Digital Game-Based Learning in K-12 Classrooms: Studying Effectiveness and Influential Factors in Instruction


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Virginia Tech


The adoption of new technologies in K-12 classrooms usually generates claims about their effectiveness, but in many cases, these claims are not carefully studied. Furthermore, conclusions drawn from effectiveness studies generally focus on technologies as the sole responsible factor for such effectiveness, without considering other factors and conditions. Through an integrative review, this study evaluated and critiqued the current status of K-12 digital game-based learning (DGBL) to determine the implications and limitations of these effectiveness claims, as well as problems when conducting this type of research. In addition, this study explored factors and conditions, beyond the digital game, that could have had an impact on effectiveness. Findings from this study can provide teachers and researchers a guide to effectively implement and research DGBL in K-12 classrooms, as well as conceptual classifications of factors and conditions that could play an important role when adopting digital games in instruction.



digital game-based learning, K-12 education, instructional effectiveness