Part of the
Centre for
Engineering Education
TU DelftTU EindhovenUniversity of TwenteWageningen University
Centre for
Engineering Education


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Project introduction and background information

The use of games as educational tools has gained increased interest over the last decennia. Referred to as serious games their primary purpose is to educate and train the player which differentiate them from pure entertainment games. Games are often assumed to possess an inherent motivational power through which individuals become immersed and absorbed in a game and experience the game play as enjoyable. This engaging potential of games is brought forward to argue that games are also suitable in the educational context. However, previous research indicates that the motivational appeal of games as demonstrated for entertaining computer games does not play out in the educational context.

This project has been part of the Senior University Teaching Qualification (SUTQ) at the University of Twente.

SUTQ is designed for experienced teachers who achieved their UTQ (or exemption) and have the ambition to improve the/their education. 
For more information, see the publication

Objective and expected outcomes

The aim of this research is to investigate the role of different motivational forms in serious games and the influence of the game environment on students to get involved and stay involved in game playing.

Results and learnings

  • Different motivational forms can co-exist when students play serious games.
  • The use of serious games, either computer-based or not, does not automatically lead to intrinsically motivated students in educational context.
  • Game attractiveness is a driver for intrinsic motivation but not sufficient to explain the existence of other motivational forms.
  • Game learning can particularly explain the emergence of different forms of extrinsic motivation.
  • Game operativeness is a basis condition for serious games to unfold their challenge and engagement potential which in turn will frame the learning experience of students.
  • Design and use of games for education purposes should address multiple forms of motivation and should not only focus on the game content but on operational and learning issues as well.


More information on the project objective, strong points and recommendations can be provided. Feel free to contact the involved contact persons.   

Practical outcomes

 In the attachments you can find the final poster presentation of this project.