This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

The Impact of Technology Integration on Student-Designed Games


Student-designed games (SDG) is the process in which students create, organize, practice and refine their own games within certain limits established by the teacher (Hastie, 2010). Recent research has proposed different methodologies to teach SDG, and among these, technology integration (TI) was proposed by Hastie, Casey and Tarter (2010) and by Casey, Hastie and Rovegno (2011) when using a wiki for game design. In spite of becoming an innovative methodology for teaching SDG, it is not clear how TI may improve or diminish students’ experience and learning. The present research analyzed how TI has an impact on a SDG teaching unit, and it addressed five research questions: (1) How technology integration has an impact on a teacher’s pedagogy? (2) How technology integration has an impact on students’ physical activity engagement? (3) How technology integration has an impact on students’ enjoyment/ engagement? (4) How technology integration has an impact on students’ communication? (5) How technology integration has an impact on students’ game characteristics/ architecture? The researcher taught two SDG units in a Junior High School, one with TI and another without TI. Within a participatory action research methodology, these questions were answered following analysis of data collected with six different methods: observations (field notes), Edmodo discussions, interviews, survey, lesson plans and pedometer count. The executive answers to the five key questions were: (1) the TI group was taught with more autonomy, whereas the non-technology group needed more support to complete their tasks; (2) the non-technology group reported a higher physical activity engagement than the TI group; (3) the non-technology group reported higher levels of enjoyment when comparing to the TI group; (4) group members from the non-technology group were able to communicate better, while inter-group communication was better in the TI group; (5) boys reported to focus on designing strategic games whereas girls focused on designing ludic games. In conclusion, TI was considered a harder teaching methodology that required more experience with SDG and with TI. Moreover, there was also a higher appreciation for SDG among the students that were taught without TI. Nevertheless, TI provided more equality among students as they were given more opportunity to share their ideas in online discussions. Future research may consider a hybrid model that focuses on the major benefits that can be derived from each teaching condition.