The effect of simulation games on the learning of computational problem solving

Publication year: 2011
Source: Computers & Education, Volume 57, Issue 3, November 2011, Pages 1907-1918

Chen-Chung, Liu , Yuan-Bang, Cheng , Chia-Wen, Huang

Simulation games are now increasingly applied to many subject domains as they allow students to engage in discovery processes, and may facilitate a flow learning experience. However, the relationship between learning experiences and problem solving strategies in simulation games still remains unclear in the literature. This study, thus, analyzed the feedback and problem solving behaviors of 117 students in a simulation game, designed to assist them to learn computational problem solving. It was found that students when learning computational problem solving with the game were more likely to perceive a flow learning experience than in traditional lectures. The students’ intrinsic…

 Highlights: ► This study investigates the relationship between flow and problem solving strategies in simulation games. ► A close association between flow states and problem solving strategies was found. ► The students perceiving flow extensively applied trial-and-error, learning-by-example, and analytical reasoning strategies. ► The students feeling bored did not often take an in-depth analytical reasoning strategy. ► Learning-by-example may be an effective to transform anxious learning experiences into flow experiences.