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Was Vygotsky Right? Evaluating Learning Effects of Social Interaction in Children Internet Games

IFIP Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS)
Publication Date
  • Communication
  • Design
  • Education
  • Psychology


The social basis for learning, particularly in childhood, has been acknowledged since the seminal research of the Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky. Although his theory is very often cited in HCI literature as a theoretical basis for the design of multi-user interactive artefacts, little empirical data is available that assess Vygotsky's thesis in this domain. This paper presents an empirical study that investigated the learning impact of social interaction in the context of We developed "multiplayer" and "individual" configurations of an educational internet game and measured the learning benefits of "and " in 54 children from a local elementary school. Not surprisingly, our findings confirm that Vygotsky was right. They provide some empirical evidence that in contexts of online gaming, the presence of interpersonal communication, collective goals, and social activities has measurable beneficial effects on children learning.Full Text at Springer, may require registration or fee

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