Learning gains from using games consoles in primary classrooms: a randomized controlled study

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    32 Citations (Scopus)


    It is known that computer games are motivating for children, but there is limited direct evidence of their effects on classroom learning. Following a successful small-scale case study conducted by the authors, the aim of this randomized controlled trial was to further investigate the effects of a commercial off-the-shelf computer game on children's mental computation skills and on aspects of their self-perceptions. A pre-post design was employed, with 634 primary-school (elementary school) children (10-11 years old) from 32 schools across Scotland. Schools were randomly assigned to experimental or control conditions. In the experimental schools, children used a games console for 20 minutes each day, running a ‘brain training’ game. The controls continued with their normal routine. The treatment period was nine weeks. Significant pre-post gains were found in both groups over the treatment period for both accuracy and speed of calculations. However, the gains in the games console group were up to twice those of the controls. There were no significant changes in two measures of self-concept for either group, although there was a small but statistically significant gain in attitude to school amongst the experimental group. When scores were analysed by ability, different patterns of scores were apparent. Qualitative data pointed to a range of benefits from the games-console experience. There are many implications which arise from the findings, some of which will be explored at the presentation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1641-1644
    Number of pages4
    JournalProcedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


    • Games-based learning
    • Primary school
    • Elementary school
    • Learning gains
    • Games consoles
    • ICT


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