Digital games have been used sporadically in classrooms since the 1970s, but their adoption rate continues to be low. Researchers have identified a number of benefits of using digital games in the curriculum including deep engagement, improving social skills, and offering opportunities for higher order thinking. However, there are significant barriers to their use in classrooms such as access to appropriate hardware and software, teacher’s knowledge of games and how to effectively use them in a classroom environment, negative societal attitudes towards digital games, and difficulties matching digital games to curricula. Many of the digital games created for classroom use are short form drill-and-practice games that focus on learning through repetition and only offer lower levels of learning. These games are not the type of ames students would choose to play at home and may fail to meet learner expectations. Gradually, more complex digital learning games are being created by game designers. However, designers are still learning the best ways to make the most of the affordances offered by the classroom environment. This thesis offers new insights into the experiences of teachers who choose to use digital games in their classrooms and makes recommendations on the design of digital learning games.
Submitted in the fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, University of the Sunshine Coast, 2016.