University of Tasmania
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Increasing learner engagement in, and performance of, technical threshold concepts in accounting and finance education through a gamified learning experience

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posted on 2023-05-28, 12:30 authored by Wood, KS
Meyer and Land (2006, p. xiv) stated that the resolution of troublesome knowledge challenges and forces conceptual thinking via a transformative portal of a threshold concept.‚ÄövÑvp To explore the resolution of threshold concepts via a gamified learning experience this research was situated within the academic standards of skills and knowledge for accounting and finance students, in line with the competency requirements of the professional bodies (Hancock et al., 2016). This aligns with Kennedy et al.'s (2009) advice that emerging technologies and improved student learning activities, assessments, and outcomes are best managed and aligned with pedagogical, technical, and administrative knowledge. This research used the pedagogy of the gamified learning experience (GLE) design to identify what learning conditions support gamification, the gamification features that lead to learning, and how can they be integrated to ensure learning outcomes are met. The theoretical framework for this research was centred on constructivism, encompassing social constructivism and cognitive learning theory, and encapsulated by Laurillard's (2002) conversational framework. This was used as a methodology for exploring the interactions and relationships that take place in the GLE, and how these contribute to learner engagement in, motivation for, and performance of learning. The application of the treatment GLE only demonstrated a significant relationship between participant self-efficacy with the technical threshold concept of the time value of money (TVM) and the GLE, and not between engagement with the content or assessed learning outcomes of the technical threshold concept of TVM and the GLE, however, the data collected has provided insight into the student experience and performance. Multivariate ANOVA was used to examine the learning experience and outcome results to make inferences about the hypotheses of learner engagement, learning success, and self-efficacy. This multivariate ANOVA method and GLE design framework were then used to evaluate the imposition of the GLE treatment as a pedagogical resource in accounting and finance technical threshold concepts. Due to unexpected insignificant results from the initial analysis, a secondary analysis was performed which focused the investigation on the survey items pertaining to testing the student learning experience within the GLE, not testing the game itself. After removal of 18 items which measured the design of the game, 12 learner focused items persisted to become eLearningGameFlow: a new learner centred tool for measuring students' learning experience in the game. The use of eLearningGameFlow will potentially allow learning designers to not only do their best creating GLEs which deliver an equal or somewhat apparent approval in learning outcomes, but also increase student use and learning engagement of the GLE as a pedagogical resource. As a learning testing tool, eLearningGameFlow may assist in identifying and measuring the actual learning points for replication.


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Copyright 2022 the author Small portions of chapters 3 and 4 of the thesis are included in a published book chapter: Wood, K. S., 2019. Making a game of troublesome threshold concepts, in, Ifenthaler, D., Kim, Y., (Eds), Game-based assessment revisited: Advances in game-based learning. Springer, Cham.

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