Recent upsurge of public interest on e-learning bring many stakeholders in instructional technology field and numerous computer-based instruction products are released by academics and industries year by year. Extravagant spin-off e-learning companies from universities and big companies had gotten public attention, however, many of them are failed to survive in the business world. It is difficult to say that online learning programs offered by them are really successful (Aldrich, 2003). Many of such e-learning companies have been producing conventional lecture-and-quiz style instruction, which is applied regardless of the type of learning objectives (Schank, 2002). Even higher-order problem solving skills which are necessary for business management (such as decision making, negotiation, project management) are also addressed by such lecture-and-quiz style instruction nonetheless of its inefficiency (Allen, 2002).
Simulations and games have been considered as an alternative instructional approach to enhance learning which traditional lecture-discussion instruction could not address (Berson, 1996; Heitzmann, 1974; Steinmetz, 1967). Simulations and games are also considered as a means of instructional approach implementing activity substitution to filling the gap between the educational or training environment and real workplace environment (Feinstein, 1999; Ng, 2001; Richmond, 2003)
Computerized simulations and games are attracting not only children but also teachers and researchers by their rich features simulating real environment (Squire, 2002). Teachers and researchers who are interested in implementing computer simulations and games in their teaching are increasing. Heitzmann (1974) stated that INSYS 575 “teachers and game developers should not be dissuaded from using education games and simulations as when the verdict is in they will be found to contribute to student learning in many instructional areas and situations (p.170).” The effectiveness of using simulations and games for instruction still need to be clarified and validated to be used widely.
The purpose of the study
The primary focus of this study is to investigate the effect of computer simulation game-based instruction for different cognitive style learners on the achievement of different instructional objectives in a self-paced and computer-based instructional setting. This research proposes to extend prior research findings to clarify the advantage of using simulation game for different instructional objectives. It is hoped that the results of this study will contribute to educators and instructional designers create a better computer mediated learning environment using simulations and games, which is effective for the learners who have different cognitive styles.
Traditional non-computerized simulations and games have been researched in many domain for a long time (Berson, 1996), however, not very few researches which prove the effectiveness of using computer simulation games in educational context are conducted (Squire, 2004; Woolverton, 2000) On the other hand, several researches are conducted regarding relationship between cognitive style and achievement of learning objectives in the computer-based instruction setting (e.g. Kahtz & Kling, 1999; Luk, INSYS 575 1998). However, relationship between cognitive style and effects of computer simulation games in educational context has not been investigated. It seems also uninvestigated that the effect of advanced organizer in the simulations and games research. It is hoped to provide significant information with the knowledge of the simulations and games research by examining the interaction of different cognitive...