The Effects Of Video Games Towards Students’

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The Effects Of Video Games Towards Students’

  1. 1. Video Games & Academic Achievement 1 Running head: VIDEO GAMES & ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT The Effects of Video Games towards Students’ Academic Achievement Blair Thallmayer East Stroudsburg University
  2. 2. Video Games & Academic Achievement 2 Abstract The focus of study in this paper involves whether or not the frequency and types of video games affect students’ academic achievement scores on the PSSA and the PSAT. Video games are a large part of the daily lives of students, and determining their relationship to the academic world is extremely important. Participants in this study would be used from Northeast High School, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There would be 850 eleventh grade student volunteers. Participants would also be between the ages of 15-17 years of age, with a variety of ethnic backgrounds, including Caucasian, African American, Latin American, and Asian American. The participants in this grade will all be taking the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) in the spring, as well as the Preliminary SAT (PSAT). The students will be asked to complete a survey. The completed survey will develop all of the necessary components to position each student in the correct section of the 3 X 3 factorial design as created above. The survey will contain a variety of questions related to the hypothesis of this study to determine the patterns, if any, between the usage patterns/ frequency of the use of video games with the type of video game to the students’ achievement on the PSSA, and PSAT. The survey will also inform with regards to the extra-curricular activities of the students, since this type of out of school involvement may also correlate to higher or lower standardized test scores. This study is significant because of how important standardized testing has become, and how much time and money are put into improving the scores of students in this area. Determining certain extra-curricular aspects of learning can improve the scores can effectively help teachers incorporate these features into their curriculum.
  3. 3. Video Games & Academic Achievement 3 Identification of the Research Problem Technology is a tool that teachers can use to support learning, but learning must be foremost. If teachers do not understand how to support learning, technology use will be ineffective and inefficient. Egbert (2009) references a quote from Kleiman (2000) “While modern technology has great potential to enhance teaching, turning that potential into reality on a large scale is a complex, multifaceted task. The key determinant of our success will not be the number of computers purchased or cables installed, but rather how we define educational visions, prepare and support teachers, design curriculum, address issues of equity, and respond to the rapidly changing world.” Technology is used in other ways than for educational benefits. Egbert (2009) explains technology as hardware, software, and related tools (P. 281).Technology was also produced for recreation and leisure. Technology created for free time could contain visual, auditory, and kinesthetic/ tactile simulations, such as a computer, CD-ROM, the internet, television, DVD, compact discs, iPods, MP3 players, video games and so forth. Video games are a form of technology encompassing visual, auditory, and kinesthetic/tactile simulation forms. Not all, but many students are enthralled in the usage of video games in their schedule of leisure time and relaxation. “Video games have evolved far beyond their roots. Video games were once simple and repetitive, involving monochromatic blocks for graphics and tasks such as moving a rectangular “paddle” in a vertical plane to intercept a moving “ball” (Pong, a forerunner of modern video games). In contrast, modern video games include levels of complexity and realism beyond what was imagined 30 years ago. By and large, the
  4. 4. Video Games & Academic Achievement 4 evolution of the video games rides the back of the technological and computing advances that drive the personal computer revolution” (Smyth, 2007, P. 717). Since their introduction as mass market products in the 1970s, video games have come under scrutiny in a number of contentious areas. Fuelled by the ever increasing popularity and economic significance of the games industry, any negative findings such as those relating to gaming addiction, epilepsy, and violent content have rapidly been picked up by the media, often leading to condemnations of such games by the public (Ip Jacobs Watkins, 2008, P. 356). On the other hand, there has recently been a growing amount of research into the possible benefits of game playing, such as that of promoting ICT skills, and of its being an added motivational component for training and education (Ip Jacobs Watkins, 2008, P. 356). The aim of this paper is to investigate research into games and education: whether or not there is a link between the frequency with which video games are played, the type of video game being used, and academic achievement, as measured by traditional examination results, of those who play them. Definition of Terms Wikipedia- The Free Online Encyclopedia defines a video game as “a game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a video device. The word video in video game traditionally referred to a raster display device. However, with the popular use of the term "video game", it now implies any type of display device. The electronic systems used to play video games are known as platforms; examples of these are personal computers and video game consoles. These platforms are broad in
  5. 5. Video Games & Academic Achievement 5 range, from large computers to small handheld devices. Specialized video games such as arcade games, while previously common, have gradually declined in use.” The input device normally used to manipulate video games is called a game controller, which varies across platforms. For instance, a dedicated console controller might consist of only a button and a joystick, or feature a dozen buttons and one or more joysticks. Early personal computer based games historically relied on the availability of a keyboard for gameplay, or more commonly, required the user to purchase a separate joystick with at least one button to play. Many modern computer games allow the player to use a keyboard and mouse simultaneously (Video Games, Wikipedia, 2008). Beyond the common element of visual feedback, video games have utilized other systems to provide interaction and information to the player. Chief examples of these are sound reproduction devices, such as speakers and headphones, and an array of haptic peripherals, such as vibration or force feedback (Video Games, Wikipedia, 2008). Wikipedia also defines the types of video games are “primarily meant for entertainment. However, some video games are made (at least in part) for other reasons. These include advergames, educational games, propaganda games (e.g. militainment), and others. Many of these fall under the category of serious games.” Egbert (2009) explains technology literacy as understanding the many ways in which technology affects lives for both good and bad (P. 281). In addition, the twenty- first century skills as critical thinking, communication, problem solving, production and creativity (P. 281). Ip, Jacobs, Watkins (2008) state that the latest multi-million selling titles such as Grand Theft Auto, The Sims, and The Legend of the Zelda can deliver realistic content and interaction with such games requires gamers to possess not only
  6. 6. Video Games & Academic Achievement 6 spatial skills, fast reaction times, and knowledge of intricate controls, but also skills for solving problems. “In 1999, Pennsylvania adopted academic standards for Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening and Mathematics. These standards identify what a student should know and be able to do at varying grade levels. School districts possess the freedom to design curriculum and instruction to ensure that students meet or exceed the standards’ expectations”(Assessment, PDE, 2001). “In annual Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) is a standard based criterion-referenced assessment used to measure a student’s attainment of the academic standards while also determining the degree to which school programs enable students to attain proficiency of the standards. Every Pennsylvania student in grades 3 through 8 and grade 11 is assessed in reading and math. Every Pennsylvania student in grades 5, 8, and 11 is assessed in writing” (Assessment, PDE, 2001). Pennsylvania Department of Education concludes by saying that individual student scores, provided only to their respective schools, can be used to assist teachers in identifying students who may be in need of additional educational opportunities, and school scores provide information to school and districts for curriculum and instruction improvement discussions and planning. In compliance with PA School Code the State Board of Education approved, “specific criteria for advanced, proficient, basic and below basic levels of performance.” For more information please contact 00testing@psupen.psu.edu . “The Preliminary SAT ® (PSAT)/ National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Teest (NMSQT) is a co-sponsored program by the College Board and National Merit
  7. 7. Video Games & Academic Achievement 7 Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). PSAT/NMSQT is a standardized test that provides firsthand practice for the SAT Reasoning Test. It also gives students a chance to enter NMSC scholarship programs. The PSAT/NMSQT measures three areas: (1) critical reading skills, (2) math problem-solving skills, and (3) writing skills. Students have developed these skills over many years, both in and out of school. This test does not require students to recall specific facts from their subjects” (PSAT/NMSQT, College Board, 2008). There are many reasons why students take the PSAT/NMSQT. The most common reasons are: “(1) to receive feedback on your strengths and weaknesses on skills necessary for college study. Students can then focus on preparation on those areas that could most benefit from additional study or practice; (2) to see how student performance on an admissions test might compare with that of others applying to college; (3) to enter the competition for scholarships from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (grade 11); (4) to help prepare for the SAT. Students can become familiar with the kinds of questions and the exact directions seen on the SAT; and (5) to receive information from colleges when checking “yes” to Student Search Service” (PSAT/NMSQT, College Board, 2008). Identification of the Problem The problem that is found, based on the findings of research, has been developed as the effects of video games towards students’ academic achievements. Questions After reviewing many studies on this topic, I have found a number of answers to the questions developed. However, there are still many unanswered questions that I
  8. 8. Video Games & Academic Achievement 8 would like to solve. Three questions I am concerned about and propose to fulfill: how do the usage patterns of video games affect academics, the impact of school engagement compared to the impact of video games, and finally do the type of video game (educational, adventure, so forth) have an effect on academic achievement? Hypothesis for the Study The hypothesis to this study would involve answering two sub-questions: how do usage patterns of video games affect academics, the usage patterns playing half of the hypothesis and the other half being does the type of video game have an effect on academic achievement. Implication for this study would have to contain the usage pattern and type of video game on effecting academic achievement. My hypothesis is a relationship will exist between video game usage and academic achievement but the nature of that relationship will depend on the type of video game. Review of Literature This paper reports a proposal of investigating a relationship existing between video game usage and academic achievement, but the nature of that relationship will depend on the type of video game. It is an elaboration on previous work that explored how usage patterns of video games and electronics affect academics, comparison of academic achievement with and without usage of video games, and effects of video game usage on achievement and attitude towards academics. How Usage Patterns of Video Games and Electronics Affect Academics This section deals with three studies that investigated whether or not the frequency of usage of video games and electronics would have an affect on the students’ academic achievements. The goal of these studies is to concretely determine if the
  9. 9. Video Games & Academic Achievement 9 increased usage of electronics and video games leads to poorer performance in the classroom, or if the decreased usage of electronics leads to higher academic achievements. Ip, Jacobs, and Watkins (2008) completed a study hypothesizing that there may be statistically significant variations between gaming frequency and performance in examinations for certain academic subjects. In this study they utilized 713 undergraduate students with varying gaming frequencies, study disciplines, genders and general attitudes toward gaming and studying. These students were split into four groups in groups of 81, 121, 433 and 78 to determine whether they played computer and/or video games. In addition, the ratio of male and female students was fairly close: 369 males to 344 females. Also, 292 undergraduate students were studying in the humanities field; 327 were studying in the science field; and 94 undergraduates were studying a mixture of both. Lastly, in order to become a part of this research these individuals needed to be registered on full degree schemes at Level 1, 2 or 3 from their university. The methodology and/or procedures for this study came in the form of a survey. In order to get statistically significant results, if they existed, a survey of all undergraduate students at the Swansea University in the United Kingdom was considered to be the best option. This survey was created in a web-based questionnaire, which had seven questions for the gamers and five questions for the non-gamers. The questionnaire was designed to find out the amount of time and resources that were being spent on video games and electronics. Additionally, the students needed to give permission for their questionnaire, for results to be used in conjunction with their exam scores (P. 357-358).
  10. 10. Video Games & Academic Achievement 10 The results and conclusions of the survey were interesting. First, frequent gamers are less likely to obtain higher marks across all subject disciplines than non- or infrequent gamers. Next, frequent gamers are also less likely to obtain higher marks than non-or infrequent gamers in humanities/non-numerical, science/numerical and mixed subject areas. Also, frequent male and female gamers are less likely to obtain higher marks than their non- or infrequent gaming counterparts- (P. 358). Examination marks of gamers of four or more genres differ significantly from players of three game genres or fewer, with the former being less likely to get higher marks than the latter. After that, it was found that frequent gamers are less likely to achieve higher examination marks than non- or infrequent gamers in biological/physical sciences and language subjects. Following these results, frequent gamers generally achieve lower marks than non- or infrequent gamers, however students who spend time on social events, and listening to music also obtain lower examination marks (P. 358-367). Overall frequent gamers generally achieve lower marks than less frequent gamers. A second study done by Vivek Anand(2007), investigated whether or not increased usage of video games has any effect on academic performance, either in the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or in the student’s Grade Point Average (GPA). The participants were 276 college aged students, ranging from freshman to senior class status. The students were randomly selected from five postsecondary colleges in New York. Collegiate students were chosen because their time management skills are more personalized than dictated by their parents, as would be the case with younger study subjects.
  11. 11. Video Games & Academic Achievement 11 The methodology and/or procedures for this also included a survey. The students were surveyed regarding their time management skills in a normal day. Their management skills were assessed by evaluating how long they spent doing work, going online, playing video games, watching television, and so forth. Their SAT scores and GPA were used as academic markers. The surveys were then assembled and organized so correlations could be run across several of the variables. Chi-squared analyses were conducted to test the relationships between academic performance and video game usage (P. 554). The results and conclusions on the survey were surprising. A negative correlation was found between academic performance and video game usage. This means that as video game usage increases academic performance decreases. With the SAT scores, if the video game usage in a week was four and half hours or less, there was no sign of decline. Yet, after four and half hours, scores tended to get worse. Breaking it down further, math scores tended to decline after four and a half hours of video game usage, but verbal scores showed no trend whatsoever (P. 554-558). The math scores were effected so much, however, that the entire test as a whole took on the form of declining after the four and a half hours. The final study reviewed was prepared by James D. Williams(2006), whose purpose was to see how self-reflection, in the form of writing in journals and sitting quietly for certain periods of time, as well as lesser usage of electronics, related to academic performance. Williams hypothesized that increased self-reflection would have a positive influence on academic performance. The subjects were three middle school students aged 13.4, 13.5 and 13.8.
  12. 12. Video Games & Academic Achievement 12 The methodology for this included a number of procedures. For starters, the three students took the Culture Fair Test of Intelligence (2006-Williams), which provided data on intelligence, personality traits and cognitive styles. It followed that the students were given a journal and an agenda book, with the instructions that they could write whatever they wanted in the journal. Additionally, they needed to record daily activities in the agenda book. Afterwards, the study was split into three months. During month one, the students recorded activities in the planner and were to spend fifteen minutes each day making journal entries. The teachers provided grades on homework, tests, and other classroom activities. In the next two months, the students were limited to thirty minutes of electronics in a day, and they could not listen to music to or from school or as a background activity. They still had to write in the journals and record activities, but now had more time to spend reading, writing, meeting with friends and/or reflecting (P. 3-4). The results and conclusions were attention-grabbing. In the first month, the three students spent 3.8 hours a day using electronics. On the weekends, electronics usage increased considerably. The teachers showed that the students had no change in academic performance during this month. During months two and three, two of the three students dropped out of the test, not being able to stand doing nothing or the boredom from reduced usage of electronics. The remaining student saw her grades rise from a C average to a B+ (P. 4-7). One student is so small of a sample size, that even though the results are interesting, we need to test this over a much bigger group to see if it really makes a difference. Intuitively it makes sense, because less time watching TV can mean more time studying. For different students, however, less time using electronics could have negative effects.
  13. 13. Video Games & Academic Achievement 13 In summary, the usage patterns of video games and electronics does affect academics. The decreasing frequency of video games often promotes increasing academic achievements. The interesting aspect of the third study was that the test subjects were actually forced to reduce their usage, while the other two studies involved correlations run between academic achievement and usage patterns of video games that already existed; as in, the subjects in the first two studies did not reduce or increase their usage, but their answers to surveys showed that those who played video games more frequently had lower test scores and academic achievements. Comparison of Academic Achievement With and Without Usage of Video Games This section examines three studies that compare academic achievement with and without usage of video games and electronics. Uzunboylu(2005) conducted a study to determine the effectiveness of exercises of English language grammar instruction on student achievement when it is applied by the computer or web-assisted. The subjects that were used were students from three K9 classes at the Lapta Yavuzlar Lisese, a public school in North Cypress. Class A was the control group, Class B was the experimental group and Class C were those who did not participate. The students from either Class A or B could switch to Class C once they were told the instructions of the study. The English Language Grammar Test and English Language Attitude Scale tests were given to the experimental group and control group to see where the students stood before the exercises. Next, the experimental group took part in grammar exercises in a computer lab, while the control group did the exercises in a classroom. The experimental group used message boards and computer programs to answer questions while the control group could talk amongst themselves and use papers with grammatical rules (P. 3-4).
  14. 14. Video Games & Academic Achievement 14 Before the experiment, the control group had a better Grammar Test score, but afterwards, the experimental group using computers had an average score much higher. Furthermore, the same results occurred with the Attitude Scale, with the control group scoring higher before the test, but the experimental group doing much better after the exercises- (P. 5-6). The difference in this regard is not as noteworthy as in the grammar test, though. Overall, it seems that the web-assisted teaching is much more efficient and effective than the standard methods. Why exactly would the web-assisted technology be better? Couldn’t it depend on the teachers more than the students? The second study in this section was done twice: once in 1993 and once again in 2001, with the same results. Din & Calao(2001) investigated whether kindergarten students who played Sony PlayStation educational video games learned better than peers who did not play such games. With this purpose in mind, they created a test-retest reliability and construct validity of a known group comparing a controlled class to an experimental class, and finally a pre-post assessment of the Wide Range Achievement Test- R3 (WRAT R3). There were forty-seven preschool aged children from two classes of an urban public school in the northeastern region. Twenty-four of these students were in Class A (experimental group), with the remaining twenty-three students in Class B (control group). The ages of these students were 5-6 years old. All of the students were from lower socioeconomic families, including single parent and disadvantaged homes. All of the students were also African-American. The two teachers were both female with a similar preschool education training background. The teacher for the experimental class had taught for three years prior, whereas the teacher for the control class had taught for five years prior (P. 98).
  15. 15. Video Games & Academic Achievement 15 Treatment included a Sony PlayStation named Lightspan, with forty CDs containing games related to learning content for kindergarten students. The experimental group had received lessons from the classroom teacher on how to use the Lightspan and parents also attended a workshop from Lightspan on how to operate the device. Lightspan activities were implemented in daily forty minute lessons, five days per week for the Class A. Also, in class, the students would play with a buddy and at home they would play the Lightspan with a parent for a minimum of thirty minutes each day. In addition, Class A lasted eleven weeks. Both classes had the same curricula other than the usage of the Lightspan (P. 98-99). The Wide Range Achievement Test- R3 was pretested and post-tested to both classes, measuring skills in spelling, mathematics, and reading of decoding skills, in which about fifteen to twenty subtest items existed. An ANCOVA was conducted for analysis of the test results of both classes. Both of the classes increased their scores on the posttests in spelling and reading. Class A made larger gains than Class B. For both classes, only a slight improvement was found on the posttest in mathematics. Results from the ANCOVA were that Class A made a more significant gain than Class B in spelling and reading, but no difference was found in the math area (P. 99-101). Are there any Sony PlayStation CDs that could have been used to improve math scores as well as the reading and spelling? No matter what you are testing, forty-seven students is way too small of a sample size to really draw any conclusions. We would need to apply this test to 500+ students to really see if the device makes any difference. The final study was done by Vogel, Greenwood-Ericksen, Cannon-Bowers and Bowers (2006) using a quasi-experimental design to determine if previous findings
  16. 16. Video Games & Academic Achievement 16 generalized to non simulation-based game designs. A subcategory of Computer-assisted Instruction (CAI) games have attributes such as motivation, reward, interactivity, score and challenge. Within this study forty-four children ages seven to twelve years old from a public elementary school in Florida were chosen as subjects. Of these students, there were twenty-five females and nineteen males. Finally, the group broke down to twelve second graders, thirteen third graders, nine fourth graders and ten fifth graders. First, a pre-test was given to all student that covered language arts and mathematics. The language arts section included the following topics: main ideas of stories, identifying relevant supporting details and facts, and arranging events in chronological order. The mathematics section included: algebraic thinking, describing and analyzing patterns, relationships, graphs, symbols and functions. The test consisted of fifteen questions and the students had fifteen minutes per section to complete the test. The control group used the CAI program while the experimental group used the program with gaming attributes. This lasted for two week sessions, with students involved in the program for ten minutes per day and given basic instructions about how the program works with verbal praise when navigating independently correctly. Right after the last session, students were given a posttest (similar to the pretest with different questions) in paper form and delivered in the same format. The test was based on FCAT in content, format and order (P. 108-109). The results and conclusions did not display any significance. The Language arts section had no substantial difference on pre- and post-assessments across the groups. The study found no meaningful difference in language arts skills under any condition. The controlled group performed significantly better on the math posttest compared to the
  17. 17. Video Games & Academic Achievement 17 pretest, while the experimental group showed no significant difference (P. 109-114). The fact that both groups were using a program in addition to their daily curriculum blew me away. As I began reading this study, I thought they were going to test out CAI to increase students’ motivation to learn and the other group not to have anything. Because of the use of virtual reality within the classrooms, both groups had increased in mathematics. Hence, maybe more mathematical classroom instruction could be taught with virtual reality. Language arts on the other hand were not too successful. One reason that language arts may not have shown much improvement in the students with the usage of electronics is that the processes of reading and writing tend to work better with verbal instruction. Effects of Video Game Usage on Achievement and Attitude towards Academics This final section discusses three studies that examined the effects of video game usage on scholastic achievement and attitude towards academics. In addition, the studies talked about the effects on the issue for different genders, since males and females tend to have very different views and usage patterns for video games. The first study was completed by Akinsola & Animasahun (2007), who sought to determine the effects of simulation-games environment on students’ achievement in attitudes to mathematics in secondary school. Their hypothesis was that no significant difference in mathematics achievement or attitude will be found when students are exposed to the simulation-game environment and the control group. They also conducted a pre- and post-assessment on students’ levels of achievement and attitude towards mathematics for validity, as well as test retest reliability. The study used 147 secondary students from Ila- Orangun Township of the Local Government Area of Osun State.
  18. 18. Video Games & Academic Achievement 18 The methodology included several procedures. First, for forty minutes daily, students were exposed to this program for three consecutive weeks. A pre-test on the students’ level of achievement and another pre-test on attitudes towards mathematics were given to the two groups. Next, the two groups were provided with similar text material on the program topics. Group 1 had the teacher introduce and discuss the lesson for ten to fifteen minutes. Afterwards, the students broke into groups of 4-5 to use programmed materials. No order existed in this group as to who would lead discussion and, after twenty minutes of discussion, everyone would work on the class exercise independently which would then be collected by the teacher for a grade. Group 2 (experiment group) began the same way as Group 1; however, when the students broke into their groups, the leader of the discussion was determined by whomever recorded the highest score after two tosses of a dice. Then, each student would have their turn in the order of the numbers that they rolled from the second highest to the lowest. After all of the students have had the chance of leading, the process is repeated. After twenty minutes of discussion, the students would work independently on a class exercise that would also be collected and graded by the teacher (P. 116). The results and conclusions were noticeable. The pre-assessment on achievement and attitude had scores that were not significant between the two groups. In addition, there was a significant disparity in the student’s achievement in mathematics on class tests within the period of the research from the experimental group being exposed. Also, there was a considerable variation on post-test achievement scores between the two groups, showing that the students in the experimental group performed better than the control group. The scores on the pre-attitude test had no major difference between
  19. 19. Video Games & Academic Achievement 19 groups. Post-attitude scores had a hefty dissimilarity because the experiment group scored higher than the control group. Hence, this means that the simulation game group had a better attitude development. Both hypotheses, however, were rejected based on this study (P. 116-117) The second study reviewed in this section, performed by Smyth (2007), examined the effects of being assigned to play different video games on academics, health, game usage, well-being, sleep and socialization. The study used one hundred university student volunteers. Seventy-three students were males, and twenty-seven students were females. They were eighteen to twenty years old with an average age of 19.2 and about 68% were Caucasian. The students were randomly selected to play one of the four different video game genres. The genres were arcade, console (like PlayStation), computer and multiplayer online games. Arcade playing students had to travel to the arcade, but otherwise, the games were provided to the students. Students were instructed to play for a minimum of one hour per week, for one month, after which time their usage would finish. Prior to the study, the students filled out a survey, determining their sleep patterns, normal video game usage, academic life and social health. These results were compared to the post- study results (P. 118). The results and conclusions were clear and perceptible. Before the study, the groups did not differ on variables like number of hours spent playing video games each week, how well-liked video games were, or number of video game hours in the previous week. After the study, those playing the multiplayer online games played for significantly more hours, had worse health but got greater enjoyment out of playing. They wanted to
  20. 20. Video Games & Academic Achievement 20 continue and had developed new, online friendships, though admitted it did get in the way with their real social life. Ultimately, with academics, there was no significant difference before or after (P. 119). I don’t like the fact that the participants were volunteers, because those who volunteer for studies are already more inclined to take some satisfaction out of the study. It would be more interesting to do this amongst non- video game students as opposed to those familiar. The final study was completed by Bonanno and Kommers (2005) who investigated gender difference and styles in the use of digital games amongst advanced biology students; an elaboration on the previous study in which the relationship between cognitive style and academic performance were explored. Two questions of concern: Do males prefer hands-on and visual activities, or ones involving the usage of a computer? Do females prefer collaborative activities, in school as opposed to out of school? This study investigated the constantly reported gender differences in the use of digital games. The subjects included 367 students in the sixteen to eighteen years old age range. The students were split into two groups: 324 Maltese students (that were 186 first year, 126 second year, and 2 others) and 43 Swedish students participating in a science exchange program. Out of 324 students, 241 were female and 126 were male. The methodology for this procedure was carried out in a survey format. The surveys discussed the time spent playing video games, the preferred gaming devices, and the preferred games, and were administered to selected groups after biology lessons. The Swedish group was given the survey during a field trip to the Maltese Islands. The completed survey sheets were entered into the SPSS statistics programs under several
  21. 21. Video Games & Academic Achievement 21 different categorical values, including name, age, gaming devise, time of playing and more. The results of the survey could then be analyzed in a variety of ways (P. 15-20). The results and conclusions were written extremely clear with graphs and charts to view. Six research questions were identified prior to the surveys being conducted. The first involved the preferred video game system. A computer was the most preferred by the students, and a Chi-Squared test showed that there was a significant gender difference amongst gaming devices: for every male, five females did not list their preferred system. Males played video games 6.71 hours per week while females played just 2.49 hours per week. This difference between the genders was consistent within each of the age sub- groups, as well. Additionally, first year males and females dedicated more time to videogames than second year males and females. There was no major data amongst game preferences, however, with genres, females favored puzzles and males preferred shooting and sports games (P. 21-36). Therefore, this test confirmed that males played videogames much more than females, regardless of age or year, and that they preferred much more aggressive games than females. It would be more interesting for a study to compare the video game frequencies and usage patterns between students with high exam scores and students with low exam scores. This grouping of studies did not do as good of a job as the other groups at identifying a true hypothesis and then following up testing of that hypothesis with a solid sample size. Gender differences and attitudes towards video games should differ amongst different types of people, but the extent to which they affect social life and academics is not defined too well by these three examinations.
  22. 22. Video Games & Academic Achievement 22 Methodology or Procedures The methodology and procedures, shown below, display plenty of variability across the research report. The methodology is divided into three sections. The first part, Design, is a preliminary plan for getting the research under way. The second part, Data- Collection Procedures, is interactive/non-interactive observations, interviews, and document collection. The final section, titled Data Analysis, is a process of categorization, descriptions and synthesis of an interpretation of the phenomenon under study (Jurs & William, 2009, P. 234- 239). Design 0-3 Hours Per Week 4-8 Hours Per Week 9+ Hours Per Week Adventure/ Sports Video Games Educational/ Arts/ Social Video Games Propaganda/ Violent Video Games Above is the factorial design for this study. A factorial design generally involves two or more variables in a single design. The cells, both horizontally and vertically, are determined by the levels of the independent variables taken in combination. Essentially, these are used in cases where the hypothesis can be altered due to more than one variable. In the current case of the effects video games have on academic achievement, two variables are of much interest: the frequency patterns—how often the students play the games—and the genre or type of the games played. Each has the potential to affect the outcome and therefore must be taken into account.
  23. 23. Video Games & Academic Achievement 23 Across the top, the horizontal cells represent the usage patterns, and are broken up into three different columns: 0-3 hours per week, 4-8 hours per week, and nine or more hours per week. Corresponding vertically are the video game genres. The three most prevalent types of video games are adventure/sports, educational/arts/social, and propaganda/violent games. Adventure/Sports games are games like Super Mario Brothers, Madden Football, or any golf game. Educational/Arts/Social refers to games like karaoke, Rock Band, Guitar Hero, or PSSA Pre. Lastly, Propaganda/Violent games can be found in the form of the ever popular Grand Theft Auto franchise as well as wartime games such as Call of Duty. The games need to be separated since different types of games can cause different results in the academic achievement of students. If a student played video games for two hours each week, and the games were sports-related, his or her name would be filled in the very first box. This process is repeated for each student before moving onto the survey phase. Some students will play a combination of games, with varying frequencies, and this will be duly noted in the 3x3 design. The students in question were in the eleventh grade at the time of this study, and were chosen due to their dual participation in both the PSSA and PSAT standardized tests. Data-Collection Procedures Participants in this study would be used from Northeast High School, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There would be 850 eleventh grade student volunteers. Participants would also be between the ages of 15-17 years of age, with a variety of ethnic backgrounds, including Caucasian, African American, Latin American, and Asian
  24. 24. Video Games & Academic Achievement 24 American. The participants in this grade will all be taking the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) in the spring, as well as the Preliminary SAT (PSAT). The students will be asked to complete a survey. The completed survey will develop all of the necessary components to position each student in the correct section of the 3 X 3 factorial design, which is shown above. The survey will contain a variety of questions related to the hypothesis of this study to determine the patterns, if any, between the usage patterns/ frequency of the use of video games with the type of video game to the students’ achievement on the PSSA, and PSAT. The survey will be a questionnaire in which students will answer the questions to the best of their abilities in sentence format. The survey will feature the following questions: 1. Do you have a job? If so, please explain your schedule, such as how many hours per week do you work, how many days a week, which days of the week, so forth? 2. Do you play any sports? If so, please explain which sports and your schedule. 3. Are you involved in any clubs/leadership programs? If so, please explain your schedule. 4. Are you involved in any service projects? If so, please explain your schedule. 5. Have you taken the 11th grade PSSA? 6. Have you prepared yourself for the PSSA? If so, please explain how. 7. Have you taken the PSAT? 8. Have you prepared yourself for the PSAT? If so, please explain how. 9. What do you normally do in your free time? 10. Do you play video games?
  25. 25. Video Games & Academic Achievement 25 11. With whom do you play video games with? 12. Do you play video games alone? 13. Do you play video games with your family? 14. Do you play video games with your friends? 15. Do/have you played sports/adventure video games (e.g. Madden Football, Super Mario)? 16. Please list any sports/adventure video games that you have played? 17. About how many hours a week do you play sports/adventure video games? 18. What days of the week do you normally play sports/adventure video games? 19. Do/have you played educational/arts/social video games (e.g. Rock Band, PSAT prep)? 20. Please list any educational/arts/social video games that you have played? 21. About how many hours a week do you play educational/arts/social video games? 22. What days of the week do you normally play educational/arts/social video games? 23. Do/ have you played propaganda/ violent video games (e.g. Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto)? 24. Please list any propaganda/ violent video games that you have played? 25. About how many hours a week do you play propaganda/violent video games? 26. What days of the week do you normally play propaganda/violent video games? Data Analysis The participants provide a simple survey of information regarding their involvement with work outside of school (after school/weekend jobs), extra-curricular activities (sports, clubs, leaderships, services), the types of video games they play, the frequency
  26. 26. Video Games & Academic Achievement 26 (hours per week) they play video games and with whom they play video games with. After the students have completed and turned in the survey, their answers will be placed into the grid and compared to their achievement scores on the PSSA and the PSAT. Significance of the Proposed Research The significance of the proposed research will be established on the basis of the anticipated outcomes and relevance to education. Anticipated Outcomes The problem that is found, based on the findings of research, has been developed as the effects of video games towards students’ academic achievements. Three questions I am concerned about and propose to fulfill: how do the usage patterns of video games affect academics, the impact of school engagement compared to the impact of video games, and finally do the types of video games (educational, adventure, and propaganda) have an effect on academic achievement? My hypothesis is that a relationship will exist between video game usage and academic achievement but the nature of that relationship will depend on the type of video game. Outcomes that could be anticipated from conducting this research proposal might include a number of results. The amount of frequency, mostly nine plus hours played weekly, that a student playing any type of video game, whether it is adventure/sports, educational/arts/social, and/or propaganda/violent, will obtain a lower score on the PSSA, and PSAT than a student playing 0-3 hours per week and/or 4-8 hours per week of any type of video game. Students playing propaganda/violent video games at any frequency (0-3 hours per week, 4-8 hours per week, and 9+ hours per week) will attain a lower score on the PSSA,
  27. 27. Video Games & Academic Achievement 27 and/or PSAT than students playing other types of video games. The participants in the educational/arts/social video games might acquire a slightly higher score on the PSSA and/or PSAT than students playing other types of video games. The eleventh graders possibly will achieve higher scores on the PSSA and/or PSAT if they are actively involved in school activities, including sports, clubs, leadership programs, and service projects. For that reason, the eleventh graders not actively involved in school activities, but activities outside of the school campus, such as a job, might obtain a lower score on the PSSA and/or PSAT than students involved within the school activities. This paper will collect data on investigating gender differences and style in the use of video games amongst male and female eleventh graders taking PSSA and PSAT. There might be a relationship between the performances scores on both assessment based on gender differences. In addition, the gender differences will correlate between the types of video games and the frequency of video games each gender might utilize. Relevance to Education This is important as it relates to education because of how important the results of standardized tests have become. Today, results of these tests carry so much stress that any way to potentially increase scores becomes extremely valuable. If participants of educational/arts/social games obtain higher scores, then these games should become a more featured part of the curriculum. After all, they offer students extra practice with regards to the lesson at hand and can potentially increase their score. Since these scores are so important, determining which types of video games can aid the cause will help teachers determine which ways to take certain lesson plans. Additionally, determining
  28. 28. Video Games & Academic Achievement 28 which types of extra-curricular activities correlate to higher standardized scores allows the faculty to stress the importance of joining clubs and getting involved. Reference List Akinsola, M., & Animasahun, I. (2007, July). THE EFFECT OF SIMULATION- GAMES ENVIRONMENT ON STUDENTS ACHIEVEMENT IN AND ATTITUDES TO MATHEMATICS IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS. Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, 6(3), 113-119. Retrieved October 18, 2008, from Education Research Complete database Anand, V. (2007, August). A Study of Time Management: The Correlation between Video Game Usage and Academic Performance Markers. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 10(4), 552- 559. Retrieved October 17, 2008, doi:10.1089/cpb.2007.9991 Assessment. (2001, April 1). Retrieved December 1, 2008, from http://www.pde.state.pa.us/a_and_t/site/default.asp. Bonanno, P., & Kommers, P. (2005, February). Gender Differences and Styles in the Use of Digital Games. Educational Psychology, 25(1), 13-41. Retrieved October 17, 2008, doi:10.1080/0144341042000294877 Din, F., & Calao, J. (2001, January 1). The Effects of Playing Educational Video Games on Kindergarten Achievement. Child Study Journal, 31(2), 95-102. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. EJ643651) Retrieved October 17, 2008, from ERIC database. Egbert, J. (2009). Supporting Learning with Technology: Essential of Classroom Practice. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall.
  29. 29. Video Games & Academic Achievement 29 Ip, B., Jacobs, G., & Watkins, A. (2008, November). Gaming frequency and academic performance. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 24(4), 355-373. Retrieved October 17, 2008, from Education Research Complete database. Jurs, Stephen G., and William Wiersma. Research Methods in Education: An Introduction (2nd Edition). New York: F.E. Peacock Pub, Inc., 2008. PSAT/NMSQT - The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. (2008, February 10). Retrieved December 1, 2008, from http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/psat/about.html. Smyth, J. (2007, October). Beyond Self-Selection in Video Game Play: An Experimental Examination of the Consequences of Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game Play. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 10(5), 717-721. Retrieved October 18, 2008, doi:10.1089/cpb.2007.9963 Uzunboylu, H. (2005, July 14). The Effectiveness of Web Assisted English Language Instruction on the Achievement and Attitude of the Students. Online Submission, (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED490528) Retrieved October 18, 2008, from ERIC database. Vogel, J., Greenwood-Ericksen, A., Cannon-Bowers, J., & Bowers, C. (2006, Fall2006). Using Virtual Reality with and without Gaming Attributes for Academic Achievement. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 39(1), 105-118. Retrieved October 18, 2008, from Education Research Complete database. Video game - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (n.d.). Retrieved December 1, 2008, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_games.
  30. 30. Video Games & Academic Achievement 30 Williams, J. (2006, January 1). Why Kids Need to Be Bored: A Case Study of Self- Reflection and Academic Performance. RMLE Online: Research in Middle Level Education, 29(5), 1-17. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. EJ804100) Retrieved October 17, 2008, from ERIC database.
  31. 31. • Abstract • Methodology/Procedures • Identification of the – Design Research Problem – Data-Collection – Introduction Procedures – Definition of Terms – Data Analysis – Identification of the • Significance of the Problem Proposed Research – Questions – Anticipated Outcomes – Hypothesis for the – Relevance to Education Study • References • Review of Literature
  32. 32. The focus of study in this paper involves whether or not the frequency and types of video games affect students’ academic achievement scores on the PSSA and the PSAT. Video games are a large part of the daily lives of students, and determining their relationship to the academic world is extremely important. Participants in this study would be used from Northeast High School, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There would be 850 eleventh grade student volunteers between the ages of 15-17 years of age with a variety of ethnic backgrounds. The participants in this grade will all be taking the PSSA and PSAT. The students will be asked to complete a survey. The completed survey will develop all of the necessary components to position each student in the correct section of the 3 X 3 factorial design. The survey will contain a variety of questions related to the usage patterns/ frequency of the use of video games with the type of video game and than compared to the students’ achievement on the PSSA and PSAT. The survey will also inform with regards to the extra-curricular activities of the students, since this type of out of school involvement may also correlate to higher or lower standardized test scores. This study is significant because of how important standardized testing has become, and how much time and money are put into improving the scores of students in this area. Determining certain extra-curricular aspects of learning can improve the scores can effectively help teachers incorporate these features into their curriculum.
  33. 33. • Terms to Know – Technology – Video Games – Types of Video Games • Advergames • Educational Games • Propaganda Games – Technology Literacy – Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) – Preliminary SAT (PSAT)
  34. 34. • Identification of the Problem – The problem that is found, based on the findings of research, has been developed as the effects of video games towards students’ academic achievements. • Questions – How do the usage patterns of video games affect academics? – What is the impact of school engagement compared to the impact of video games? – Does the type of video game (educational, adventure, so forth) have an effect on academic achievement? • Hypothesis for the Study – My hypothesis is a relationship will exist between video game usage and academic achievement but the nature of that relationship will depend on the type of video game.
  35. 35. How Usage Patterns of Video Games and Electronics Affect Academics Comparison of Academic Achievement With and Without Usage of Video Games Effects of Video Game Usages on Achievement and Attitude towards Academics
  36. 36. Design: 3 X 3 Factorial Design 0-3 Hours Per 4-8 Hours Per 9+ Hours Per Week Week Week Adventure/ Sports Video Games Educational/ Arts/ Social Video Games Propaganda/ Violent Video Games
  37. 37. Data-Collection Procedures › Participants Northeast High School, Philadelphia, PA 850 11th grader student volunteers 15-17 years of age A variety of ethnic backgrounds Caucasian African American Latin American Asian American Taking the PSSA & PSAT
  38. 38. Data-Collection Procedures › Survey Questionnaire of 26 questions Students will answer the questions to the best of their abilities in sentence format. Questions will relate to usage patterns/frequency of the use of video games with the type of video games to the school involvement of the student and the students’ achievement on the PSSA and/or PSAT.
  39. 39. Sample Questions from the Survey › Do you have a job? If so, please explain your schedule, such as how many hours per week do you work, how many days a week, which days of the week, and so forth? › Have you already taken the PSSA and/or PSAT? › Have you prepared yourself for the PSSA and/or PSAT? › With whom do you play video games with?
  40. 40. • Data Analysis – The participants provide a simple survey of information regarding their involvement with work outside of school (after school/weekend jobs), extra-curricular activities (sports, clubs, leaderships, services), the types of video games they play, the frequency (hours per week) they play video games and with whom they play video games with. After the students have completed and turned in the survey, their answers will be placed into the grid and compared to their achievement scores on the PSSA and the PSAT
  41. 41. • Anticipated Outcomes – The amount of frequency (9+ hours per week) that a student playing any type of video games will obtain a lower score on either test. – Students playing propaganda/violent video games at any frequency will attain a lower score on either test. – Students involved in school activities will achieve a high score of either test compared to students involved in activities outside of school campus. – There might be a relationship between the performance scores on both assessment based on gender.
  42. 42. • Relevance to Education – This is important as it relates to education because of how important the results of standardized tests have become. Today, results of these tests carry so much stress that any way to potentially increase scores becomes extremely valuable. If participants of educational/arts/social games obtain higher scores, then these games should become a more featured part of the curriculum. After all, they offer students extra practice with regards to the lesson at hand and can potentially increase their score. Since these scores are so important, determining which types of video games can aid the cause will help teachers determine which ways to take certain lesson plans. Additionally, determining which types of extra-curricular activities correlate to higher standardized scores allows the faculty to stress the importance of joining clubs and getting involved.
  43. 43. • Akinsola, M., & Animasahun, I. (2007, July). THE EFFECT OF SIMULATION- GAMES ENVIRONMENT ON STUDENTS ACHIEVEMENT IN AND ATTITUDES TO MATHEMATICS IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS. Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, 6(3), 113-119. Retrieved October 18, 2008, from Education Research Complete database • Anand, V. (2007, August). A Study of Time Management: The Correlation between Video Game Usage and Academic Performance Markers. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 10(4), 552- 559. Retrieved October 17, 2008, doi:10.1089/cpb.2007.9991 • Assessment. (2001, April 1). Retrieved December 1, 2008, from http://www.pde.state.pa.us/a_and_t/site/default.asp. • Bonanno, P., & Kommers, P. (2005, February). Gender Differences and Styles in the Use of Digital Games. Educational Psychology, 25(1), 13-41. Retrieved October 17, 2008,doi:10.1080/0144341042000294877 • Din, F., & Calao, J. (2001, January 1). The Effects of Playing Educational Video Games on Kindergarten Achievement. Child Study Journal, 31(2), 95-102. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. EJ643651) Retrieved October 17, 2008, from ERIC database. • Egbert, J. (2009). Supporting Learning with Technology: Essential of Classroom Practice. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall. • Ip, B., Jacobs, G., & Watkins, A. (2008, November). Gaming frequency and academic performance. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 24(4), 355-373. Retrieved October 17, 2008, from Education Research Complete database.
  44. 44. • Jurs, Stephen G., and William Wiersma. Research Methods in Education: An Introduction (2nd Edition). New York: F.E. Peacock Pub, Inc., 2008. • PSAT/NMSQT - The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. (2008, February 10). Retrieved December 1, 2008, from http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/psat/about.html • Smyth, J. (2007, October). Beyond Self-Selection in Video Game Play: An Experimental Examination of the Consequences of Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game Play. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 10(5), 717-721. Retrieved October 18, 2008, doi:10.1089/cpb.2007.9963 • Uzunboylu, H. (2005, July 14). The Effectiveness of Web Assisted English Language Instruction on the Achievement and Attitude of the Students. Online Submission, (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED490528) Retrieved October 18, 2008, from ERIC database. • Vogel, J., Greenwood-Ericksen, A., Cannon-Bowers, J., & Bowers, C. (2006, Fall2006). Using Virtual Reality with and without Gaming Attributes for Academic Achievement. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 39(1), 105- 118. Retrieved October 18, 2008, from Education Research Complete database. • Video game - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (n.d.). Retrieved December 1, 2008, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_games • Williams, J. (2006, January 1). Why Kids Need to Be Bored: A Case Study of Self- Reflection and Academic Performance. RMLE Online: Research in Middle Level Education, 29(5), 1-17. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. EJ804100) Retrieved October 17, 2008, from ERIC database.
  45. 45. Summary 1. Standard/Outcome: I.D 2. Demonstrate Mastery: (1) Basic principles of instructional design (2) Emerging programming, authoring and problem solving environments including collaborative projects (3) Designing document that presents information and links critical resources 3. Artifact Benefit: This document was created in Microsoft Word/PowerPoint to grab the attention of educators in a proposal format. Reflection In ELED 570 the end of the course I developed an action research proposal, in which I would really like to complete the study. The abstract was: The focus of study in this paper involves whether or not the frequency and types of video games affect students’ academic achievement scores on the PSSA and the PSAT. Video games are a large part of the daily lives of students, and determining their relationship to the academic world is extremely important. Participants in this study would be used from Northeast High School, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There would be 850 eleventh grade student volunteers between the ages of 15-17 years of age with a variety of ethnic backgrounds. The participants in this grade will all be taking the PSSA and PSAT. The students will be asked to complete a survey. The completed survey will develop all of the necessary components to position each student in the correct section of the 3 X 3 factorial design. The survey will contain a variety of questions related to the usage patterns/ frequency of the use of video games with the type of video game and than compared to the students’ achievement on the PSSA and PSAT. The survey will also inform with regards to the extra-curricular activities of the students, since this type of out of school involvement may also correlate to higher or lower standardized test scores. This study is significant because of how important standardized testing has become, and how much time and money are put into improving the scores of students in this area. Determining certain extra-curricular aspects of learning can improve the scores can effectively help teachers incorporate these features into their curriculum. I felt that this was relevant to education because of how important the results of standardized tests have become. Today, results of these tests carry so much stress that any way to potentially increase scores becomes extremely valuable. If participants of educational/arts/social games obtain higher scores, then these games should become a more featured part of the curriculum. After all, they offer students extra practice with regards to the lesson at hand and can potentially increase their score. Since these scores are so important, determining which types of video games can aid the cause will help teachers determine which ways to take certain lesson plans. Additionally, determining which types of extra-curricular activities correlate to higher standardized scores allows the faculty to stress the importance of joining clubs and getting involved.  

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