Journal of Information Systems Education (JISE)

Volume 24

Volume 24 Number 3, Pages 223-232

Fall 2013


Play for Performance: Using Computer Games to Improve Motivation and Test-Taking Performance


Alan R. Dennis
Akshay Bhagwatwar
Randall K. Minas

Indiana University
Bloomington, IN 47405, USA

Abstract: The importance of testing, especially certification and high-stakes testing, has increased substantially over the past decade. Building on the “serious gaming” literature and the psychology “priming” literature, we developed a computer game designed to improve test-taking performance using psychological priming. The game primed the concept of achievement to increase an individual’s expectation of success and motivation. Our results show that individuals who took a test immediately after playing the game significantly outperformed those who played a placebo computer game designed to have no effect. The effect size was medium (0.63). We believe that these results have important implications for information system education, including improving individual test-taking performance, identifying ways to develop information systems topic-specific games, and the need for more research to better understand how and why such games influence performance.

Keywords: Proficiency testing

Download this article: JISE - Volume 24 Number 3, Page 223.pdf


Recommended Citation: Dennis, A. R., Bhagwatwar, A., & Minas, R. K. (2013). Play for Performance: Using Computer Games to Improve Motivation and Test-Taking Performance. Journal of Information Systems Education, 24(3), pp. 223-232.