Cooperation begins: Encouraging critical thinking skills through cooperative reciprocity using a mobile learning game

Hyunjeong Lee, David Parsons, Gyuhyun Kwon, Jieun Kim, Krassie Petrova, Eunju Jeong, Hokyoung Ryu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


Mobile learning has the advantage of being able to be used within and between contexts and can also be seamlessly integrated into broader learning experiences that include other forms of learning. Such experiences can assist in the development of cognitive and collaborative skills by encouraging learners to work together to solve problems, see others' perspectives and cooperatively find creative and critical solutions. This paper describes a serious mobile learning game designed to allow participants to play the role of business consultants to an organisation facing some serious challenges. It uses mixed reality resources to lead the players through a realistic scenario, providing them with physical, cognitive and collaborative challenges. Following mobile learning, the learners demonstrate their critical insights into the learning content by creating a consulting presentation in the classroom. Our study contrasts group cooperation where each learner is given asymmetric learning contents, with a cooperative group with two single learners given symmetric (identical) learning contents. We present the results of an experiment designed to measure the effectiveness of asymmetric learning content in fostering cooperative critical thinking, as examined by content and conversation analysis whilst preparing the consulting presentation. We found that the implicit cooperation condition - cooperative reciprocity, triggered by the asymmetric learning contents - was important for maximising critical thinking skills.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-115
Number of pages19
JournalComputers and Education
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


  • 21st century learner
  • Collective interest
  • Cooperative/collaborative learning
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Mobile learning


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