Motivational support from digital game-based learning environments (DGBLEs) for scientific topics designed by novice end users

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The integration of digital game-based learning environment (DGBLE) enhanced by technology in recent years has been hampered by its complexity and difficulty in realistically addressing teachers’ instructional needs. The pedagogical gap between what teachers think a DGBLE can deliver and what DGBLE can actually offer remains substantial. To preliminarily address the gap, this present qualitative study adopted an end-user-development lens to understand how K-12 teachers as novice end users interpret and design game features in their DGBLEs. The design ideas, situated in teaching scientific subjects, were collected from 19 pre-service teachers in a public university in the United States by semi-structured interviews based on game features identified in the literature. The data analysis, grounded in the ARCS (attention, relevance, confidence, satisfaction) motivational design model, employed the direct content analysis method and revealed the distribution of motivational support among participants’ DGBLEs design ideas. The finding suggested that participants were more likely to incorporate intrinsic motivational support than extrinsic support in their design. This trend could compromise the motivational support of DGBLEs when students need additional extrinsic motives toward the end of learning processes. Further, the study illuminates the importance of incorporating end users’ perspectives early on in the DGBLE design process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-136
Number of pages14
JournalEducational Media International
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2018


  • Design
  • end users
  • game-based learning
  • motivational support
  • novice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Communication


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