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Thursday, July 9 • 10:30am - 11:30am
Meta Discussion

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Digital Games, Design, and Learning: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Douglas Clark, Emily Tanner-Smith, Stephen Killingsworth

This meta-analysis systematically reviews research on digital games and learning for K-16 students in light of the recent NRC report on education for life and work in the 21st century. We synthesize comparisons of game conditions versus non-game conditions (i.e., media comparisons) as well as comparisons of augmented game designs versus equivalent standard game designs (i.e., value-added comparisons). We employed random-effects meta-analysis with robust variance estimates to summarize the overall effects of digital game interventions. Meta-regression models were used to assess the possible moderating effects of participant characteristics, game condition characteristics, and research quality characteristics. Findings from the media comparisons indicate that games significantly enhanced student learning relative to the non-game control conditions. Findings from value-added comparisons clearly demonstrate the importance of design beyond medium when evaluating the impact of digital games for learning. Media-comparison and value-added analyses underscore the importance of enhanced assessment techniques and research reporting going forward.

An Empirical Comparison of a Video Game, Digital Video, and a Printed Text for Recall, Comprehension and Solving a STEM Word Problem
Brock Dubbels

When compared to a digital video, or a printed text, a video game should be more considerate for promoting learning, requiring much less cognitive processing for recall comprehension, and problem solving. A video game provides multimodal representation to diminish the need for visualization strategies and prior knowledge. It also structures incremental learning through practice, feedback, and rehearsal—activities traditionally offered by a teacher in one-on-one training for the development of learning strategies. A sample of 132 students was randomly assigned to one of three media conditions, controlled for interaction and feedback (Κ=.75). Each participant was pretested for prior knowledge, working memory, comprehension, reading ability, and media preference. Massive effect sizes indicated that the game was much more effective for identification of causal relationships between narrative events, indicating improved recall, comprehension, problem solving through analysis of multiple assessments including protocol analysis (construction of walkthrough), multiple choice questions, and a word problem.

Educational Games: Insights for Acceptance
Charles Kinzer, Maria Hwang, Dao Chantes, Ahram Choi, Shu-Yi Hsu

This study extends previous work (Author, 2013), through a survey of game designers. The work presented here provides insights into decisions made by game designers designing educational, as opposed to entertainment-focused, games in an attempt to link design and development decisions to the infusion of games into classrooms by addressing barriers to classroom adoption. Questions addressed included: What are the decisions that go into determining what games are produced, what educational theories are embedded in designs (and how are those decisions made), what determines the content areas targeted by design decisions, and how does game designers' use of educational focus groups and marketing strategies influence adoption of educational games?

avatar for Mark DeLoura

Mark DeLoura

Former White House
Games for education, computer science literacy, White House adventures, game technology. Green tea.


Ahram Choi

Teachers College, Columbia University
avatar for Douglas Clark

Douglas Clark

Vanderbilt University
www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jaznkUOW6E | chais 2013 talk (1 hour) | | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlMfk5rP9yI&feature=youtu.be | cyberlearning summit 2012 talk (10 minutes) | | Doug Clark's research investigates the learning processes through which people come to understand core science concepts. This work focuses primarily on conceptual change, explanation, collaboration, and argumentation. Clark's research often explores these... Read More →

Maria Hwang

Higher Education Institution, Teachers College, Columbia University
Teachers College, Columbia University

Emily Tanner- Smith

Research Assistant Professor, Vanderbilt University

Thursday July 9, 2015 10:30am - 11:30am
Old Madison

Attendees (27)