You are here:

Cognitive and motivational impacts of learning game design on middle school children

, Michigan State University, United States

Michigan State University . Awarded


In today`s complex and fast-evolving world, problem solving is an important skill to possess. For young children to be successful at their future careers, they need to have the skill and the will to solve complex problems that are beyond the well-defined problems that they learn to solve at schools. One promising approach to teach complex problem solving skills is using visual programming and game design software. Theoretically and anecdotally, extant research enlightened us about the cognitive and motivational potential of these software. Due to lack of empirical evidence, however, we are far from knowing if these claims are warranted. In this quasi-experimental study, I investigated the cognitive (i.e., problem solving) and motivational (i.e., interest and value) impacts of participating at the Game Design and Learning Courses (GDL) on middle school children (n = 49), who designed games following a curriculum based on problem solving skills. Compared to students in a control group (n =24), students who attended the GDL courses showed significantly higher gains in general and specific (i.e., system analysis and design, decision-making, troubleshooting) problem solving skills. Because the survey data seriously violated statistical assumptions underlying the analyses, I could not study the motivational impacts of the GDL courses further. Nevertheless, the GDL intervention bears implications for educators and theory.


Akcaoglu, M. Cognitive and motivational impacts of learning game design on middle school children. Ph.D. thesis, Michigan State University. Retrieved November 12, 2019 from .

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

Citation reproduced with permission of ProQuest LLC.

For copies of dissertations and theses: (800) 521-0600/(734) 761-4700 or


Cited By

View References & Citations Map

These links are based on references which have been extracted automatically and may have some errors. If you see a mistake, please contact