Designing adaptivity in educational games to improve learning

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The study of pedagogy has shown that students have different ways of learning and processing information. Students in a classroom learn best when being taught by a teacher who is able to adapt and/or change the pedagogical model being used, to better suit said students and/or the subject being taught. When considering other teaching mediums such as computer-assisted learning systems or educational video games, research also identified the benefits of adapting educational features to better teach players. However, effective methods for adaptation in educational video games are less well researched.

This study addresses four points regarding adaptivity within educational games. Firstly, a framework for making any game adaptive was extracted from the literature. Secondly, an algorithm capable of monitoring, modelling and executing adaptations was developed and explained using the framework. Thirdly, the algorithm's effect on learning gains in players was evaluated using a customised version of Minecraft as the educational game and topics from critical thinking as the educational content. Lastly, a methodology explaining the process of utilising the algorithm with any educational game and the evaluation of said methodology were detailed.
Date of Award1 Dec 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • King's College London
SupervisorSimon Miles (Supervisor), Michael Kolling (Supervisor) & Petr Slovak (Supervisor)

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