Effects of game-based learning on students’ critical thinking: A meta-analysis

Weijie MAO, Yunhuo CUI, Ming Ming CHIU, Hao LEI

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

As past studies showed mixed results, this meta-analysis determined game-based learning’s overall effect on students’ critical thinking and tested for moderators, using 21 effect sizes from 20 empirical studies of 1,947 participants. The results showed that game-based learning had a significant positive overall effect on students’ critical thinking (g = 0.863, k = 21) and showed significant heterogeneity among effect sizes. Among game types, role-playing games yielded the largest mean effect size (g = 1.828, k = 5). The effect size of game-based learning was larger for critical thinking disposition (g = 1.774, k = 4) than critical thinking skill (g = 0.661, k = 17). Game-based learning also had a larger effect on students in collectivistic countries (g = 1.282, k = 10) than those in individualistic countries (g = 0.432, k = 10). Furthermore, this effect size was larger in later publication years. Lastly, the effect size of game-based learning on critical thinking was larger for studies published in journal articles (g = 1.154, k = 13) than theses (g = 0.378, k = 8). Copyright © 2021 The Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1682-1708
JournalJournal of Educational Computing Research
Volume59
Issue number8
Early online date28 Apr 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Apr 2021

Citation

Mao, W., Cui, Y., Chiu, M. M., & Lei, H. (2022). Effects of game-based learning on students’ critical thinking: A meta-analysis. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 59(8), 1682-1708. doi: 10.1177/07356331211007098

Keywords

  • Game-based learning
  • Critical thinking
  • Meta-analysis
  • Moderating analysis

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