Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


Educational games; Learning;


Digital game-based learning can be used by educators to support students in developing skills. This review examined the effect of digital game-based learning on student learning at the K-12 level. Sixteen peer-reviewed research studies, two meta-analysis studies, and two literature reviews published between 2011-2019 were selected for analysis. The reviewed research indicated that when digital game-based learning is used that includes key game design elements (collaboration, choice, feedback) as well as instructional design, there typically is a positive impact on student engagement. Research also indicated that digital game-based learning along with collaboration can have a significant effect on student motivation, however, the addition of instructions and feedback were not found to have a significant effect. Individual studies on digital game-based learning showed a significant positive impact on student achievement, while one of two meta-analysis studies found that there was a small effect size for digital game-based learning on student achievement in mathematics. Further studies should be conducted on digital game-based learning at the K-12 level over an extended period of time with the addition of game design elements and instructional design. More studies where empirical/statistical data is collected, and involving content area experts in research was recommended.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Leigh E. Zeitz, Graduate Faculty Reader

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (51 pages)



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