Defense Date


Graduation Date



Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Instructional Technology (EdDIT)


School of Education

Committee Chair

David Carbonara

Committee Member

Jeffrey Jackson

Committee Member

Deborah Scigliano


Gaming, Learning Environment, Sim City, Simulations, Video Games, WEBLEI


There are many ways to teach within a classroom environment. Traditional teaching methods have been successful because they can be applied in almost any classroom and are useful for imparting knowledge to a learner (Chang & Fisher, 2001). However, understanding and being able to apply that knowledge can be a challenge within a normal classroom environment. Simulations and games have been used in both the past and the present by the military and the government to teach and fine tune desired skills (Balci, Bertelrud, Esterbrook, & Nance, 1997). Video games and simulations give the learner a chance to apply their knowledge in a range of situations safely and with minimal cost. Many current video games mimic real world situations and can be used to create hands-on learning experiences. Learners gain self-efficacy towards the selected topic and are able to apply their empirical knowledge and cognitive reasoning skills.

This study planned to evaluate and compare the effectiveness of using video games in the classroom to a traditional learning environment. Learners will be evaluated on their perception of the learning environment and their retention of knowledge. According to the literature, video games provide a unique and diverse learning environment. Popular video games often have the concepts of social cognitive theory, scaffolding and application of knowledge built into their gameplay. The layout of the study was created with these concepts in mind.

The participants were adult learners from a community college setting who volunteered to take part in the two hour study. They attended two modules; one module to gain a knowledge base and another module that split the group into two different classrooms: Video Game Based and Traditional. They took the WEBLEI-VGB (Web Based Learning Inventory) that was adapted from an instrument created by Chang and Fisher (2003) and a Content Knowledge Assessment. The data was analyzed and the two classrooms were compared. Despite low participation in the study, the reported data and the addressed literature emphasizes the need for future studies involving video games, learning environments and knowledge retention.