Date of Award

12-1-2012

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Loh, Christian

Second Advisor

Shrock, Sharon

Abstract

CREATING DIGITAL GAMES AS INTERACTIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS: FACTORS THAT AFFECT PALESTINIAN TEACHERS' SUCCESS IN MODIFYING VIDEO GAMES FOR INSTRUCTION The purpose of this study was to investigate the factors that might predict Palestinian teachers' success in modding games for instruction. An instructional game design model named Game Modding for Non-Professionals (GMNP) was created specifically for the training of Palestinian teachers during this study. This study addressed the question: To what extent do the variables gender, age, teaching experience, experience in playing video games, and adherence to the GMNP model predict teachers' success in modding video games for instruction when using the GMNP model? Gaining an understanding of teachers' performance in modding video games for instructional use may identify potential interventions that can be utilized to increase the use of this technology in the classroom. This investigation is useful in pointing out the need for teacher training to administrators and policy makers. The data for this study was collected from teachers at two Palestine Technical Colleges. All the teachers at the two Colleges were invited to participate, and 79 teachers agreed. Three teachers withdrew from the study before finishing it; hence, only 76 completed the study, and their data was used in the regression analysis. A workshop was conducted to train the teachers in using the GMNP model as a guide to game modding to modify video games for instructional use. During the workshop, the participants were asked to complete a worksheet. The participants were directed to use this worksheet to modify Neverwinter Nights 2 to teach a given instructional objective. At the end of the workshop, the completed GMNP model worksheet and the game mod created were collected from each participant as research data. The GMNP Model Rubric and the Educational Games Rubric were used to assess respectively the worksheets (for adherence to the GMNP model) and the game mods (for success in modifying a video game for instruction). Multiple linear regression was conducted to answer the research question. Tests to verify that the data met the various conditions required for multiple regression analysis were conducted and no violations of these conditions were detected. Findings indicated that gender was not a significant predictor of teachers' success in modding video games for instruction when the variance attributed to the other predictor variables was controlled, and the variables age, experience in playing video games, and adherence to the GMNP model were significant predictors of teachers' success in modding video games for instruction. The study suggested some implications and recommendations for policy makers and for future researchers who are interested in conducting similar studies about video game integration.

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