Detecting Play and Learning Styles for Adaptive Educational Games

Renny S. N. Lindberg, Teemu H. Laine


Digital games have emerged as promising tools that aim to make learning more fun. As each person has different learning and play styles, educational games can become more effective should they adapt content delivery according to the user’s learning and play styles. To achieve this, models are needed to represent these styles. Several learning and play style models exist today with varying levels of validity and complexity. With the emergence of educational games, the importance of using such models for enhancing the effectiveness of games as viable educational tools increases. However, not many studies have been conducted that simultaneously consider both style groups. We first analysed existing learning and play models. Based on the analysis results, we created a questionnaire that uses Bartle’s Player Types model and Honey and Mumford’s Learning Style Questionnaire, and tested it with 127 South Korean elementary school children. The results indicated that within the play style model specific styles were clearly more preferred, whereas learning styles were distributed more evenly. There also were some differences between genders. The results can be used to inform us on what sort of stimuli might yield better immersion in educational games and thereby facilitate the learning process.


  1. Abadzi, H. (2008). Efficient Learning for the Poor: New Insights into Literacy Acquisition for Children, volume 54. Washington, DC: The World Bank, Washington D.C.
  2. Andersen, E. and Downey, B. (2001). The MUD personality test. The MUD Companion, 1:33-35.
  3. Arnab, S., Brown, K., Clarke, S., Dunwell, I., Lim, T., Suttie, N., Louchart, S., Hendrix, M., and De Freitas, S. (2013). The development approach of a pedagogically-driven serious game to support Relationship and Sex Education (RSE) within a classroom setting. Computers and Education, 69:15-30.
  4. Bartle, R. (2015). Hearts , Clubs , Diamonds , and Spades : Players who suit MUDs HEARTS , CLUBS , DIAMONDS , SPADES :.
  5. Bateman, C. and Boon, R. (2005). 21st Century Game Design. Charles River Media, 1st edition.
  6. Bateman, C., Lowenhaupt, R., and Nacke, L. E. (2011). Player Typology in Theory and Practice. Proceedings of DiGRA 2011 Conference: Think Design Play., pages 1-24.
  7. Bontchev, B. and Vassileva, D. (2011). Learning Objects Types Dependability on Styles of Learning. Proc. of 8th WSEAS International Conference . . . , pages 227- 234.
  8. Bostan, B. (2009). Player Motivations: A Psychological Perspective. Comput. Entertain., 7(2):22:1--22:26.
  9. Coenen, T., Mostmans, L., and Naessens, K. (2013). MuseUs. Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage, 6(2):1-19.
  10. Coffield, F., Moseley, D., Hall, E., and Ecclestone, K. (2004). LSRC LearningStyles. Learning, page 84.
  11. Connolly, T. M., Boyle, E. A., Macarthur, E., Hainey, T., and Boyle, J. M. (2012). Computers & Education A systematic literature review of empirical evidence on computer games and serious games. Computers & Education, 59(2):661-686.
  12. Eastern, J. S. (2009). Making Learning Fun.
  13. Felder, R. M. and Spurlin, J. (2005). Applications, Reliability and Validity of the Index of Learning Styles. International Journal of Engineering Education, 21(1):103 - 112.
  14. Garris, R., Ahlers, R., and Driskell, J. E. (2002). Games, Motivation, and Learning: A Research and Practice Model. Simulation & Gaming, 33(4):441-467.
  15. Gomez, R., Ceballos, L., Coburn, M., Corriere, J., Dixon, C., Lobel, B., and Mcaninch, J. (2004). Consensus statement on bladder injuries. BJU International, 94(1):27-32.
  16. Honey, P. and Mumford, A. (1982). The Manual of Learning Styles. Peter Honey Publications, 3th edition.
  17. Kapadia, R. J. (2008). Teaching and learning styles in engineering education. 2008 38th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference, 78(June):T4B-1-T4B-4.
  18. Ke, F. and Grabowski, B. (2007). Gameplaying for maths learning: cooperative or not? British Journal of Educational Technology, 38(2):249-259.
  19. Keirsey, D. and Bates, M. (1984). Please understand me: Character and temperament types,, volume null. Prometheus Nemesis Book Company, Del Mar, 5th edition.
  20. Keirsey, D. and Bates, M. (1998). Please understand me: Temperament, character, intelligence. Prometheus Nemesis Book Company, Del Mar.
  21. Kim, B., Park, H., and Baek, Y. (2009). Not just fun, but serious strategies: Using meta-cognitive strategies in game-based learning. Computers and Education, 52(4):800-810.
  22. Kolb, A. Y. and Kolb, D. A. (2005). The Kolb Learning Style Inventory - Version 3.1 2005 Technical Specifications.
  23. Kolb, D. A. (1984). The Process of Experiential Learning. Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development, (1984):20-38.
  24. Koops, M. and Hoevenaar, M. (2012). Conceptual Change During a Serious Game: Using a Lemniscate Model to Compare Strategies in a Physics Game. Simulation & Gaming, 44(4):544-561.
  25. Macvean, A. and Robertson, J. (2012). iFitQuest. Proceedings of the 14th international conference on Humancomputer interaction with mobile devices and services - MobileHCI 7812, page 359.
  26. McMahon, N., Wyeth, P., and Johnson, D. (2012). Personality and player types in Fallout New Vegas. Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Fun and Games - FnG 7812, pages 113-116.
  27. Mirvis, P. H. (1991). Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience., volume 16. Harper & Row, 1st edition.
  28. Morelli, T., Foley, J., and Lieberman, L. (2011). Pet-NPunch : Upper Body Tactile / Audio Exergame to Engage Children with Visual Impairments into Physical Activity. Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2011, pages 223-230.
  29. Myers, I. B. (1962). The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator: Manual (1962). US: Consulting Psychologists Press, Palo Alto.
  30. Nacke, L. E., Bateman, C., and Mandryk, R. L. (2014). BrainHex: A neurobiological gamer typology survey. Entertainment Computing, 5(1):55-62.
  31. Nygren, E., Sutinen, E., Blignaut, A. S., Laine, T. H., and Els, C. J. (2012). Motivations for Play in the UFractions Mobile Game in Three Countries. International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning, 4(2):30-48.
  32. Orji, R., Vassileva, J., and Mandryk, R. L. (2014). Modeling the efficacy of persuasive strategies for different gamer types in serious games for health. User Modeling and User-Adapted Interaction, 24(5):453-498.
  33. Oxford, R. L. (2003). Language learning styles and strategies.
  34. Popescu, M. M., Romero, M., Usart, M., and National, C. I. (2011). Using Serious Games in adult education Serious Business for Serious People-the MetaVals game case study. Learning, 2(1):68-72.
  35. Ryan, R. and Deci, E. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation. American Psychologist, 55(1):68-78.

Paper Citation

in Harvard Style

S. N. Lindberg R. and H. Laine T. (2016). Detecting Play and Learning Styles for Adaptive Educational Games . In Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Computer Supported Education - Volume 1: CSEDU, ISBN 978-989-758-179-3, pages 181-189. DOI: 10.5220/0005858501810189

in Bibtex Style

author={Renny S. N. Lindberg and Teemu H. Laine},
title={Detecting Play and Learning Styles for Adaptive Educational Games},
booktitle={Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Computer Supported Education - Volume 1: CSEDU,},

in EndNote Style

JO - Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Computer Supported Education - Volume 1: CSEDU,
TI - Detecting Play and Learning Styles for Adaptive Educational Games
SN - 978-989-758-179-3
AU - S. N. Lindberg R.
AU - H. Laine T.
PY - 2016
SP - 181
EP - 189
DO - 10.5220/0005858501810189