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Learning Problem-Solving through Making Games at the Game Design and Learning Summer Program

Educational Technology Research and Development Volume 62, Number 5, ISSN 1042-1629


Today's complex and fast-evolving world necessitates young students to possess design and problem-solving skills more than ever. One alternative method of teaching children problem-solving or thinking skills has been using computer programming, and more recently, game-design tasks. In this pre-experimental study, a group of middle school students (n = 18) with an age average of 12.6 attended a game-design summer program for 10 days. Students were assessed in their problem-solving skills, specifically in system analysis and design, decision-making, and troubleshooting domains, at the beginning and end of the program. The results indicated that there were significant improvements in students' problem-solving skills after attending the summer program, Wilks' ? = 0.258, F (3, 15) = 14.397, p < 0.001, ?[superscript 2] = 0.742. For system analysis and design, and decision-making follow-up t-tests pointed to large and medium effect sizes, while for troubleshooting the gains were not significant. This study contributes to the growing body of literature investigating the benefits of designing games for young children by adding that game-design activities can be suitable venues for young children to learn and practice problem-solving skills.


Akcaoglu, M. (2014). Learning Problem-Solving through Making Games at the Game Design and Learning Summer Program. Educational Technology Research and Development, 62(5), 583-600. Retrieved April 24, 2019 from .

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