Zhi-Hong Chen is a postdoctoral researcher in the Graduate Institute of Network Learning Technology at National Central University, Taiwan. His research interests are game-based learning and one-to-one learning. Chih-Yueh Chou is an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Yuan Ze University, Taiwan. His research interests include simulated learning companion, game-based learning, and social learning theory and systems. Gautam Biswas is a professor of computer science and computer engineering at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. He specialises in artificial intelligence in education, modelling and simulation, intelligent learning environments, and model-based diagnosis. Tak-Wai Chan is the chair professor of the Graduate Institute of Network Learning Technology at the National Central University, Taiwan. He specialises in artificial intelligence in education, computer-mediated interactive classrooms, ubiquitous and mobile learning, and digital game- and toy-based learning.
Substitutive competition: Virtual pets as competitive buffers to alleviate possible negative influence on pupils
Article first published online: 15 APR 2011
© 2011 The Authors. British Journal of Educational Technology © 2011 BERA
British Journal of Educational Technology
Volume 43, Issue 2, pages 247–258, March 2012
How to Cite
Chen, Z.-H., Chou, C.-Y., Biswas, G. and Chan, T.-W. (2012), Substitutive competition: Virtual pets as competitive buffers to alleviate possible negative influence on pupils. British Journal of Educational Technology, 43: 247–258. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8535.2011.01174.x
- Issue published online: 20 FEB 2012
- Article first published online: 15 APR 2011
Although competition is regarded as a powerful motivator in game-based learning, it might have a negative influence, such as damage to confidence, on students who lose the competition. In this paper, we propose an indirect approach, substitutive competition, to alleviate such negative influences. The approach is used to develop a My-Pet v3 system, in which pupils master subject materials to make their pets stronger, and compete against each other. Specifically, pupils learn Chinese idioms in a pet-training game scenario, and their mastery of the material is related to the pets' strength to win the competition. The result of the competition is influenced by whether pupils spend enough effort on the learning tasks. This intention is expected to alleviate the negative influence that results from direct competition. A within-subject experiment was conducted to examine the influence of substitutive competition. The results indicated that substitutive competition seems a promising scheme to maximise the power of competition. However, there were no apparent evidences in this study to demonstrate its effect to alleviate pupils' sense of failure, as compared with other two direct competition conditions.