating a research enriched learning community for students and staff, characterised by opportunities for meaningful and motivating engagement and participation.

These different elements of a students’ experience of enriched learning are all important, and each can be achieved in various  ways which might be suited to particular disciplines and to different stages of a student’s experience.


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