The development and pilot evaluation of a ‘serious game’ to promote positive child-animal interactions

Roxanne D. Hawkins, Joanne M. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Animal welfare education aims to nurture compassion, respect and kindness to animals but there remains a need for more rigorous evaluations of such programmes to assess the most effective approaches. Incorporating technology into animal welfare education is a relatively novel field. This study examines the process of designing, developing, and evaluating the effectiveness of a new theoretically-driven educational computer game intervention. Pet Welfare was designed for children aged 7-12 years, to promote positive child-animal interactions. A pre-test, post-test, test-control, quasi-experimental design was used using a self-report questionnaire that children completed within class. Participants included 184 primary-school children from schools in Scotland, UK. The results indicated a positive impact on knowledge about animal welfare needs, knowledge about appropriate and safe behaviour towards pets and beliefs about pet minds. Children were also less accepting of cruelty to pets. . There was no impact on self-reported compassion. This study presents the first evaluation of a digital animal welfare ‘serious game’ for children, demonstrating the benefits of incorporating technology and game-based learning into animal cruelty prevention. The results of this study will inform future education directions for those wishing to promote positive and safe relationships between children and animals.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHuman-Animal Interaction Bulletin
Volume8
Issue number2
Early online date20 Aug 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Aug 2019

Fingerprint

animal
interaction
evaluation
welfare
education
computer game
schoolchild
primary school
respect
questionnaire
school
learning

Keywords

  • Animal cruelty
  • Animal welfare
  • Children
  • Education
  • Technology
  • Serious games

Cite this

@article{1d521ecdc487469188f6b8c727df54b9,
title = "The development and pilot evaluation of a ‘serious game’ to promote positive child-animal interactions",
abstract = "Animal welfare education aims to nurture compassion, respect and kindness to animals but there remains a need for more rigorous evaluations of such programmes to assess the most effective approaches. Incorporating technology into animal welfare education is a relatively novel field. This study examines the process of designing, developing, and evaluating the effectiveness of a new theoretically-driven educational computer game intervention. Pet Welfare was designed for children aged 7-12 years, to promote positive child-animal interactions. A pre-test, post-test, test-control, quasi-experimental design was used using a self-report questionnaire that children completed within class. Participants included 184 primary-school children from schools in Scotland, UK. The results indicated a positive impact on knowledge about animal welfare needs, knowledge about appropriate and safe behaviour towards pets and beliefs about pet minds. Children were also less accepting of cruelty to pets. . There was no impact on self-reported compassion. This study presents the first evaluation of a digital animal welfare ‘serious game’ for children, demonstrating the benefits of incorporating technology and game-based learning into animal cruelty prevention. The results of this study will inform future education directions for those wishing to promote positive and safe relationships between children and animals.",
keywords = "Animal cruelty, Animal welfare, Children, Education, Technology, Serious games",
author = "Hawkins, {Roxanne D.} and Williams, {Joanne M.}",
year = "2019",
month = "8",
day = "20",
language = "English",
volume = "8",
journal = "Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin",
issn = "2333-522X",
publisher = "American Psychological Association",
number = "2",

}

The development and pilot evaluation of a ‘serious game’ to promote positive child-animal interactions. / Hawkins, Roxanne D.; Williams, Joanne M.

In: Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin, Vol. 8, No. 2, 20.08.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - The development and pilot evaluation of a ‘serious game’ to promote positive child-animal interactions

AU - Hawkins, Roxanne D.

AU - Williams, Joanne M.

PY - 2019/8/20

Y1 - 2019/8/20

N2 - Animal welfare education aims to nurture compassion, respect and kindness to animals but there remains a need for more rigorous evaluations of such programmes to assess the most effective approaches. Incorporating technology into animal welfare education is a relatively novel field. This study examines the process of designing, developing, and evaluating the effectiveness of a new theoretically-driven educational computer game intervention. Pet Welfare was designed for children aged 7-12 years, to promote positive child-animal interactions. A pre-test, post-test, test-control, quasi-experimental design was used using a self-report questionnaire that children completed within class. Participants included 184 primary-school children from schools in Scotland, UK. The results indicated a positive impact on knowledge about animal welfare needs, knowledge about appropriate and safe behaviour towards pets and beliefs about pet minds. Children were also less accepting of cruelty to pets. . There was no impact on self-reported compassion. This study presents the first evaluation of a digital animal welfare ‘serious game’ for children, demonstrating the benefits of incorporating technology and game-based learning into animal cruelty prevention. The results of this study will inform future education directions for those wishing to promote positive and safe relationships between children and animals.

AB - Animal welfare education aims to nurture compassion, respect and kindness to animals but there remains a need for more rigorous evaluations of such programmes to assess the most effective approaches. Incorporating technology into animal welfare education is a relatively novel field. This study examines the process of designing, developing, and evaluating the effectiveness of a new theoretically-driven educational computer game intervention. Pet Welfare was designed for children aged 7-12 years, to promote positive child-animal interactions. A pre-test, post-test, test-control, quasi-experimental design was used using a self-report questionnaire that children completed within class. Participants included 184 primary-school children from schools in Scotland, UK. The results indicated a positive impact on knowledge about animal welfare needs, knowledge about appropriate and safe behaviour towards pets and beliefs about pet minds. Children were also less accepting of cruelty to pets. . There was no impact on self-reported compassion. This study presents the first evaluation of a digital animal welfare ‘serious game’ for children, demonstrating the benefits of incorporating technology and game-based learning into animal cruelty prevention. The results of this study will inform future education directions for those wishing to promote positive and safe relationships between children and animals.

KW - Animal cruelty

KW - Animal welfare

KW - Children

KW - Education

KW - Technology

KW - Serious games

M3 - Article

VL - 8

JO - Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin

JF - Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin

SN - 2333-522X

IS - 2

ER -