TitelEngagement as a volitional construct. A framework for theory, research, and instructional design of educational games.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsFilsecker, M, Kerres, M
JournalSimulation & Gaming
Start Page450-470

Background. Interest is growing in harnessing the motivational and engaging power of games for learning purposes. However, academics frequently use the terms motivation and engagement interchangeably.

Aim. In this article, we suggest that researchers should differentiate engagement from motivation and conceptualize it as a volitional process. We also argue that educational games research needs to move its focus beyond intrinsic motivation and explore the variety of cognitiveemotionalmotivational, and volitional processes while learning with games.

Method. Therefore, this article outlines a conceptual framework based on a multidimensional perspective on engagement. This framework is intended to help plan and organize research on learning with games, so that the field can produce evidence-based guidelines and principles that respond to the central questions of how and when educational games work.

Results. A conceptual framework that integrates motivation and volition, is structured by an input-process-output model and portraits engagement as a process or mediator variable between an educational game and its learning outcomes.

Conclusion. Defining engagement as a volitional process opens up a new perspective with broad theoretical and practical implications. For game design, the strategy of “learning within games” could demand increasingly higher levels of volitional control depending on the degree of coupling of the learning task and the gameplay.

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