Exploring the Educational Value of Children's Game Authoring Practises: A Primary School Case Study

  • Allsop Y
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Abstract

In today’s technologically advancing world, computer games have become an important part of children's lives. Educators started to see the power of this new medium and explore ways to use computer games to support learning within schools. There are many references in research literature about computer based games having a varied impact on learning, however not many studies have looked into educational value of students designing their own games. Where learning through games seems to be the most important focus point, learning about games is not seen as being as valuable. Whilst educators endeavour to achieve goals in maths, science and literacy using games and other technology, the potential of gaining transferable skills that will support students to perform better in other areas of learning has been overlooked. In this study the educational value of children authoring games was explored and the skills students developed during the game design process investigated. A mixed method approach was adopted, where a qualitative research method was used together with a quantitative method to explore the educational value of children's game authoring activities. Individual interviews, observations, children's written game designs and finally completed games were used to understand the context around students' game design activities. A survey was used to collect background data about the participants’ gaming experiences. The result of this study shows that the children had opportunities to develop some invaluable skills which are transferable to any area of learning such as; communication, critical thinking, advanced technology skills and working collaboratively. The game design process itself represented the aspects of creativity where children used their ideas and imagination to make games. However this study did not aim to reflect on the impact of transferable skills on actual learning.

Author-supplied keywords

  • case study
  • digital literacy
  • game based learning
  • game literacy
  • transferrable skills

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Authors

  • Yasemin Allsop

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