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Computer game development as a literacy activity

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Computers & Education Volume 53, Number 3, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


This study examined computer game development as a pedagogical activity to motivate and engage students in curriculum-related literacy activities. We hypothesized that as a consequence, students would improve their traditional reading and writing skills as well as develop new digital literacy skills. Eighteen classes of grade 4 students were assigned to either an experimental or control group. Both groups studied the same curriculum unit over a 10week period, however, in addition the experimental group developed computer games related to the unit using a game development shell. An analysis of pre- and post-unit scores on two standardized literacy test batteries revealed that the experimental students performed significantly better on one of the subtests, a measure of logical sentence construction (p=.002). Field notes and teacher interview data indicated that game development helped improve student content retention, ability to compare and contrast information presented, utilize more and different kinds of research materials including digital resources, editing skills, and develop an insight into questioning skills.


Owston, R., Wideman, H., Ronda, N.S. & Brown, C. (2009). Computer game development as a literacy activity. Computers & Education, 53(3), 977-989. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved April 24, 2019 from .

This record was imported from Computers & Education on January 31, 2019. Computers & Education is a publication of Elsevier.

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