Investigating Digital Apps: Gaming Elements and Learning Context

Aylar Fallah Vazirabad, Farahman Farrokhi


The present study investigated four methods implemented to improve phrasal verb knowledge by two digital apps among Iranian learner-players. A total of 174 students of intermediate level took part in this mixed-method, quasi-experimental research. The first group was blended learning, in the second group the apps acted as the main tutor, the third group played autonomously, outside of the class and the fourth group was gamified as well as non-digital, investigating digital apps, through gaming elements and various learning context. One-Way ANOVA and Tukey HSD was used to analyse the quantitative data and ANCOVA was used for adjusting both quantitative data and pre and post-test covariation. Qualitative data analysis was based on game diary and questionnaire results by means of descriptive statistics. The results revealed that all groups improved their knowledge. Although students in game as blended learning in both digital game types outperformed other groups. Game as tool did not improve as high as game as tutor. Students in Phrasal Nerds outperformed Kahoot. Play time in game as tutor was the highest. Game as tool had the least improvement. Majority of participants prefer a classroom coach. Comparing Nerds and Kahoot, participants prefer Nerds app as it includes a story line. However, among game features, the degree of learning and playing leaded to a focus on reading and repeating game stages for new phrasal verbs to make new sentences to use in daily life rather than using them to discuss how to rescue grandfather or implicit learning by playing informally.


Blended Learning, Digital Game-Based Language Learning, Game-Informed, Kahoot, Phrasal Nerds, Phrasal Verb, Tutor and Tool

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