Evaluating a Game Design for Language Learning: Exploiting Psychological Needs to increase Motivation for Learning
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When students today start their university education, they are faced with a whole new world. In addition to the demanding curriculum which is complex and takes a great amount of time to learn, they are suddenly faced with a world in a different language and with an extended vocabulary. Even when studying in their own countries, students are presumed to know this vocabulary. This situation occurs when students in higher education joins lectures, talks to course aid and studies for their exams. Vocabulary and technical terms which they are introduced with in these situations are fast forgotten. The mobile game presented in this thesis for supporting language learning is motivated by this scenario and is designed to support university students learning subject-specific language effectively.In order to motivate learners for tedious and boring learning activities, motivation extracted from games was identified, called psychological needs. These needs were used to design a game which was implemented and evaluated with focus on user motivation. The main task for the game was to promote and perform rote learning in a more fun and engaging way. The game was then implemented and evaluated in order to see if it is in fact so that the psychological needs increases motivation for performing learning. %Research QuestionThe results show us that as long as there is some automation of the rote learning and that the user can see some form of progress or score on their performance, motivation increases. Seeing as many of the evaluators are students they were very positive towards having a tool to help them automate memorization of simple definitions or words.The results and research presented indicates that for a puzzle game to increase motivation for rote learning it must utilize as wide a set of psychological needs as possible, and they must be implemented properly. There are many subcategories and different combinations of them that can be utilized in different ways.