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In our second installment of the G4C Industry Circle series, Filament Games shares a case study evaluating the impact of their engineering game Backyard Engineers. Hear even more about how Filament makes learning games and measures their results at our upcoming Google Hangout on September 17 at 2 p.m. EST. RSVP here.
A Case For Learning Games

Learning games are at their most beneficial when integrated with additional instructional activities [1]. A well-designed learning game can be seamlessly integrated into classroom experiences to create a richer, more dynamic learning ecosystem.

Michele Huppert, seventh-grade STREAM (science, technology, reading, engineering, arts, and math) teacher at Spring Valley Middle School in Wisconsin, incorporated Backyard Engineers into her classroom activities and did just that. 
Backyard Engineers is an engineering learning game aligned to middle-school science standards, where players must customize different catapult elements in order to manipulate movement, accuracy, and range.

In order to bring the advantages of game-based learning into the classroom, Backyard Engineers was incorporated into an interdisciplinary unit tied to Next Generation Science Standards. Not only did the students enjoy participating in the game, results showed an increase in test scores between a pre- and post-test.

Key Results

  • An average 20.09% increase in general student scores between pre- and post-test
  • An average 9.56% increase in scores for students with identified special needs between pre- and post-test
  • An average 17.42% increase in scores across all students between pre- and post-test

Key Components of Study Design

  • Pre- and post-test data: Gained through testing using Google Forms
  • Designated in-class game play time
  • Integration of digital and physical activities to reinforce classroom content
  • Post-experience reflective writing activities
1. Wouters, P., van Nimwegen, C., van Oostendorp, H., & van der Spek, E. D. (2013, February 4). A Meta-Analysis of the Cognitive and Motivational Effects of Serious Games. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105(2), 249-265.
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