How competition in a game-based science learning environment influences students' learning achievement, flow experience, and learning behavioral patterns

Ching-Huei Chen, Jun Han Liu, Wen Chuan Shou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)


Although educational games have become prevalent in recent research, only a limited number of studies have considered learners' learning behaviors while playing a science problem-solving game. Introducing a competitive element to game-based learning is promising; however, research has produced ambiguous results, indicating that more studies should investigate its pros and cons of competition. A total of 57 seventh-grade students participated in the study and were assigned to two conditions: competition or non-competition. Results revealed that students in the non-competition condition performed significantly better on the learning achievement test than those in the competition condition. With regard to the flow experience, no significant differences were found between the two conditions. The results of learning behavioral analyses revealed that, while both conditions resulted in students acquiring through means-ends strategies, students in the non-competition condition tended to read the instructions carefully and repeatedly sought additional supports to help themselves advance their conceptual understanding. These findings, when examined in light of previous research, call into question other types of competition in promoting engagement and supporting learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-176
Number of pages13
JournalEducational Technology and Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Engineering(all)

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