The effects of a serious digital game on the animal science competency, mathematical competency, knowledge transfer ability, and motivation of secondary agricultural education students
James Charles Bunch, Oklahoma State University, United States
Oklahoma State University . Awarded
The purpose of this study was twofold: 1) to compare the effectiveness of two teaching methods (i.e., lecture/discussion and digital game-based learning) on student achievement in agriculture and mathematics regarding a unit on swine diseases in animal science courses offered through secondary agricultural education programs in Oklahoma; 2) to compare the levels of student motivation (i.e., attention, relevance, confidence, and satisfaction [ARCS]) for learning animal science content between the two delivery methods. Six research questions guided the study, which utilized a quasi-experimental, between-groups design.
No statistically significant differences (p < .05) were found between the counterfactual group and the treatment group regarding animal science competency, mathematics achievement, near and far knowledge transfer ability, or levels of student motivation. As such, the researcher failed to reject the respective null hypotheses aligned with the study's research questions. However, this study demonstrated that teachers using a serious digital game in the context of animal science did not diminish their students' achievement or motivation. As a result, it can be recommended that teachers should incorporate this teaching method into their existing pedagogical practices without fear of decreasing student achievement and motivation. In addition, prolonged and sustained professional development opportunities should be created for in-service teachers to learn how to use a digital game-based delivery method effectively to prolong student engagement in academic activities.
Bunch, J.C. The effects of a serious digital game on the animal science competency, mathematical competency, knowledge transfer ability, and motivation of secondary agricultural education students. Ph.D. thesis, Oklahoma State University.
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