Article: ‘Gaming Research for Technology Education’
Authors: Aaron Clark, Jeremy Ernst
Journal: Journal of STEM Education: Innovations in Research 10.1/2 (2009)
Overview of paper:
The author’s intent for this paper was to determine the attitudes about gaming, its use in education and the need to utilize gaming as an integrator of STEM subject matter into the classroom. The authors started their research in this field when they noticed the popularity of gaming. They wanted to see if they could harness the power and popularity of gaming to help students who were struggling, to get through their STEM coursework in school. For this purpose, the study was developed to evaluate the effects of gaming on the classroom and the attitudes that students, teachers, parents and administrators have about the use of this technology as a pedagogical tool.
The authors conducted a survey with 258 participants from varying backgrounds and fields of study. They asked them three sets of questions to determine the general outlook towards gaming and its use in education. The findings from the survey indicated:
- A majority of people (74%) agree or strongly agree that gaming is a valuable resource and learning tool for students.
- The majority (72%) also agreed that homework assignments that included computer-video gaming could be a useful tool for student learning.
- 48% of people indicated that they were interested in developing such games.
- 71% of people indicated that gaming could be a great tool in science and mathematics instruction.
- 89% responded that gaming has a future in education.
The survey data revealed to the authors that gaming could be a useful tool for gaining and maintaining student interest in all areas of STEM education.
The paper did not research existing gaming tools and what the attitudes of the people are towards them. As a result, this paper seems incomplete.
This research was interesting to read. It was conducted in 2009 and the researchers were attempting to find how exactly people viewed gaming as an educational tool. The results of this research were very interesting to me. I knew that gaming is popular and it would be looked upon favorably by most but I didn’t realize that so many people thought of it favorably as a teaching tool.
I had attended a conference a while back on educational gaming and one of the speakers there answered a question about why educational games were not more popular. His response was “because they’re boring!” This really made sense to me. Most educational games are designed less to be games and more to be educational. As a result, they are not as much fun to play with and are not as popular.
I guess my take away from this article is that while people may look upon gaming as a valuable possible tool in education, the research does not indicate if any such STEM based games have actually been effective teaching tools and how the actual users of such games feel about the games.