Developing a Conceptual Model of Learning Analytics in Serious Games for STEM Education

N. A. A. Zaki, N. Z. M. Zain, N. A. Z. M. Noor, H. Hashim


Utilizing serious games as teaching aid can stimulate students’ interest in learning and enhancing students’ understanding of STEM learning. The use of serious game on learning analytics for STEM learning provides assessment data to measure students’ performances and achievements of predefined learning outcomes. While numerous researches on learning analytic in serious games have been conducted, studies on their association with STEM learning are scarce. Past studies also indicate that teachers use serious games in teaching but yet to utilize serious games as assessment tools. This situation leads to the need of developing a conceptual model of learning analytics in serious games for STEM education (APPS-STEM). The conceptual model was initially developed through the focus group approach and literature review to examine the learning metrics of serious games, which is appropriate for STEM learning before being verified by experts. Based on the result from expert review, the conceptual model of APPS-STEM contains nine themes, namely effectiveness, problem-solving thinking and creativity, flexibility, key stakeholders, emotions, serious game design, curriculum profiles, learning profiles, and target user norms. This conceptual model is expected to serve as a guide for stakeholders to implement learning analytics in serious games design for STEM learning. Further study will be the development of serious game prototypes to determine the effectiveness of the APPS-STEM model in the STEM learning paradigm.


learning analytics; conceptual model; serious games; STEM education and learning

Full Text:



Abubakar, J. A., Ahmad, M. K., Zulkifli, A. N., & Bahrin, A. S. (2016, August). Conceptual model of game aesthetics for perceived learning in narrative games. In 2016 4th International Conference on User Science and Engineering (i-USEr) (pp. 111-115). IEEE.

Adnan, M., Ayob, A., Tek, O. E., Ibrahim, M. N., Ishak, N., & Sheriff, J. (2017). Memperkasa pembangunan modal insan Malaysia di peringkat kanakkanak: Kajian kebolehlaksanaan dan kebolehintegrasian pendidikan STEM dalam kurikulum PERMATA Negara (Enhancing Malaysian human capital from early childhood: A study in the feasibility and integratability of the STEM system in the PERMATA Negara curriculum). Geografia-Malaysian Journal of Society and Space, 12(1).

Ahmad Zaki, N. A., Tengku Wook, T. S. M., & Ahmad, K. (2015). Analysis and classification of serious games for cognitive stimulation. In The 5th International Conference on Electrical Engineering and Informatics 2015 (pp. 685-690).

Alonso-Fernández, C., Calvo-Morata, A., Freire, M., Martínez-Ortiz, I., & Fernández-Manjón, B. (2019). Applications of data science to game learning analytics data: A systematic literature review. Computers & Education, 141, 103612.

Alonso-Fernandez, C., Calvo, A., Freire, M., Martinez-Ortiz, I., & Fernandez-Manjon, B. (2017, April). Systematizing game learning analytics for serious games. In 2017 IEEE global engineering education conference (EDUCON) (pp. 1111-1118). IEEE.

Ameerbakhsh, O., Maharaj, S., Hussain, A., Paine, T., & Taiksi, S. (2016, September). An exploratory case study of interactive simulation for teaching Ecology. In 2016 15th International Conference on Information Technology Based Higher Education and Training (ITHET) (pp. 1-7). IEEE.

Berta, R., Bellotti, F., van der Spek, E., & Winkler, T. (2016). A tangible serious game approach to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. Handbook of Digital Games and Entertainment Technologies, 571-592.

Breuer, J., & Bente, G. (2010). Why so serious? On the relation of serious games and learning.

Burns, N., & Groves, K. (1997). Practice of nursing research. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders company.

Calvo-Morata, A., Rotaru, D. C., Alonso-Fernández, C., Freire, M., Martínez-Ortiz, I., & FernándezManjón, B. (2018). Validation of a cyberbullying serious game using game analytics. IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies.

Cano, A. R., Fernández‐Manjón, B., & García‐Tejedor, Á. J. (2018). Using game learning analytics for validating the design of a learning game for adults with intellectual disabilities. British Journal of Educational Technology, 49(4), 659-672.

Ceberio, M., Almudí, J. M., & Franco, Á. (2016). Design and application of interactive simulations in problem-solving in university-level physics education. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 25(4), 590-609.

Chaudy, Y., & Connolly, T. (2019). Specification and evaluation of an assessment engine for educational games: Integrating learning analytics and providing an assessment authoring tool. Entertainment Computing, 30, 100294.

Cheng, M. T., Chen, J. H., Chu, S. J., & Chen, S. Y. (2015). The use of serious games in science education: a review of selected empirical research from 2002 to 2013. Journal of computers in education, 2(3), 353-375.

Daoudi, I., Tranvouez, E., Chebil, R., Espinasse, B., & Chaari, W. L. (2017, October). Learners’ Assessment and Evaluation in Serious Games: Approaches and Techniques Review. In International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management in Mediterranean Countries (pp. 147-153). Springer, Cham.

DeSmet, A., Shegog, R., Van Ryckeghem, D., Crombez, G., & De Bourdeaudhuij, I. (2015). A systematic review and meta-analysis of interventions for sexual health promotion involving serious digital games. Games for health journal, 4(2), 78-90.

Djaouti, D., Alvarez, J., Jessel, J. P., & Rampnoux, O. (2011). Origins of serious games. In Serious games and edutainment applications (pp. 25-43). Springer, London.

De Gloria, A., Bellotti, F., & Berta, R. (2014). Serious Games for education and training. International Journal of Serious Games, 1(1).

Eichenberg, C., & Schott, M. (2017). Serious games for psychotherapy: A systematic review. Games for Health Journal, 6(3), 127-135.

Grant, J. S., & Davis, L. L. (1997). Selection and use of content experts for instrument development. Research in nursing & health, 20(3), 269-274.

Hauge, J. B., Bellotti, F., Berta, R., Carvalho, M. B., De Gloria, A., Lavagnino, E., ... & Ott, M. (2013). Field assessment of serious games for entrepreneurship in higher education. Journal of Convergence Information Technology, 8(13), 1.

Hussaan, A. M., & Sehaba, K. (2013, July). Adaptive Serious Game for Rehabilitation of persons with cognitive disabilities. In 2013 IEEE 13th International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies (pp. 65-69). IEEE.

Ifenthaler, D., & Widanapathirana, C. (2014). Development and validation of a learning analytics framework: Two case studies using support vector machines. Technology, Knowledge and Learning, 19(1-2), 221-240.

Ismail, A., Yatim, M. H. M., Sahabudin, N. A., & Zain, N. Z. M. (2016). Keupayaan murid sekolah rendah mempelajari dan menerokai bahasa pengaturcaraan visual. Journal of ICT in Education, 3, 89-97.

Johnson, L., Becker, S. A., Estrada, V., & Freeman, A. (2014). NMC horizon report: 2014 K (pp. 1-52). The New Media Consortium.

Kiili, K., Moeller, K., & Ninaus, M. (2018). Evaluating the effectiveness of a game-based rational number training-In-game metrics as learning indicators. Computers & Education, 120, 13-28.

Krueger, R. A. (2014). Focus groups: A practical guide for applied research. Sage publications.

Kumar, S. R., & Hamid, S. (2017, November). Analysis of Learning Analytics in Higher Educational Institutions: A Review. In International Visual Informatics Conference (pp. 185-196). Springer, Cham.

Lau, H. M., Smit, J. H., Fleming, T. M., & Riper, H. (2017). Serious games for mental health: are they accessible, feasible, and effective? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Frontiers in psychiatry, 7, 209.

Lieberman, D. A., Fisk, M. C., & Biely, E. (2009). Digital games for young children ages three to six: From research to design. Computers in the Schools, 26(4), 299-313.

Liu, M., Kang, J., Liu, S., Zou, W., & Hodson, J. (2017). Learning analytics as an assessment tool in serious games: A review of literature. In Serious games and edutainment applications (pp. 537-563). Springer, Cham.

Loh, C. S., Sheng, Y., & Ifenthaler, D. (2015). Serious games analytics: Theoretical framework. In Serious games analytics (pp. 3-29). Springer, Cham.

Malaysia, K. P. (2013). Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025. Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia.

McLaren, B. M., Adams, D. M., Mayer, R. E., & Forlizzi, J. (2017). A computer-based game that promotes mathematics learning more than a conventional approach. International Journal of Game-Based Learning (IJGBL), 7(1), 36-56.

Mitgutsch, K., & Alvarado, N. (2012, May). Purposeful by design? A serious game design assessment framework. In Proceedings of the International Conference on the foundations of digital games (pp. 121-128).

Mutakinati, L., Anwari, I., & Kumano, Y. (2018). Analysis of students’ critical thinking skill of middle school through stem education projectbased learning. Jurnal Pendidikan IPA Indonesia, 7(1), 54-65.

Nancy R. Tague. (2005). The quality toolbox. Asq Press.

Nguyen, A., Gardner, L. A., & Sheridan, D. (2018). A framework for applying learning analytics in serious games for people with intellectual disabilities. British Journal of Educational Technology, 49(4), 673-689.

Putra, P. D. A., & Iqbal, M. (2016). Implementation of Serious Games Inspired by Baluran National Park to Improve Students’ Critical Thinking Ability. Jurnal Pendidikan IPA Indonesia, 5(1), 101-108.

Raybourn, E. M. (2014). A new paradigm for serious games: Transmedia learning for more effective training and education. Journal of computational science, 5(3), 471-481.

Savazzi, F., Isernia, S., Jonsdottir, J., Di Tella, S., Pazzi, S., & Baglio, F. (2018). Engaged in learning neurorehabilitation: development and validation of a serious game with user-centered design. Computers & Education, 125, 53-61.

Serrano-Laguna, Á., Manero, B., Freire, M., & Fernández-Manjón, B. (2018). A methodology for assessing the effectiveness of serious games and for inferring player learning outcomes. Multimedia Tools and applications, 77(2), 2849-2871.

Serrano-Lagunaa, Á., Torrentea, J., Maneroa, B., del Blancoa, Á., Borro-Escribanoa, B., MartínezOrtiza, I., ... & Fernández-Manjóna, B. (2013, October). Learning analytics and educational games: lessons learned from practical experience. In International Conference on Games and Learning Alliance (pp. 16-28). Springer, Cham.

Serrano-Laguna, Á., Torrente, J., Moreno-Ger, P., & Fernández-Manjón, B. (2012). Tracing a little for big improvements: Application of learning analytics and videogames for student assessment. Procedia Computer Science, 15, 203-209.

Siemens, G., Dawson, S., & Lynch, G. (2013). Improving the quality and productivity of the higher education sector. Policy and Strategy for SystemsLevel Deployment of Learning Analytics. Canberra, Australia: Society for Learning Analytics Research for the Australian Office for Learning and Teaching.

Siemens, G., & Long, P. (2011). Penetrating the fog: Analytics in learning and education. EDUCAUSE review, 46(5), 30.

Slootmaker, A., Kurvers, H., Hummel, H. G., & Koper, R. (2014). Developing Scenario-based Serious Games for Complex Cognitive Skills Acquisition: Design, Development and Evaluation of the EMERGO Platform. J. UCS, 20(4),


Wang, X. (2013). Why students choose STEM majors: Motivation, high school learning, and postsecondary context of support. American Educational Research Journal, 50(5), 1081-1121.

West, D., Tasir, Z., Luzeckyj, A., Na, K. S., Toohey, D., Abdullah, Z., ... & Price, R. (2018). Learning analytics experience among academics in Australia and Malaysia: A comparison. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 34(3).

Wu, Y. T., & Anderson, O. R. (2015). Technology-enhanced stem (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education.

Xu, F., Buhalis, D., & Weber, J. (2017). Serious games and the gamification of tourism. Tourism Management, 60, 244-256.

Zhonggen, Y. (2019). A meta-analysis of use of serious games in education over a decade. International Journal of Computer Games Technology, 2019.

Zaki, N. A. A., Wook, T. S. M. T., & Ahmad, K. (2017). Therapeutic serious game design guidelines for stimulating cognitive abilities of children with speech and language delay. Journal of Information and Communication Technology, 16(2), 284-312.

Zyda, M. (2005). From visual simulation to virtual reality to games. Computer, 38(9), 25-32.


  • There are currently no refbacks.