Exploring the Behavioral Patterns of English Learners With Different Prior Knowledge in an Educational Role-Playing Game (RPG)
Recently, more and more role-playing games (RPGs) have been utilized as teaching tools. The present study aims at exploring the behavioral differences among the students in terms of different prior knowledge while learning with RPGs. The participants were 7th graders from two classes in a junior high school in Taipei, Taiwan. The two classes were taught by the same English teacher. Before the experiment, English proficiency pretest was delivered, and the students with different English ability levels were distinguished according to the scores. More, the studentsí self-efficacy questionnaire was also conducted. The average time for each role-playing game in the experiment was 30 minutes. The students played the game dependently, and their behaviors during the game were recorded for further analysis. The game was designed and divided into three stages based on the studentsí current learning contents, including vocabulary and grammar parts from their English course. The game was terminated no matter it was finished or not. Cognitive load questionnaire, self-efficacy questionnaire, and learning performance test were implemented after the experiment. Cognitive load questionnaire was used to reveal studentsí cognitive load while learning with the role-playing game; self-efficacy questionnaire was carried out to understand whether the studentsí self-efficacy improved after learning with the game. Lastly, learning performance post-test was utilized to investigate the studentsí learning conditions in terms of role-playing game. Based on above study results, we discuss the limitations of the game and provide suggestions for future research on and the development of educational RPGs.