Differentiated Instruction Using Student-designed Physical and Digital Games for Fostering 21st Century Skills and Learning Motivation in Multiple Domains

  • 蓋 傑富

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The purpose of the study was to investigate the effectiveness of student-designed games on elementary students’ 21st century skills (5Cs): creative thinking critical thinking complex problem solving communication and collaboration as well as learning motivation In order to evaluate the instructional intervention a quasi-experimental design was adopted over the course of 30 weeks including six weeks of testing at three measurement occasions (pretest midtest and posttest) The independent variable was student-designed games with six levels: student-designed art games (XP_Art) student-designed English games (XP_Eng) student-designed physical education games (XP_PE) digital game based learning integrating Art English and physical education (DGBL) short term (three weeks per semester) digital game based learning combined with non-game-based constructivist learning activities (CG) and constructivist learning with no exposure to digital game play or design (CONT) The quasi-experiment took place over the course of two semesters and involved 168 fifth-grade students Six classes were randomly assigned to the three treatments two comparison groups or a control group Quantitative data were analyzed using an overall MANCOVA followed by one-way MANCOVAs for dependent variables with subscales or one-way ANCOVAs for those without subscales Furthermore for dependent variables with midtest scores two-way ANOVAs were conducted to evaluate within-group effects and between-group effects in regards to occasion Qualitative data including student and teacher feedback and class observations were used to interpret and provide explanations for the quantitative findings where appropriate As well student reflection essays were evaluated using content analysis in order to assist in the interpretation of the quantitative results in terms of the frequency of terms relevant to the dependent outcomes of this study The hypothesized advantage for student design of games over the control and comparison conditions was found for the majority of learning outcomes The experimental groups outperformed the other conditions in terms of figural and verbal creativity kinesthetic creativity (with the exception of XP_Eng) critical thinking and complex problem solving (with the exception of XP_PE) communication (with the exception of XP_Eng) and collaboration This significant advantage for the experimental groups was found despite the fact that the control and comparison groups also made improvements between the pretest and posttest due to a high quality collaborative and constructivist approach to instruction rather than lecture-style approaches which are oftentimes adopted for control conditions Mixed results were found for learning motivation with initial improvements for groups which engaged in digital game play (DGBL and CG) However these improvements were not sustained between the midtest and posttest Key elements of the experimental procedures which were deemed to have a positive effect on the 5C dependent variables relate to social constructivist elements of student-designed games the differentiation of instruction for the experimental groups and the unique requirements of game design Sustained use of constructivist strategies such as the social context for learning the construction of an authentic and desirable product and the provision of scaffolding through instructor support tools and collaborative learning contributed substantially to the success of the experimental groups particularly in terms of higher order thinking skills Likewise the differentiation of learning allowed learners diversity in materials and methods a self-paced learning environment and opportunities to form their own groups Other elements of game design such as the construction of rules use of narrative and taking the player’s perspective provided the challenge required to promote higher order thinking communication and collaboration Finally recommendations for practitioners and limitations and suggestions for future studies are also provided
Date of Award2014 Aug 27
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorYa-Ting Carolyn Yang (Supervisor)

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