Teachers’ Adoption of Educational Gaming

| June 3, 2010

Kebritchi, M. (2010). Factors affecting teachers adoption of educational computer games: A case study. British Journal of Educational Technology, 41(2), 256-270.

Article Review: Kebritchi (2010) presents an investigation of teacher perceptions on adopting gaming into classroom teaching and learning. The game explored in this study is Demensian, a single player game which requires players to complete a series of mathematics-related missions within a 3-D immersive environment. By drawing on the theory of diffusion of innovation by Rogers (1962, 2003), the author collected data from three teacher interviews to understand teachers’ perspectives on adopting Demensian. The theory of diffusion of innovation (Rogers, 2003) includes five attributes for the diffusion of innovative products: relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, trialability, and observability (p. 258). Based on the five attributes, the author analyzed the collected data and provided detailed summaries under each category about teachers’ opinions in adoption factors and improvement of the current game.

The study might be of interest to researchers and teachers who want to apply gaming in classroom teaching. It contributes to the understanding of teacher perceptions in applying gaming into classroom and adds to a limited body of literature in this field. Meanwhile, in order to make readers understand this study better, it would be helpful for Kebritchi to make more clarification in the theoretical framework. The theory of diffusion of innovations is based on “an innovation is not necessarily new in its design, but it is new to its users (Berger, 2005)” (p. 258) and in this study “Demenxian had not been used by the research participants in this study and therefore it was considered an innovation” (p. 258). However, in describing the participants of this study, Kebritchi provides that “two of the participants were frequent computer game players…” (p. 259). One assumption of Kebritchi could be that though two of the participants had been game players, they were not familiar with the game features within Demenxian, which needs to be clarified explicitly.

Furthermore, the study would be enhanced if Kebritchi could clarify more about its connection to “case study” (as entitled) in the methodology section, since it is briefly mentioned that three 2-hour teacher interviews constitute the data for the “case”. In data analysis, Kebritchi applied grounded theory (Charmaz, 2000) to identify emergent themes within “an implicit belief system” (p. 260), and actually coded the data according to the five attributes offered by Rogers (2003). Thus, it would help readers to understand this piece better if more explanation for using grounded theory could be written.

EdLab Connection: Several future project ideas at the EdLab could be considered. For example, it might benefit the EdLab’s radio project by inviting teachers interested in gaming to talk about their experiences and perceptions in applying gaming to classroom teaching. Follow-up short video series could also be produced regarding students’ classroom experience.

References

Charmaz, K. (2000). Grounded theory: objectivist & constructivist methods. In N. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds), Handbook of qualitative research (2nd ed.) (pp. 509–535). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Kebritchi, M. (2010). Factors affecting teachers adoption of educational computer games: A case study. British Journal of Educational Technology, 41(2), 256-270.

Rogers, E. M. (1962). Diffusion of innovations (1st ed.). New York: The Free Press.

Rogers, E. M. (2003). Diffusion of innovations (5th ed.). New York: The Free Press.

Stake, R. E. (1994). Case studies. In N. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds), Handbook of qualitative research (1st ed.) (pp. 236–247). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.