I’m interested in researching well-designed educational gaming for use in the elementary classroom, particularly computer-assisted language learning. The reason being is that elementary education and second language acquisition are my areas of expertise. I hope to incorporate gaming theory and design into my knowledge base as an instructional designer. There is so much potential for optimizing learning in the elementary classroom with the use of well-designed educational games. My dissertation will focus on some aspect of gaming for this age group.
I acknowledge the difficulty of conducting research in the classroom, so I will focus on the phenomenology (qualitative research) of elementary teachers reflections on gaming as an instructional strategy. One of my professors mentioned the idea of getting feedback from primary school teachers enrolled in the various education programs at the university. I plan to use the mixed methods approach and control for knowledge about how Gagne’s nine events of instruction correlate to well-designed educational games. I already found literature on the correlation of Gagne’s events and gaming (Becker, 2008). Now I plan to see if anyone has used this topic in a mixed method study as aforementioned.
Currently, research on the effectiveness of educational gaming with children is scarce (Thai, Lowenstein, Ching, & Rejeski, 2009 ). Nonetheless, there are some great literature reviews like the one completed by The Joan Ganz Gooney Center at Sesame Workshop (Thai et al., 2009). Also, Reiber, Barbour, Thomas, and Rauscher (2008) found no statistical significance in their literature review comparing gaming and traditional learning; however, they stated that this is par for the course with any new educational technology compared with traditional learning. At the very least, they found mixed research results when literature focused solely on the positive learning gains of educational gaming.
For now, I’m conducting literature reviews on gaming as an instructional strategy with young children. This blog will be the first in a series on gaming for educational purposes. Next, I’ll share findings and trends from my literature review of research studies on the efficacy of well-designed educational games.
Becker, K. (2008). Video game pedagogy: Good games = Good pedagogy. In C. T. Miller (Ed.), Games: Purpose and potential in education (pp. 73-122). NY: Springer.
Reiber, L. P., Barbour, M.K, Thomas, G. B., & Rauscher, D. (2008) Learning by designing games: Homemade PowerPoint games. In C. T. Miller (Ed.), Games: Purpose and potential in education (pp 23-40). NY: Springer.
Thai, A. M., Lowenstein, D., Ching, D., & Rejeski, D. (2009). Game changer: Investing in children’s play to advance children’s learning and health. New York: The Joan Ganz Gooney Center at Sesame Workshop.
Read another literature review on gaming for second language learning: http://teacherrogers.wordpress.com/2013/11/27/gaming-as-an-instructional-strategy-for-language-learning/