Introduction and Problem Statement
A large number of researchers, educators and policy makers believe game as are very important as learning tool starting with the former US president Barrack Obama.The National Education Technology Plan (2010) goal was to make sure that there is engagement of students to games since this would help them sharpen their skills. According to policy makers, games enhance our learning and are an integral part of a fundamental education change, shifting from acquiring another person’s idea to active learning and later empowering other people to inquire.Thus, in this study, the researcher was intending to investigate the achievement and choice behavior of female and male high school students having an option of taking 36 Week American History course in the game based format (Regan, 2012).
Significance of the Study
This particular study is of much significant to researchers, game developers, educators. For instance, over the past few years, researchers have investigated the relationship between gender difference in performance and they have found that there is no difference in performance across gender. However, they have not investigated on whether gender may influence the choice of game based courses. Thus, this study goes a mile further from the previous research done to investigate this. For the teachers, it is very crucial for them to understand whether the choice of game based courses is different across gender. By understanding this, they may help in giving advice on the installation of new technology to learning. To the game developers and funders, this study’s results may be helpful in initiating game based fairness when it comes to gender on the basis of potential gender differences (Regan, 2012).
According to the researcher, formulation of hypothesis was important in answering the research question. Thus, the researcher stated both the null and alternative hypothesis as follows:
- H0: there is an insignificant gender difference in the choice of game based course
- H1: there is a significant gender difference in the choice of game based course
This particular hypothesis would be rejected at 5% level of significance.
The target populationfor this particular included all those students who were enrolled in online courses.This study involved a sample size of 286 students from 11th grade. The students had enrolled in American history between 2009-2010 school year. Those students who were intending to take 11th grade American history were enrolled in a game-based class. The sample consisted of two groups where the first group comprised of those students enrolled in the American History game-based version. The second group comprised of students who were enrolled in American History standard web-based version. Gender was measured on a qualitative scale and was later coded as binary variable i.e. male=1, and female=2. Game based course was measured on a continuous scale whereby those students who completed the both segment 1 and 2 received a final grade for each of the segment.
The study utilized the inferential statistics technique. To address the formulated hypothesis, a t test was used to compare the mean achievement score between gender (females and males) in the game based course.Gender was the independent variable while the game based course grade was the independent variable.
Data was analyzed on the 286 students who responded to the game based courses. The sample comprised of 152 males and 128 females. To address the normality concerns, 15 outliers form the collected data were removed. On conducting the t-test for independent samples, results indicated that there was an insignificant gender difference in the choice of game based course i.e. (t= -6.13, df = 263, p = 0.540). This was because the p-value was greater than the specified significance level i.e. 0.540>0.05 thus the null hypothesis was notrejected. The males mean grade was 92.5 while the female mean grade was 92.8. the standard deviations for male and female mean grade was 4.057 and 4.178 respectively.Therefore, the average male grade for the game based courses was similar from that of their female counterparts(Regan, 2012).
The study revealed that there was no significant gender difference in choice of game-based courses. According to prior studies doneon high school and undergraduate students, education game achievement is not influenced by gender. Female may be in experienced in playing games as compared to female students but in educational context, the level of achievement between both genders\s is equal. The present study on gender difference in educational game is consistent with the prior studies where present study involves course format choice.
The study makes use of the test appropriately and makes sure that the assumptions of a t-test are met before data analysis commences.If I would be conducting a similar study, I would have used the one way Anova analysis and compare the mean differences of the females and males since it is much easier than the t-test for independent samples