Game Development Reference
Challenge is achieved through specific learning
goals, different levels of difficulty and unpre-
dictability. A sense of control is created through
enabling the learner to make choices, the effects of
which can be perceived and experienced. Cogni-
tive and sensory curiosity has to be encouraged
during the learning experience and usually audio
and visual media are used for this purpose. The
learner's emotional and thinking processes are
highly correlated with the game fantasy. Therefore,
the narrative should target the learner's emotional
and cognitive expectations, e.g. metaphors and
analogies, and should accurately incorporate
domain knowledge. The provision of feedback
plays a central role in the teaching-learning expe-
rience and has to be unambiguous, effective and
recurrent. Building an effective educational game
involves defining effectively gameplay and user
interaction, integrating domain-specific and game
development techniques, integrating software and
hardware interfaces, implementing the students'
preferred learning styles, creating standards for
implementing content and code and implementing
an assessment criterion (Bergeron, 2006).
The achievement of learning goals and the
mismatch between game content and curriculum
content are factors that contribute to lecturers'
skepticism on using educational games as a tool
to enhance the teaching-learning experience.
Therefore, lecturers, who are accustomed to em-
ploying conventional means, resources and tools
for teaching, perceive the acquisition of learning
games as a non-secure investment (Carpenter &
Windsor, 2006). Accordingly, educational games
also have the challenge of targeting the lecturers'
requirements for specific domain knowledge.
Although some lecturers are familiar with the use
of conventional tools for teaching, it is a fact that
the form of education delivery has to evolve to
suit the students' expectations. Students are living
in a world highly influenced by IT, e.g. commu-
nicating, searching and socializing through the
Internet are perceived as common, familiar and
comfortable tasks. These students are known as
'Millennials' or 'Net Generation' (Oblinger, 2004)
and are highly attracted by environments that are
able to provide an enhanced sensorial experience
through the incorporation of diverse media, e.g.
sounds and visuals.
The applications and target populations of game-
based learning environments have been diverse.
As an example, educational games have been used
for teaching children and adolescents strategies for
dealing with depression (Brezinka & Hovestadt,
2007), for teaching children Mathematics (Conati
& Maclaren, 2009) and for teaching adolescents
Electrostatic principles (Barnett, Squire, Grant, &
Higginbotham, 2004). It is evident that to attain
acceptance as effective learning tools, game-
based learning environments have to incorporate
an intelligent assessment criterion that identifies
when the student has achieved the learning goals.
Accordingly, to support independent learning,
suitable and adaptable feedback according to
the detected learner's needs must be provided.
Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITSs) are a com-
puter tutoring approach that applies Artificial
Intelligence (AI) principles to disconnect the
logic of interaction from the domain knowledge
(Clancey & Buchanan, 1982). ITSs follow student
performance over time, to implement diverse
pedagogical methods and techniques and to adapt
intelligently to each student over time. Therefore,
ITSs are incorporated into the architectures of
game-based learning environments. ITSs comprise
a domain model, student model, teaching model,
communication module and a Graphical User
interface (GUI). Research in the area of ITSs has
focused on each one of these components. How-
ever, the main challenges have been selecting and
communicating suitable pedagogical responses
and accurately representing the student and the
domain (Du Boulay & Luckin, 2001).