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Student Game Design: What Do Students Learn While Designing Games?

, Hofstra University, United States

Hofstra University . Awarded


Computer and video games play a significant role in the lives of American children. Recognizing this phenomenon, educators are integrating digital games into the classroom for educational purposes. However, the educational potential of gaming is still under review, as educational theory on digital game use continues to evolve. While research on computer game design is relatively new, but expanding, most researchers agree that game design can have a positive effect on learning and the learning process. This study investigated the technology/math/science content learning that occurred when GameSalad, a contemporary graphic programming tool that arguably has yet to be examined in the educational context of middle school, was utilized by eighth grade students in an after-school Saturday program to construct two different types of computer games. The students' exposure and experience to technology were first assessed via surveys, then a five-lesson unit was conducted with tutorials and PowerPoint presentations, during which field notes, student responses to questions and surveys, and the student-constructed artifacts, were recorded and analyzed for changes in content knowledge. The study found that the middle school students conclusively advanced in their technology and math content learning, as they also grew in their understanding of the basic science concepts applied in the games' programming.

Keywords: GameSalad, Game Design, Graphic Programming Tool, Educational Technology, Children's Learning


Stiklickas, D.M. Student Game Design: What Do Students Learn While Designing Games?. Master's thesis, Hofstra University. Retrieved October 18, 2019 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 23, 2013. [Original Record]

Citation reproduced with permission of ProQuest LLC.

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