Examining the Pedagogical Foundations of Modern Educational Computer Games

From Section:
Theories & Approaches
Dec. 01, 2008

Source: Computers & Education, Volume 51 No. 4, p. 1729-1743. December 2008
(Reviewed by The Portal Team)

This study examines the pedagogical foundations of modern educational (computer video)
games. Specifically, Cooper’s [Cooper, H. (1985, Mar 31–April 4).


Initially, Cooper’s (1985) literature framework was used to define the (a) goal, (b) coverage, (c) organization, and (d) audience for the study.
The goal was to identify instructional strategies and related pedagogical foundations used to design educational games. The review had an exhaustive coverage with selection of a sample of relevant works.
The results are organized conceptually and the relevant works are presented based on the instructional strategies or the learning theories used to design each game.

Cooper’s (1988) procedure for synthesizing literature was then applied to (a) formulate the problem, (b) collect data, (c) evaluate the appropriateness of the data, (d) analyze and interpret relevant data, and (e) organize and present the results.

A taxonomy of literature reviews. In paper presented at the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL] literature review framework was used to locate and examine relevant literature and games (published between the years 2000 and 2007) and to organize and report findings. A total of 50 articles and 55 educational games met specified selection criteria. The pedagogical foundations of the games were further investigated by contacting the authors of the games. Twenty-two games were based on established learning theories or instructional strategies and two games included basic instructional events that were not associated with any particular theory or strategy. No information regarding the pedagogical foundations of the 31 games was found or received. Analysis of the games and supporting literature revealed several patterns of practice that may be used to guide future research and development of educational games.

Cooper, H. (1985, Mar 31–April 4). A taxonomy of literature reviews. In Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL.
Cooper, H. (1988). The structure of knowledge synthesis: A taxonomy of literature reviews. Knowledge in Society, 1, 104–126.


Updated: Dec. 20, 2021
Computers | Education theories | Games in education | Pedagogical methodologies | Pedagogy