Development of a General Framework for Evaluating Games-Based Learning

Thomas Connolly, Mark Stansfield, Thomas Hainey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

30 Citations (Scopus)


The field of games-based learning (GBL) has a dearth of empirical evidence supporting the validity of the approach. One primary reason for this is a distinct lack of general frameworks providing guidelines for structured GBL evaluation. The literature has a wealth of articles suggesting ways that GBL can be evaluated in terms of particular areas with particular measurements, experimental designs and analytical techniques. This paper will present the results of an extensive literature search to identify measurements that have been taken in relevant studies. A new evaluation framework will be presented based on the compilation of all the particular areas and analytical measurements found in the literature. The paper will also briefly review existing frameworks applicable to GBL and will provide general guidelines to focus researchers on particular categories of evaluation, individual measurements, experimental designs and texts in the literature that have some form of empirical evidence or framework relevant to researchers evaluating GBL environments. Due to the extensive nature of the framework, this paper will specifically focus on the GBL environment category composed of evaluation of environment aspects, pedagogical aspects focused on scaffolding, usability, social presence and embedding games within the curriculum.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2nd European Conference on Games Based Learning
EditorsThomas Connolly, Mark Stansfield
Place of PublicationReading
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing Limited (ACPIL)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781906638184
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • games-based learning
  • Evaluation
  • framework
  • pedagogy
  • scaffolding
  • usability
  • deployment
  • social presence


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