When Game-Based Learning Technology Becomes the Users' Obstacle and Not a ‘Co-Player’

Christina Meisner Jørgensen, Md. Saifuddin Khalid, Lars Elbæk

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Engaging children to become physically active has become an agenda in Danish schools. So, integrating physical movement with subject-matter learning is one of the ways of addressing this agenda. Traditional quizzes have proven successful in various learning contexts when game elements are included. A light-weight box with sensor-integrated component has been designed as a physical-movement enabling leg-less and rocking stool, which can also be used as a responder of a cloud-based quiz application. Thereby, instead of a clicker, the stool is shaken and rotated to answer the questions and to engage in gamified learning activities. The hardware component senses the orientation of the stool and sends a signal to the computer. The artefact is also designed for enabling movement (that is, analogue) with the artefact irrespective of the digitally enhanced learning activity. The goal of this empirical study is to investigate the classroom experience of the interactive furniture in three Danish elementary schools, focusing on contributing to game-based learning and movement in the classrooms. Data collection and analysis involved method triangulation and thematic analysis of 22 observations, nine group-based post-teaching students’ reflections and 19 teachers’ logbook reflection. The findings indicate that the artefact (i.e. analogue) influence the students’ learning due to built-in problem-solving, encouraging, and engaging activities in the use of the furniture. The artefact with the digital (game) component, did not function desirably due to two main reasons. Firstly, creating gamified learning content was not easy for teachers. Secondly, frequent occurrences of errors demotivated teachers, causing to give up. In conclusion, analogue game-based elements influenced students’ attitude towards physical activity and engage in the learning activities. When the game function desirably, it was perceived as a co-player in the learning environment. Conversely, the digital game-based learning acted as an obstacle due to its complexity and errors, which influenced the teachers substantially by causing more frustration and being more time-consuming. However, the teachers’ express positive expectations to the digital game-elements when the game-functionality is running smooth.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 12th European Conference on Game-Based Learning ECGBL 2018
EditorsMelanie Ciussi
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International
Publication date4. Oct 2018
Article number39
ISBN (Print)978-1-911218-99-9
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-912764-00-6
Publication statusPublished - 4. Oct 2018
Event12th European Conference on Games Based Learning - SKEMA Business School Sophia Antipolis, Sophia Antipolis, France
Duration: 4. Oct 20185. Oct 2018
Conference number: 12


Conference12th European Conference on Games Based Learning
LocationSKEMA Business School Sophia Antipolis
CitySophia Antipolis
Internet address


  • Designs for human movement
  • Educational technology
  • Elementary school
  • Game-based learning
  • Multifunctional furniture
  • Physical activity

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