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Title: Design of didactic games to foster student motivation, engagement and performance in classrooms :a case of Hong Kong primary English language subject (ELS) classrooms
Authors: Gupta, Paridhi
Degree: Ph.D.
Issue Date: 2015
Abstract: Research studies conducted within formal, routine classrooms reveal that children lack motivation, attention and concentration during learning. Gradually, this leads to apathy, anxiety and often results in poor academic performance, low self-esteem and passiveness towards education. Most educators are comfortable and affluent in formal, instruction-based, mainstream pedagogy. When interviewed, they state that they are often preoccupied with enormous tasks associated with classroom instruction. They constantly face the pressure to impart defined knowledge (content) and achieve intended learning targets within limited lesson time and strict curriculum deadlines. This voluntarily or involuntarily, obstructs them from practicing new, interesting, seemingly time and energy consuming alternative (learner-centred) pedagogy. Do schools envision education as a rich, fostering process or as training the bulk (of children) as assumed replicas by emphasizing on convenience driven, instruction-based, unidirectional teaching? Present day classrooms are highly complex and heterogeneous. Every child is unique. Classroom instructions must nurture the growing needs of this diversity of learners. I aim to address this problem by adopting "learning through didactic games" as a child-centred pedagogical approach within the context of Hong Kong local Primary schools. In Hong Kong, learner-centred rationale in education is a young, developing trend. This research unfolds itself in three major phases. First, the literature review draws light on the essential ingredients needed for understanding and studying Primary kids (ages 6-11). It provides "food for thought" for a theoretical based argument on the significance and alliance of motivation, meaningful learning and flow in education through play and games. In the second phase, an in-depth case study draws attention on several teaching/learning scenarios within local Hong Kong Primary ELS classrooms. This investigation takes place within the sociocultural context of a Hong Kong local Primary school-Sham Tseng Catholic Primary School. It helps in identifying core issues and challenges faced by teachers and students during the teaching/learning of English Language Subject (ELS) within P.4 and P.5 classrooms. In the third phase, these core issues have been analysed and addressed through four main "learning through didactic games" experiments. The experiments have been designed in synchronization with the Hong Kong Primary English language curriculum and are conducted within the naturalistic settings of five P.4 and four P.5 English classrooms. They not only provide empirical evidence and valuable insights on how to improve the quality of teaching/learning experiences for both, teachers and students through 'the design' of didactic games, but also act as a valuable pedagogical resources for future use. The emphasis on 'design' is used to create distinct, primary functions of didactic games in education such as a sensory stimuli; an ability-paced, interest-driven learning experience; collaborative play; information processing strategy; and lastly as a formative assessment tool. It reflects on how the design can guide and steer tactile qualities, sensory aesthetics (game-components); educational goals (game-targets); defined rules (game-play experience and interactions); and evaluation (learning outcome) in didactic games. Towards the end of this dissertation, these insights have been translated into a logical empirical framework that highlights ten crucial factors for 'designing' didactic games for classroom use. This new knowledge contributes to the fields of game design and education. This research intends to be of value to educators and game designers and motivates them to adopt, test and explore this approach within other sociocultural contexts.
Subjects: Educational games -- Design and construction.
Motivation in education.
English language -- Study and teaching (Primary) -- China -- Hong Kong
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Pages: 172 pages : color illustrations
Appears in Collections:Thesis

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