Using an Interactive Game for Strategic Thinking Education: The Role of Gender and Experience

Using an Interactive Game for Strategic Thinking Education: The Role of Gender and Experience

By Jakub Drmola, Masaryk University and Josef Kraus, Masaryk University

The article investigates the impact of gender and previous gaming experience on performance in the web-based version of the game Diplomacy. This venerable strategy board game is relatively commonly used in universities to illustrate to students basic concepts of international relations, conflict, negotiations and realism. Furthermore, it has been previously used for research, which largely confirmed its utility. A common concern when using Diplomacy or similar games is the potential imbalance between the male and female students. It is commonly assumed as well as supported by a significant amount of existing research that male gamers tend to be more competitive, aggressive, tend to prefer strategy games more strongly, and spend more time playing games altogether. This might put them at an unfair advantage if such games were to be used not just as an instructional tool but also for evaluation of students’ work and for grading. To explore this issue, we used observational data and questionnaires to test several hypotheses on the relatively large sample of almost 500 university students (43% female) over the span of several years.

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The Journal of Political Science Education is an intellectually rigorous, path-breaking, agenda-setting journal that publishes the highest quality scholarship on teaching and pedagogical issues in political science. The journal aims to represent the full range of questions, issues and approaches regarding political science education, including teaching-related issues, methods and techniques, learning/teaching activities and devices, educational assessment in political science, graduate education, and curriculum development.


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