Download the full-sized PDF of Digital Games & Computational Thinking in Pre-Service Teacher EducationDownload the full-sized PDF



Permanent link (DOI):


Export to: EndNote  |  Zotero  |  Mendeley


This file is in the following communities:

Graduate Studies and Research, Faculty of


This file is in the following collections:

Theses and Dissertations

Digital Games & Computational Thinking in Pre-Service Teacher Education Open Access


Other title
Evaluating Computational Thinking in Digital Games Constructed by Pre-service Teachers
Pre-service Teachers Constructing Digital Games: What Genre do they create?
video game play history
social media usage experience
digital games
computational thinking
pre-service teacher education
video games
game design
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Artym, Corbett Raymond Walter
Supervisor and department
Carbonaro, Mike (Educational Psychology)
Examining committee member and department
Buck, George (Educational Psychology)
Boechler, Patricia (Educational Psychology)
Carbonaro, Mike (Educational Psychology)
Department of Educational Psychology
Technology in Education
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Education
Degree level
The thesis consists of two papers exploring the area of digital game construction in pre-service teacher education. The first paper details the analysis of 166 pre-service teachers’ experiences constructing a digital game in the Scratch development environment (MIT, 2009). Pre-service teachers (64% male, 36% female) had no previous digital game creation experience and self-selected into an elective educational technology course that included this game construction activity. The purpose of this research was twofold: A) to find if pre-service teachers have any predisposition to digital game creation relating to genre, gender, and previous time spent playing digital games or using social media, and B) to quantitatively assess the computational thinking and game design skills demonstrated in the game they create. In the first paper, the games were classified into nine genre categories, identified from the literature, and their differences were compared. Results indicate a significant quadratic relationship between genders on previous time spent game playing across the different age ranges that were explored (males played more). Both genders reported playing fewer hours of games in elementary school and university, but more in junior and senior high school. There was also an increase in usage of social media as these pre-service teachers progressed from elementary school to university. As a whole, pre-service teachers are significantly more likely to construct action games with non-violent genres. However, when gender is a factor, males are significantly more likely to create violent action games, whereas there was no significance when testing the preferred game genre created by females. In the second paper, the Quality Practices of Game Design Survey was developed to measure the skills pre-service teachers demonstrated in their created game. A comprehensive review of the literature identified 28 key skills which can be grouped into seven categories: Problem Solving, Computational Thinking, Customization of Player Experience, Player Interaction, Player Immersion, Player Motivation, and Interface Usability. A purposeful sample was selected (40 games) and used to evaluate the survey instrument. Frequencies were found in evaluations and items were compared in the form of a correlational matrix. Overall, the set of video games built by the pre-service teachers indicate that they have a partial, but not complete, awareness of computational and game design principles. This thesis may be valuable in motivating interventions to compensate for potential game design predispositions and for developing an assessment tool for computational thinking and game design skills outside of Scratch.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication

File Details

Date Uploaded
Date Modified
Audit Status
Audits have not yet been run on this file.
File format: pdf (PDF/A)
Mime type: application/pdf
File size: 3569179
Last modified: 2015:10:21 23:50:15-06:00
Filename: Artym_Corbett_RW_201501_MEd.pdf
Original checksum: 120f9dfc384d02dc87d484c62bb551d6
Activity of users you follow
User Activity Date