Reconsidering the motivation of learners in educational computer game contexts

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TÜZÜN H., Barab S. A., Thomas M. K.

TURKISH JOURNAL OF EDUCATION, vol.8, no.2, pp.129-159, 2019 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 8 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.19128/turje.546283
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.129-159
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


The purpose of this study was to identify motivational elements of an online multi-player educational computer game that uses a 3D multi-user environment to immerse children ages 9-12 in educational tasks. The methodological approach design ethnography, a process that involves using ethnographic methods when the researchers are both observers and designers of the context being studied, was employed for researching this game. Interviews were completed with twenty participants playing the educational game and prolonged observations were conducted where participants played the game in a natural setting. The constant comparison method of grounded theory was used for analyzing interview and observation records. The qualitative methods used in this study allowed for additional insights into previous research on motivation. In addition to the 5 constructs identified in previous motivation research on videogames (challenge, curiosity, control, fantasy, and choice), 10 additional motivational elements to play the game emerged from an analysis of interviews with and observations of the 20 children participating in this study. These were identity presentation, social relations, playing, learning, achievement, rewards, immersive context, uniqueness, creativity, and context of support.