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Appears in Collections:Computing Science and Mathematics eTheses
Title: Scoping the Potential Use of Serious Games for Public Engagement with Tree and Plant Health
Author(s): Docherty, Craig William
Supervisor(s): Maharaj, Savitri
Rutherford, Alasdair
Jones, Glyn
Keywords: Serious Games
Tree and Plant Health
Issue Date: Sep-2020
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: After the devastating introduction of Chalara ash dieback into Great Britain in 2012, all devolved GB governments agreed on the need for increased public engagement in protecting tree and plant health. Serious games have been proposed as a tool for achieving this. This thesis explores two questions. Firstly, to what extent is there an appetite for using Serious Games among plant health professionals and the general public? Furthermore, when compared to traditional methods of presenting information in public engagement, can Serious Games improve participant engagement and retention of information? To address the first question, we conducted two studies of attitudes to Serious Games. In the first study, we conducted face-to-face structured interviews of tree and plant health professionals. In this group, we found that there was interest in the potential use of Serious Games; however, a lack of game development skills emerged as a challenge. In the second study, we used an online survey aimed at the general public to ask about attitudes, preferences, and experiences with Serious Games. Again, we found that there was an interest in the use of games with some reservations. In addressing the second question, two experiments were conducted comparing game and non-game methods of presenting identical information to participants. These experiments measured enjoyment and retention of information. In both experiments, the non-game treatment participants had higher quiz results, suggesting that the Serious Game treatment did not improve information retention. This may be because the learning content was not sufficiently related to the games. Additionally, despite Game players reporting a higher perceived level of learning in the second experiment this did not translate to longer term retention of information. We conclude that Serious Games can be useful in arousing interest; however, careful design is needed if they are to promote, rather than distract from, learning.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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PhD Thesis Submission - C Docherty - 2014756 - With Amendments.docxWord document of the thesis7.97 MBMicrosoft Word XMLView/Open
PhD Thesis - C W Docherty.pdfPDF version of the thesis4.61 MBAdobe PDFView/Open

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