Games Centered Approaches in Teaching Children & Adolescents: Systematic Review of Associated Student Outcomes

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Andrew Miller The University of Newcastle

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The purpose of this systematic review was to investigate the weight of scientific evidence regarding student outcomes (physical, cognitive and affective) of a Game Centered Approach (GCA) when the quality of a study was taken into account in the interpretation of collective findings. A systematic search of five electronic databases (Sports Discuss, ERIC, A+ Education, PsychInfo and PROQUEST Education) was conducted from their year of inception to 30 January 2014. Included studies were longitudinal or experimental/quasi-experimental studies involving children or adolescents that quantitatively assessed (using repeat measures and/or comparison with a control group) the effects upon student outcomes when an intervention involved the use of a GCA. The search identified 15 articles examining the effects of GCA on student outcomes that met the criteria for inclusion. The weight of evidence provided by the included studies identified an association between a GCA and the outcomes of declarative knowledge, support during game play and affective outcomes of perceived competence, interest/enjoyment and effort/importance. Development of technical skill, procedural knowledge and game play skills of decision making and skill execution are not supported by the level of evidence currently provided. Intervention volume appears to have a large effect on the development of game based decision making and skill execution, with a positive association between these outcomes and use of GCA interventions greater than eight hours in volume. More longitudinal and intervention research examining the use of a GCA and potential psychological, physiological and behavioral outcomes in children and adolescents is recommended.

Miller is with the School of Education, The University of Newcastle, Ourimbah, New South Wales, Australia.

Address author correspondence to Andrew Miller at andrew.miller@newcastle.edu.au.
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