Date of Award

1-29-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)

Department

Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

Anne Creany, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

George Bieger, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Theresa Gropelli, Ph.D.

Abstract

This mixed-methods study explored the perspectives of nursing students and educators on the use of educational gaming as an experiential learning strategy. The study investigated if educational games are being used in the classroom, the purpose for which they are used, whether or not educational games are beneficial to students in motivating them to learn content material, and students' and nursing educators' overall experience with and attitude towards educational games. The sample included senior nursing students and educators from a baccalaureate and associate degree nursing programs. Descriptive statistics and frequencies were conducted to examine the research variables. A Chi-square test was also conducted to determine if there was a difference in student and educator responses on the level of Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives that gaming questions were prepared. This study provided additional information into the perceptions of nursing students and educators and reinforced some of the information that was already known regarding educational games. Generally, games have been viewed positively and recommended as a way to motivate and engage students in learning. Despite the evidence supporting gaming as an experiential learning strategy from both a student and educator perspective, there is still resistance to use gaming. Three themes emerged from the data; gaming as a pedagogical preference, gaming as edutainment, and limitations of gaming due to logistics. A statement derived from these themes indicates the following: if experiential learning strategies are the preferred learning style of the student, if the student can be engaged and entertained and if there are ideal logistical factors then the student will be motivated and learning will occur. This statement can also be explained from the educators' perspective. These statements can lead to theory development in other studies and areas of study. This study may lead to an increase in the use of experiential learning strategies, such as educational gaming, as an innovative way to teach or review course content in a variety of educational settings in an assortment of subjects. Further research to identify the effectiveness of gaming as a teaching strategy would be beneficial to the development of other innovative teaching strategies.

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