16 SES 04, Gaming
Due to recent trends in society and economy (e.g., shrinking public support systems, shifting demographic profiles, changes in financial markets), financial literacy can be considered as a key skill in the 21st century, especially for underprivileged target groups (e.g., Aprea, Wuttke & Stock, 2015), and there is a wide range of political, practical and scientific activities intended to foster this skill within the populations, including the delivery of financial literacy education programs. However, despite these efforts, recent meta-analyses indicate that traditional financial literacy programs often do not reach the goals they aim at (e.g., Fernandes et al., 2014). As argued elsewhere (Authors, in press), one shortcoming of traditional financial education programs is that they are usually centred on the acquisition of factual knowledge, whereas conceptual knowledge as well as financial decision making and behaviour are mostly omitted. An additional problem is that these programs often do not sufficiently consider students’ motivation, socio-emotional needs and social practices, which have changed drastically for the generation of the so called digital natives (e.g., Lonka, 2012).
We assume that game-based learning provides one opportunity to overcome these shortcomings of traditional financial literacy education. This assumption is based on findings from instructional research studies which investigate the effects of game-based learning in various domains (e.g., Clark et al., 2016; Wouters et al., 2013). These studies basically confirm that game-based learning can promote conceptual knowledge construction and higher order thinking skills as well as enjoyment, intrinsic motivation and positive attitudes. However, none of these studies has yet addressed financial literacy education. In addition, they also show that the beneficial effects of games do not come naturally but require careful design of game based learning arrangements, i.e. game design and design of game-related instruction. A good game design should guide the learner through the game world and help him or her to understand its logic and rules. This should be preferably done as easy and immersive as possible, for example by designing game situations which afford learners to actively manipulate objects in an intended way, or by sequencing the game play according to increasing levels of difficulty (e.g., Adams, 2014). With regard to instructional integration, it is particularly emphasized that simply playing a game might not be enough for effective and sustainable learning to occur but that these gaming experiences need to be complemented with adequate preparation, elaboration, practice, debriefing/reflection and transfer of what has been learned during the game play (e.g., Leemkuil & de Jong, 2011). A powerful instructional remedy for guiding these processes is the design of respective learning tasks, mainly because of their impact on regulating students learning processes.
Against the background of these considerations the aim of the present study was to investigate how game-based learning arrangements should be designed in order to be successfully used in financial literacy education. The study was located in the context of a secondary school financial education program in Switzerland.
Adams, E. (2014). Fundamentals of Game Design, 3rd edition, New York: Pearson. Authors (in press). Instructional integration of digital learning games in financial literacy education. In T. A. Lucey & K. S. Cooter (Eds.), Financial Literacy for Children and Youth (2nd ed.). Frankfurt/M. Aprea, C., Wuttke, E., Stock, M. (2015). Exploring the possibilities for a bildungs-oriented conceptualisation of financial literacy. In S. Hillen, & C. Aprea (Eds.), Instrumentalism in Education- Where is Bildung left? (pp. 89–104). Münster: Waxmann Clark, D., Tanner-Smith, E., Killingsworth, S. (2016). Digital games, design and learning: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research, 86(1), 79–122. Design-Based Research Collective (DBRC) (2003). Design-based research: An emerging paradigm for educational inquiry. Educational Researcher, 32(1), 5–8, 35–37. Fernandes, D., Lynch Jr., J. G., & Netemeyer, R. G. (2014). Financial Literacy, Financial Education, and Downstream Financial Behaviors. Management Science 60(8), 1861–1883. Lonka, K. (2012). Engaging learning environments for the future. In R. Gwyer, R. Stubbings, & G. Walton (Eds.), The road to information literacy (pp. 15-30). Berlin. Wouters, P., van Nimwegen, C., van Oostendorp, H., & van der Spek, E. D. (2013). A meta-analysis of the cognitive and motivational effects of serious games. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105(2), 249–265.
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