Survey of Electronic Games That Teach


In this project, we have searched for effectiveness studies that have been conducted on educational games that teach and we have searched for any findings those studies may have come to. Dr. Carol L. Redfield, professor of Computer Science at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, has done similar research on games that were available to teach or practice concepts in K-12 curriculum in the 1990s. She found then that there was only one software tool that had any effectiveness study conducted with it. One the goals for this project was be to find out if any other effectiveness studies have been performed and determine what else can be done to enhance learning through the use of computer games.

In June 2005 Diane Gaither and Dr. Carol L. Redfield surveyed the existing educational games, reviewed educational gaming literature, and developed a database of educational games and what they are expected to teach. This website makes our findings available to you!

Periodically we will be updating our site to let you know when news happens or when updates to our database occurs. If we find new studies or new games that make and impact we will update this area to let you know.

As of May 2011, we have 1513 games in our database. Our database keeps growing as we continually add games that have teaching elements in them. More and more games are being created that have some teaching aspects to them. Many of them are now being created for play online. Check out the new games that we have listed in our database. It might surprise you what’s out there now.

Wii Fit has a study on it’s effectiveness on health for children with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) – Click here for details

Neil Redfield is at it again. This time his study for the effectiveness of games on education will be evaluated as to how much Algebra will be retained over a summer break by encouraging students to play the game Math Blaster Algebra during summer. They will then be evaluated to determine how the game was effective in retaining the learning of Algebra.

Neil Redfield, Diane Gaither, and Dr. Carol Redfield performed another research project. The Educational Game Effectiveness Study was done in 2006-2007 to answer the call regarding not being able to find scientific effectiveness studies on educational computer games. So Neil, Diane, and Carol decided to take the Algebra 1 game, Math Blaster Algebra to the 9th grade students of John Jay Science and Engineering Academy in San Antonio, Texas. The following link COTS Computer Game Effectiveness is the chapter submission that Dr. Carol Redfield, Neil Redfield, and Diane Gaither submitted as a result of this effectiveness study using Math Blaster Algebra.

The 5 week pilot study produced some very interesting results. We performed a pre-test, had the students play the game and log their time, and then issued the post-test. Upon completion of this portion of the study, the data was analyzed to find that there was a 9% increase of test scores of those who played the game compared to those who did not play the game.

Neil, Diane, and Carol will be speaking at the AACE-SITE Conference in San Antonio, Texas on March 30, 2007.

Dr. Carol L. Redfield and Diane Gaither have submitted a modified report for the AACE-SITE Conference held March 2006 in Orlando Florida of which Diane was asked to speak. This version of the Report was completed March 29, 2006.

The Games That Teach Report was turned in to the director of the St Mary’s University Undergraduate Research Fellowship program. Report was turned in October 18, 2005.

To suggest further games to be included in our database, please send an email with the following information about the game:

  • name of the game
  • publisher’s name
  • a description of the game
  • website, if any, of the publisher
  • learning area the product says it teaches
  • sub areas that are emphasized in the learning
  • age levels covered
  • grade levels covered
  • method in which the game approaches teaching or presenting the material
  • system platform that the game is available on
  • personal comments on how this game is or can be a benefit in education

to: Diane Gaither