Applying Reward and Punishment Mechanisms to Design a Digital Game-Based English Learning Environment: System Implementation, Learning Performance Assessment and Behavior Pattern Analysis(3/3)

Project Details


In recent years, digital game-based learning (DGBL) has attracted the attention of many researchers. Using the characteristics of digital games and integrating learning contents, DGBL allows learners to carry out learning activities in the process of gaming. DGBL creates an entertaining learning environment, which can effectively improve learning motivation and learning effectiveness. Therefore, many studies have applied DGBL to English learning. However, most of the past studies mainly focused on vocabulary learning. There is a lack of DGBL systems for English listening and speaking learning. On the other hand, the reward and punishment mechanisms often appear in digital games to promote players’ continuous involvement in digital games, which can be regarded as important elements in the architecture of digital games. In the past, many studies have applied reward and punishment mechanisms to DGBL but most of them have only explored the impacts of reward mechanisms. In other words, previous studies have rarely explored reward and punishment mechanisms simultaneously, and they have rarely designed different reward and punishment mechanisms and examined the effects of different reward and punishment mechanisms in DGBL. Moreover, in the design of reward and punishment contents, most of the previous studies only used points or virtual coins as reward and punishment contents, but there were less diversities in reward and punishment contents. In addition to the design of reward and punishment contents, past research has rarely explored how to design ways to obtain rewards and punishments, and how to present information of rewards and punishments. However, there are individual differences among learners, which may affect learning to varying degrees. Because DGBL incorporates learning contents and game elements, learners’ prior knowledge, especially subject prior knowledge and game prior experience, may affect their effectiveness and behavior in DGBL. However, previous studies have rarely explored the impacts of different prior knowledge learners on the reward and punishment mechanisms in DGBL. Therefore, this project aims to develop a DGBL system for English learning with reward and punishment mechanisms, and to conduct empirical studies to investigate the effects of different reward and punishment mechanisms (including game-oriented and learning-oriented reward and punishment mechanisms) and learners with different prior knowledge (including English prior knowledge and game prior experience) by using the proposed DGBL system. The variables to be explored will cover cognitive aspect (learning performance: vocabulary, listening, speaking), affective aspect (learning motivation, English anxiety, gaming flow), and behavior patterns.
Effective start/end date1/08/2231/07/23

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals


  • digital game-based learning
  • technology enhanced language learning
  • reward and punishment mechanisms
  • prior knowledge
  • learning performance
  • behavior patterns


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