Background and Objectives: Education is an integral part of human life. At present, the educational books and the one-dimensional media which they contain, such as images, diagrams, tables, and the like play an important/significant role in this domain. Gamification, as a new and potential phenomenon, adds a new era into the area of educational technologies in which educational concepts are taught to the users through a gamified scenario. Today, the integration of new technologies with existing teaching and learning methods in order to improve the learning process is one of the most important issues that require a comprehensive study. Conflict, meanwhile, is an issue that arises in the individual and group life of any society, and its proper management requires proper teaching and learning. In line with using digital games as a means of gamfication, the present study aimes at examining the effect of this method on the teaching and learning of conflict management and comparing it with the existing (traditional) method.
Methods: After studying the findings and the research methods of former studies, an experimental study was conducted in a quasi-pre-and-post-experimental framework on the conflict management of two digital games. For this purpose, 60 female participants were randomly selected varying from 18-to-55-year-old women's community in Tehran and Tabriz. Participants were randomly divided into three equal groups of 20 people among which two groups were experimental and one group was the control and each group was tested with a separate game. The measuring instrument in this study was the Thomas-Kilmann normative questionnaire. The testing process consisted of two standard web games called "The raise" and "The costumer service" which were used as test intervention. The control group was trained by means of traditional education (based on written documents) and the experimental group was trained by means of computer games.
Findings: The analysis of covariance of results in SPSS software with the Alpha of 0.05 indicates that computer games have a significant relationship with improving the level of conflict management in individuals. On the other hand, examining the growth charts of individuals’ conflict management level that have been extracted based on the results of the pre-test and post-test questionnaire of Thomas-Kilman shows that in conflict management training, computer games are more effective than academic and traditional education.
Conclusions: The findings of the analyses conducted on the results of the experiments in this study showed that the interactive nature of multimedia digital games increases the attractiveness of the educational topics.Therefore, conflict management training, as compared to traditional training, has been able to influence the level of "cooperation", "competition", "adaptability" and "avoidance" of the individuals, both through "The Raise" and "The Customer Service" games, , and it has also been more effective in teaching the conflict management styles. Exploring these issues in a heuristic manner among participants also suggests that educational materials based on traditional and text-based education have not been attractive enough to engage test-takers and have imposed a high cognitive load of comprehension on them. However, the computer games in the experimental groups could attract more attention toward learning and could provide the test-takers with better comprehension of the issues. Finally, it can be concluded that gamification has a positive effect on the process of teaching and learning conflict management.
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