Learning preferences and motivation of different ability students for social-competition or self-competition

Zhi Hong Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Competitive learning is attracting ever increasing amounts of attention in the field of digital game-based learning. Different mechanisms for the promotion of competitive learning have been proposed in previous studies, including social-competition and self-competition mechanisms, but few have addressed student preferences as to the choice between social-competition and self-competition, especially considering students' different levels of capabilities and their perception. Thus, this study investigates how students with different levels of capabilities choose and perceive learning models between social-competition and self-competition. The study was carried out using the mixed-model experimental design. Sample consisted of 54 elementary school students assigned into three ability-level groups with all groups experiencing both treatments of social-and self-competition digital game-based learning environments. The results indicate that low-ability students had lower test anxiety and greater preference for social-competition, whereas medium-ability and high-ability students showed higher test anxiety and a similar preference for social-competition and self-competition. Based on this result, competitive learning design framework should consider enjoyment aspect of social competition for low-ability students, and interactive and performance aspects for self-and social-competition for medium-and high-ability students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-293
Number of pages11
JournalEducational Technology and Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Apr
Externally publishedYes


  • Games
  • Interactive learning environments
  • Primary school

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Engineering


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