Despite the growing interest in utilizing commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) games for instructional and assessment purposes there is a lack of research evidence regarding COTS games for these applications. This chapter considers the application of COTS games for instruction and assessment and provides preliminary evidence comparing COTS game scores to traditional multiple-choice assessments. In a series of four studies, we collected data and compared results from the performance in a COTS game to scores on a traditional multiple-choice assessment written for the purposes of each study. Each assessment was written to evaluate the same content presented in the game for each respective study. Three of the four studies demonstrated a significant correlation between the COTS game and the traditional multiple choice assessment scores. The non-significant value in Study 4 was likely due to a small sample size (n < 100). The results of these studies support our hypothesis and demonstrate that COTS games may be a useful educational tool for training or assessment purposes. We recommend that future research focuses on specific applications of COTS games to explore further opportunities for utilizing COTS in education and assessment.
Part of the book: Computer Game Development