Faculty Publications


Creative self-efficacy of children aged 9-14 in a science center using a situated Mobile game

Document Type



Creative self-efficacy, Creativity, Elementary students, Gender differences, Location-Based game, Middle school students, Science center

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Thinking Skills and Creativity




Engaging young people with exhibits in meaningful ways is a challenging proposition for museums. Adults bring children to museums and similar institutions with the intention that they enjoy an informal learning experience. In this study, a situated mobile game provides creative interactive challenges to engage participants with hands-on exhibits at a science center. From the player's perspective, the objective of the game was to exercise creativity skills in order to complete the challenges. During gameplay, players were asked to record their solutions to the challenges via photographs, audio, and video. Afterward, they reflected on the creativity they employed during the game as they made an electronic multi-media poster using the digital artifacts they created during gameplay. In addition to facilitating meaningful exhibit interaction, this study examined pre- and post- creative self-efficacy scores and participant activity preferences according to creative self-efficacy scores and gender during a three-hour visit to a science museum for 37 participants, aged 9–14. Results indicated a pre-to-post improvement in creative self-efficacy with a small effect size. Activity differences between those scoring high in creative self-efficacy and those who scored low were found. No gender differences in creative self-efficacy were noted, but boys preferred the multimedia poster work while girls preferred observations of animals and physics display interactions. Results indicated that young people with higher creative self-efficacy enjoyed playing a situated mobile game more than those with lower creative self-efficacy, and that playing a situated mobile game focused on creative activity contributed to an increase in creative self-efficacy for participants.


Department of Curriculum and Instruction

Original Publication Date


DOI of published version



UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa