International Education Journal

Educational Research Conference 2002 Special Issue


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Computer Adventure Games as Problem-Solving Environments

David D Curtis
School of Education Flinders University

Michael J Lawson
School of Education Flinders University


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Claims that computer-based adventure games are productive environments for the development of general problem-solving ability were tested in a study of 40 students' interactions with a novel computer-based adventure game. Two sets of factors that are thought to influence problem-solving performance were identified in the literature - domain-specific knowledge (schema) and general problem-solving strategies. Measures of both domain-specific knowledge and general strategy use were developed and applied in the study. A cognitive model to explain performance is developed in which there are complex relationships among key concepts. General strategies were found to have important influences on problem-solving performance, but schema was negatively related to performance. The implications of these findings for both classroom practice and future research designs are discussed.

Computer adventure games, problem-solving ability, strategies



Curtis, D.D. and Lawson, M.J. (2002) Computer Adventure Games as Problem-Solving Environments. International Education Journal, 3 (4), 43-56.

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