Effects on Learning When Students Have Information about Games and Their Outcomes When Playing Them
AbstractSince playing games is commonly used as a teaching method in business and in economics, students can find information about games and their outcomes before they play them. A concern is that this information may have negative effects on learning as students then may put less effort into playing the games and consequently, the students do not learn the concepts within the games. However, the information can also have positive effects if the students understand the games and their outcomes better. In this paper, we study the effects of providing students with various amounts of information prior to playing three games commonly used in economics. We find that decisions are closer to the theoretical outcomes when information about outcomes is provided. In addition, scores are higher on a related test when information about the game is provided. Still, the students report similar learning experiences as when this information is not provided. Our results indicate that having information about the games and their outcomes when playing them has positive effects on learning.
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