Evaluating the effect of personality on the design of educational games

Patrick Felicia, Ian Pitt

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Video games represent ideal learning environments in which users can improve their skills and learn in a safe and controlled manner. They often implement well-known instructional strategies such as social learning, discovery learning or zone of proximal development. However, despite evidence of the impact of personalities on learning (e.g. Multiple-Intelligence, Emotional Intelligence, etc.), very few serious games adapt to players' learning styles. The authors explain how the Five-Star and the MBTI models, two widely accepted personality models, can be used to explain and analyse how students' emotions and personalities can impact on the learning process. They explain why and how video games can accommodate different learning styles and facilitate learning at both cognitive and emotional levels. They introduce the PLEASE (Personality, Learning Styles, Emotions, Systematic Approach, Evaluation). This model uses an emotional and user-centred approach to learning in video games. The model also addresses some of the issues encountered by serious game designers (e.g. choice of Instructional Design strategy, evaluation, etc.) but it essentially focuses on practical applications of user-centred learning approaches for educational games. The authors then describe an experimental study that they carried-out in two of Cork' s secondary schools aimed at assessing the PLEASE model. A video game, Math Quest, was developed to teach them Mathematics using a tutoring system that adapts to their personalities. The game was developed in Java 3D and consisted of a virtual maze in which students had to navigate and gain access to the next level. To find their way through the maze, students had to locate and open doors by solving a linear equation. 80 subjects took part in the study. Their personalities were described and analysed in the light of the IPIP (International Personality Item Pool). Data collected during this study are described, analysed and contrasted with current game design practices.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes
EventEuropean Conference on Games Based Learning, ECGBL 2007 - Paisley, United Kingdom
Duration: 25 Oct 200726 Oct 2007


ConferenceEuropean Conference on Games Based Learning, ECGBL 2007
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Computer-base instruction
  • Education
  • Video games


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