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Research Roundup: Educational Games and Humanities Learning (Part 2)

It’s been a while since we’ve looked at the latest research surrounding educational games and humanities learning! Welcome to another Research Roundup on the impact of educational games on humanities learning. In our previous post on the topic, we explored studies that showed how games can enhance students’ understanding of art history, U.S. history, language, music, and civics. In this collection of newer, more recent studies, we’ll examine how game-based learning plays a part in humanities education yet again!

via Giphy

Why are the humanities important? From analyzing literature and interpreting texts to developing effective communication and argumentation skills, humanities subjects play a critical role in shaping students’ overall education. Educational games offer an interactive approach that can help students connect with humanities topics in an engaging way!

These studies are chock full of interesting findings, so be sure to bookmark this post so you can easily return to it. As always, follow Filament Games on Twitter and Facebook to stay up-to-date with all of the latest and greatest game-based learning research, theory, and evidence

Examining the impact of ABRACADABRA (ABRA), a game-based online literacy program, on primary school students in rural Hunan, China

This study evaluated the effectiveness of ABRACADABRA (ABRA), a web-based literacy program developed by the Center for the Study of Learning and Performance at Concordia University, in improving the literacy skills of third-grade primary school students in rural China. The study involved 339 students from 10 schools, with five schools assigned to the experimental group and five to the control group. The results showed that the students who used ABRA outperformed the control group on all six key reading outcomes, including phonological awareness, phonemic awareness, and non-word reading. These findings suggest that ABRA is an effective tool for improving literacy skills, even in contexts where English is a foreign language and learning resources are limited. Additionally, the study highlighted the importance of localizing educational programs to make them more easily accepted by teachers and students.

Video Games in the Elementary English Language Arts Classroom: An Examination of How Gaming Activities Can Support Learning

This study examines how video games and gaming-related activities can support student learning in elementary English language arts (ELA) classrooms. The study used activities and reflections from 48 preservice teachers who learned about game-based learning during a digital literacies unit. The results indicate that preservice teachers envision a variety of activities that can be used in ELA classrooms, and gaming and gaming-related activities can support literacy skills, collaboration, fun, motivation, and engagement. The study contributes to research on game-based learning in ELA education and provides practical implications for classrooms!

Digital Literacy for Adult Education Beyond Borders: Developing Learners’ Intercultural Sensitivity Using Game-Based Learning

This research investigates the use of game-based learning as an effective instructional method for building students’ sense of community and cultural awareness. Integrating technology in the teaching process can be an influential tool to spur learners’ academic achievements and awareness of learning goals. However, educators must be aware of subjective and objective cultural dimensions to deepen the integration of intercultural sensitivity in digital classrooms. The researchers assert that educational games used for cultural sensitivity learning should be structured learning experiences that include related constructive feedback, and foster societal engagement, cultural awareness, and learning motivation. The study also emphasizes the importance of providing appropriate feedback that reflects learners’ context, culture, and educational needs.

Exploring the Effectiveness of Virtual Reality Role-Playing in Debating Repatriation of Artworks in Active Learning Art History Classes

The study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of virtual reality (VR) in active learning and role-playing scenarios from the perspectives of students and instructors in the context of an eight-week course on repatriation. The study was conducted at Lindenwood University, where 50 students from various academic colleges participated in two hybrid sections of History of Western Art to 1300, involving a blend of face-to-face instruction with additional activities. The results of the study indicated that using RPG scenarios in a classroom setting was positively received by students and was considered a valuable tool for learning about repatriation. Students reported that the modality of the RPG scenario had a significant impact on their level of comfort, learning outcomes, engagement, and the immersive nature of the exchange. Overall, the study found that VR can enhance student engagement and learning outcomes!

Assessing the effectiveness of a game-based phonics intervention for first and second grade English language learners in India: A randomized controlled trial

The study examines the efficacy of a computer-assisted reading intervention called GraphoLearn (GL) in improving the foundational literacy skills of 1st and 2nd-grade students attending an English medium school in India. A total of 136 students across 6 classrooms were randomly allocated to play either GL or a control math game over a 5-week intervention period. Students who played GL showed significantly greater and faster development on in-game measures of letter-sound knowledge, rhyme unit recognition, and word recognition as compared to students who did not play GL. However, no differences were found between groups on the oral and paper-based tasks. The results suggest that GL was able to effectively teach critical sub-skills for reading.

There you have it – a highlight reel of the growing body of evidence supporting the use of educational games to enhance humanities learning. The studies covered in this post demonstrate the potential of games to increase students’ empathy levels and promote critical thinking and engagement with literary texts. Play fosters a sense of agency and creativity, allowing students to explore and interact with humanities content in new and meaningful ways. As we continue to explore the potential of games in education, it is essential that we prioritize evidence-based research to understand the most effective ways to leverage games to support student learning and engagement.

Interested in creating an educational game based on cutting-edge research? We’re the educational game studio for you. We have 18 years of experience working with clients like iCivics, Scholastic, and many more. Contact us for a free consultation – let’s talk about your game-based learning project!

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