Engaging students in authoring and playing computer games

Sogathur, Venugopal Srikanth (2012) Engaging students in authoring and playing computer games. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

Abstract

Computer games have become a commonplace but engaging activity among students. They enjoy playing computer games as they can perform larger-than-life activities virtually such as jumping from great heights, flying planes, and racing cars; actions that are otherwise not possible in real life.

Computer games also offer user interactivity which gives them a certain appeal. Considering this appeal, educators should consider integrating computer games into student learning and to encourage students to author computer games of their own. It is thought that students can be engaged in learning by authoring and using computer games and can also gain essential skills such as collaboration, teamwork, problem solving and deductive reasoning. The research in this study revolves around building student engagement through the task of authoring computer games. The study aims to demonstrate how the creation and sharing of student-authored educational games might facilitate student engagement and how ICT (information and communication technology) plays a supportive role in student learning. Results from this study may lead to the broader integration of computer games into student learning and contribute to similar studies. In this qualitative case study, based in a state school in a low socio-economic area west of Brisbane, Australia, students were selected in both junior and senior secondary classes who have authored computer games as a part of their ICT learning. Senior secondary students (Year 12 ICT) were given the task of programming the games, which were to be based on Mathematics learning topics while the junior secondary students (Year 8 ICT) were given the task of creating multimedia elements for the games. A Mathematics teacher volunteered to assist in the project and provided guidance on the inclusion of suitable Mathematics curricular content into these computer games. The student-authored computer games were then used to support another group of Year 8 Mathematics students to learn the topics of Area, Volume and Time. Data was collected through interviews, classroom observations and artefacts. The teacher researcher, acting in the role of ICT teacher, coordinated with the students and the Mathematics teacher to conduct this study. Instrumental case study was applied as research methodology and Third Generation Activity Theory served as theoretical framework for this study. Data was analysed adopting qualitative coding procedures. Findings of this study indicate that having students author and play computer games promoted student engagement and that ICT played a supportive role in learning and allowed students to gain certain essential skills. Although this study will suggest integrating computer games to support classroom learning, it cannot be presumed that computer games are an immediate solution for promoting student engagement.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 60082
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Lloyd, Margaret M. & Chandra, Vinesh
Keywords: authoring computer games, authoring multimedia, cognitive engagement, behavioural engagement, affective engagement, collaborative learning, student engagement, integration of ICT and ICT supporting learning
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 17 May 2013 03:26
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2015 04:41

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