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Examining the potential impact of digital game making in curricula based teaching: Initial observations

Hughes-Roberts, T, Brown, D, Boulton, H, Burton, A, Shopland, N and Martinovs, D (2020) Examining the potential impact of digital game making in curricula based teaching: Initial observations. Computers & Education, 158. ISSN 0360-1315

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Digital game making is becoming an increasingly common means of learning in schools due to the appeal of delivering curriculum-based learning objectives while tapping into the popularity of videogames. Indeed, research suggests that digital game making may improve cognitive and behavioral skills in learners and this may have significant impact on learners with special education needs and disabilities (SEND). However, past work in digital game making has limited involvement with learners with SEND, focuses on short-term evaluations and is utilised during extra-curricular sessions with few studies using an action-based field research approach. Furthermore, there is little quantitative data from defined methodologies that demonstrate the impact of digital game-making on learning. This paper presents results from two field trials examining the use of digital game making in two schools (one mixed ability primary and one special school) to deliver national curriculum-based content over 8-weeks. Results from a feasibility trial informed a pedagogical design and identified evaluation metrics for a subsequent longer trial. Evaluation metrics included learner engagement and collaboration with peers as suitable indicators of inclusive learning. Impact on these metrics was measured using an in-class observation tool that sampled learner behavior yielding quantitative data and follow up interviews with teachers yielding qualitative data. Results suggest that digital game making is at least as effective in encouraging engagement and collaboration in learners when compared to traditional methods, with it being more engaging for learners with special needs. Contributions from this paper provide quantifiable evidence for the perceived benefits of using digital game making and a methodology for evaluating engagement and collaboration through classroom observation. Recommendations for further work and refinements of the pedagogical implementation that builds on these findings are presented.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1301 Education Systems, 1303 Specialist Studies in Education, 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Divisions: Computer Science & Mathematics
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Date Deposited: 11 Aug 2020 12:56
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2022 00:50
DOI or ID number: 10.1016/j.compedu.2020.103988
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/13478
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