A narrative literature review of games, animations and simulations to teach research methods and statistics

Elizabeth A. Boyle, Ewan W. MacArthur, Thomas M. Connolly, Thomas Hainey, Madalina Manea, Anne Karki, Peter van Rosmalen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


Basic competence in research methods and statistics is core for many undergraduates but many students experience difficulties in acquiring knowledge and skills in this area. Interest has recently turned to serious games as providing engaging ways of learning. The CHERMUG project was developed against this background to develop games to support students in learning about research methods and statistics. As a first step in designing the CHERMUG games a narrative literature review was carried out to establish whether similar games, animations and simulations already existed. Search terms used in the literature review included varied terms for digital games, simulations and animations, terms relevant to the twin goals of learning and engagement in games and terms for research methods and statistics. Application of the inclusion criteria led to 26 papers which were considered relevant. Synthesis of the papers suggested that there is reason to be optimistic that a game-based approach might be effective in learning in this area.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
JournalComputers & Education
Publication statusPublished - May 2014


  • Games
  • Simulations
  • Animations
  • Research methods
  • Statistics

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