The Relationship Between Visual Learning Style, Gender, and Preferred Gaming Style

Purpose/Hypothesis : Previous studies in education have examined player motivations and learning styles in virtual gaming environments. No study in physical therapy has examined whether linkages exist between gamer motivations, gender, and visual learning style. This study seeks to answer whether a visual learning preference and/or gender predicts gaming style preferences as described by Yee (relationship, immersion, grief, achievement, and leadership).Number of Subjects : 41 participants were recruited with a mean age of 27.87 (22 female, 14 male; 5 did not identify gender and were excluded from gender analysis).Materials/Methods : Participants were recruited using a convenience sample from students in the Winston Salem State University (WSSU) physical therapy program, after the IRB protocol approval. After informed consent documents were administered, participants completed two different instruments: the visual aural read-write, and kinesthetic (VARK) learning styles inventory, and a gaming motivation survey. Data from each inventory were matched by participant number to ensure that participants had completed both inventories (7 subjects excluded from data analysis). Data were analyzed using Stata, Version 13 with descriptive statistics calculated for demographics, visual learning style preference, and types of games played. Categorical means were calculated for gaming style preferences. Regression analyses were conducted to determine the predictive value of gender and/or visual learning style on gaming style preference.Results : The majority of participants (78%) reported never or infrequently participating in technology-based games. Regression analysis revealed a significant effect of male gender (p<.0001) on relational gaming, explaining 10% of the variation (r2=0.10). No significant regressions between any gaming style preference and learning style or between the combined factors of visual learning style, gender, and gaming style preference were found.Conclusions : In contrast to the findings of Yee (2012), more men than women preferred relational gaming. There is no ability to predict categorical gaming style preference based upon a visual preference of learning or from the interaction of visual learning style and gender. These results may be explained by the findings that only 22% of our participants reported average to high game play. Therefore, the gaming style preference survey may not have accurately detected our participantÕs gaming motivations. Since these data were collected from a single university, additional studies are required to determine the broader applicability of these results.Clinical Relevance : Because there is increased interest and encouragement to use virtual environments in professional education, further study should be undertaken to discover which factors specifically predict student motivation and appeal in these environments, and therefore ensure successful learning.

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  • Control #: 2025905
  • Type: Poster
  • Event/Year: CSM2015
  • Authors: Nancy Smith, Sharon Prybylo, Teresa Conner-Kerr
  • Keywords: Serious Games|Virtual Environments|Learning Styles

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