UCF Study Finds Video Games Increase Student Achievement
Based on research conducted by the University of Central Florida (UCF), immersive educational video games can improve students' math skills and comprehension and raise scores on district-wide benchmark exams.
According to the study, over an 18-week period, students playing the educational video games demonstrated higher gains on district benchmark exams than students not playing the games. On average, students in the experimental group made gains of 8.07 points (out of 25), while students in the control group made gains of 3.74 points.
"These research results are remarkable and support previous studies which have concluded that interactive games are more effective on learners' cognitive gains than traditional classroom instruction alone," said Ntiedo Etuk, CEO and co-founder of Tabula Digita, maker of the DimensionM educational video game series. "We are teaching a new generation of students, which requires unconventional teaching strategies be put into practice in the classroom. And when schools use our games, the student benefits speak for themselves--a greater desire to learn and higher test scores."
The study, conducted by a team of faculty and graduate students at the university, consisted of 193 algebra and pre-algebra students and 10 teachers, all from Orange County, Florida. Experimental and control groups were used to test the researchers hypotheses and were evaluated using pre- and post-study district benchmark exams, game preparation tests, surveys, classroom observations, and personal interviews.
In addition to increased test scores, researchers found that teacher training, as well as focusing on the integration of games was essential to enhancing student learning. They also found that students were not only capable of figuring out game-play on their own, but were also willing to help fellow classmates with the game mechanics.
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About the author: Chris Riedel is a freelance writer based in Florida. He can be reached via e-mail here.
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Chris Riedel is a freelance writer based in Illinois. He can be reached here.