NSF logo

The benefits of computer game programming: A research synthesis: 1252276

Principal Investigator: Jill Denner
CoPrincipal Investigator(s): Shannon Campe
Organization: ETR Associates

In the past decade, many tools and opportunities have been developed for children and young adults to learn through designing and programming computer games. While each project has contributed its analysis of what can be learned from computer game programming, there has, as yet, been no synthesis across those projects laying out what children learn from computer game programming, the best pedagogical strategies for promoting such learning, and which tools and learning environments promote different kinds of outcomes and for whom. This project?s investigators are using a systematic meta-synthesis methodology to pull together existing research on computer game programming to create such a synthesis. Their meta-synthesis method is a seven-step process that integrates quantitative and qualitative research findings. A panel of content and methodology experts is evaluating the rigor and transparency of the findings at each step of the analysis process. In addition to the results that will be reported, this project also is contributing to the growing body of research on rigorous methodologies for conducting qualitative research syntheses.

Authoring of computer games is increasingly being used as a strategy to attract youngsters to computing and to enhance STEM learning. A systematic synthesis of what has been learned from scientific studies about effective design and use of computer game programming is needed to make what has been learned accessible and available to those who are designing tools for authoring computer games and experiences for learners and who are investigating the roles computer game authoring can play in promoting learning. This is a broad range of audiences and includes researchers, educators, and program developers.

Tags: , ,