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Table 1 The four pillars of learning, a new framework to enhance the learning effectiveness of serious games

From: Serious games for health: three steps forwards

Pillars of learning Objective Practical implications for serious games development Practical implications for serious game implementation Future directions of research
- Alerting network
Reaching medium level of arousal None None Links between serious game design, level of arousal, learning effectiveness
- Orienting network
Selecting relevant information Promote strategies that help to select relevant information (modelling/examples, modality/use of the audio channel for verbal explanations to guide visual search, feedback, integration of relevant information in virtual tools) Educators should discuss with learners at the end of the serious gaming session in order to ensure that they identified the relevant information New strategies integrated in games for guiding the player towards relevant information
- Executive network
Staying focused on the serious game None Because learners are not always immersed in the game although they do learn, the environment shall stay clear of distractions during the serious gaming session Differences between immersion, engagement, and repercussions on learning effectiveness
Active learning Being engaged during learning Promote interactivity rather than convey the learning content via text or audio explanation None Description of game features that enhance interactivity
Feedback Evaluating the gap between the objective and the actual performance Promote the use of feedback which deals with the task completed, not with the self-esteem Educators can debrief the performance of players at the end of the serious gaming session Exploration of forms of feedback which are the most effective in serious gaming
Consolidation Achieving long-term memory Promote the repetition of interactions with important learning content inside the game Promote spaced-education with multiple training sessions and various educational methods Description of forgetting curves after different types of serious gaming and determination on how often refreshers should be proposed