Digital Games, Design, and Learning: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (Brief)


Clark, D. B., Tanner-Smith, E. E., & Killingsworth, S. S. (2016). Digital games, design, and learning: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Review of educational research, 86(1), 79-122.


In 2006, the Federation of American Scientists issued a widely publicized report stating that games as a medium offer a powerful new educational tool (FAS, 2006). The report encouraged private and governmental support for expanded research into complex gaming environments for learning. A special issue of Science in 2009 echoed and expanded this call (Hines, Jasny, & Mervis, 2009), as have reports by the National Research Council (Honey & Hilton, 2010; NRC, 2009). These reports acknowledged, however, the sparseness of systematic evidence for the efficacy of games as learning tools. The present meta-analysis synthesized research on digital games to systematically examine their efficacy for learning. We focused on research published between 2000 and 2012 in light of the dramatic evolution of digital games for learning over the past decade.

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