Pre-Service Teachers Designing and Constructing ‘Good Digital Games’

Corbett Artym, Mike Carbonaro, Patricia Boechler

Abstract


There is a growing interest in the application of digital games to enhance learning across many educational levels. This paper investigates pre-service teachers’ ability to operationalize the learning principles that are considered part of a good digital game (Gee, 2007) by designing digital games in Scratch. Forty pre-service teachers, enrolled in an optional educational technology course, designed and constructed their own digital games in an authentic learning context. The course was structured to prepare pre-service teachers to use game design and construction in their future pedagogical practice. These pre-service teachers had various levels of game-playing experience, but little-to-no previous game-design/building experience. To evaluate the digital games, we created the Game Design Assessment Survey, which determined the degree to which a core set of learning principles, identified from the literature, were present in the digital games constructed by the pre-service teachers. Results suggested that pre-service teachers were generally unaware of the learning principles that should be included in the design of a good digital game, but were familiar with quality principles of interface usability. In addition, no relationship was found between the amount of time pre-service teachers played digital games and their ability to design and construct a good game.


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