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Psychology and human behavior science fair project:
Can a virtual competitor motivate students to perform better in online learning?

Project Information
Title: Can the implementation of a virtual competitor really motivate students to work harder and perform better in online learning?
Subject: Psychology and Human Behavior
Subcategory: Learning and Cognition / Behaviorism
Grade level: Middle School - Grades 7-9
Academic Level: Ordinary
Project Type: Experimental
Cost: Low
Awards: Google Science Fair Finalist
Affiliation: Google Science Fair
Year: 2012
Materials: Flash CS5, programming language ActionScript 3, Java (JCreator LE 5), PHP, Excel
Description: In real life, studies have shown that competing with someone increases motivation and performance. The same principle might apply to educational video games. We hypothesized that if a human-like virtual competitor was incorporated into an educational math-based computer game, then students may become more motivated to answer more questions and may even work harder to get correct answers. To test our hypothesis, we developed a game with two versions. The two versions were exactly the same, except one had a virtual competitor named Bob who encouraged and competed with the student, and the other did not have Bob.
Link: https://sites.google.com/a/googlesciencefair.com/science-fair-2012/home
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Last updated: June 2013
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