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Game-Based Learning for Young Learners

Haya Shamir, David Pocklington, Kathryn Feehan, and Erik Yoder
Waterford Research Institute, Sandy, Utah, USA
Abstract—Game-based learning (GBL) is becoming a more widespread style of education; however, there is a lack of research on the benefits of GBL on students’ early literacy skills. This study explores the effectiveness of a computer-adaptive GBL curriculum, Waterford Early Learning (WEL) during the 2016-2017 school year. Kindergarten, first grade, and second grade students took a district-administered literacy assessment at the beginning and end of the school year. Reading assessment scores of kindergarten, first grade, and second grade students who used GBL were compared to scores of students who either did not use GBL or had low usage of WEL during the 2016-2017 school year. Students who used WEL significantly outperformed students who did not use WEL on all end of year literacy scores, and students with high usage of WEL significantly outperformed students with low usage on all end of year literacy scores as well. Students who used WEL also outperformed their control counterparts across demographics. These results indicate that WEL has a potentially positive impact on early literacy skills. More impactful studies concerning incorporating GBL curriculum in conjunction with traditional, in-class literacy instruction are necessary.
 
Index Terms—technology, game-based learning, literacy

Cite: Haya Shamir, David Pocklington, Kathryn Feehan, and Erik Yoder, "Game-Based Learning for Young Learners," International Journal of Learning and Teaching, Vol. 5, No. 3, pp. 206-212, September 2019. doi: 10.18178/ijlt.5.3.206-212
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