The effectiveness of game-based learning on students' mnemonic techniques and perceptions

Chun Yi Shen, Ming Puu Chen, Nian Shing Chen, Tsung Yen Chuang, Ya Ching Huang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Citation (Scopus)


Many researchers pointed out that computer games are widely accepted as a powerful alternative to traditional ways of teaching and learning. Learners can learn through exploration, analysis of problems, accomplishment of tasks, and overcoming challenges in a game context. In simulated game contexts, learners are required to make quick decisions, including planing, managing resources, and taking immediate actions. Previous studies have showed that game-based learning can enhance students' attitudes, motivation, knowledge, and higher-order cognitive skills, such as metacognition, thinking skills, and problem solving skills. However, the studies related to the effectiveness of game-based learning on learners' mnemonic techniques were few. Previous studies have showed that information could be transferred into long-term memory through a number of mnemonic techniques, including multiple coding, method of loci, keyword method, subjective organization, and contextual facilitation. Mnemonic techniques can be further divided into visual and verbal mnemonic techniques by how information is structured in the brain. The main purpose of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of game-based learning both on students' visual and verbal mnemonic techniques and their perceptions towards game-based learning. The design of this study was the nonequivalent pretest-posttest quasi-experiment design. There were fifty-three students aged from 20 to 24 participating in this study. The students were distributed into the experiment group and the control group. The experiment group involves twenty-nine students, and the control group twenty-four. The experiment group played three Flash-based puzzle games designed by the researchers for teaching the mnemonic techniques of method of loci (visual), number/rhyme method (verbal), grapheme-based method (visual), and link mnemonic method, while the control group received the traditional lecture-based instruction. After three weeks, both the scores of the posttests of the Spatial-Span Task (visual) and that of the 20-noun Memory Test (verbal) of the experiment group were significantly higher than the scores of the pretests of the control group using ANCOVA. This finding confirmed the effectiveness of game-based learning on students' mnemonic techniques. After interviewing the students about their perceptions toward game-based learning, they indicated that the game designers should balance playfulness and educational purposes. Additionally, this study also shows that immediate feedback to learners is one of the most important elements in game-based learning. Implications and suggestions were also provided in this study.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 5th European Conference on Games Based Learning, ECGBL 2011
EditorsMichalis Meimaris, Dimitris Gouscos
PublisherDechema e.V.
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781908272188
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Event5th European Conference on Games Based Learning, ECGBL 2011 - Athens, Greece
Duration: 2011 Oct 202011 Oct 21

Publication series

NameProceedings of the European Conference on Games-based Learning
ISSN (Print)2049-0992


Other5th European Conference on Games Based Learning, ECGBL 2011


  • Computer game
  • Game-based learning
  • Interactive learning environments
  • Mnemonic technique
  • Teaching/learning strategies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Education


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