Date of Award

Fall 2020

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Christopher Bogiages


This qualitative action research dissertation was an endeavor to strengthen the practitioner-researcher’s ability to foster collaboration skills among eighth grade students in his elective science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) class. The research question that anchored this study was: To what extent can I foster effective collaboration among my middle school students through the use of an instructional planning framework for collaboration and the strategies associated with digital game-based learning The practitioner-researcher implemented an intervention that utilized a collaborative learning framework while student groups worked together during a digital game-based learning opportunity. The synthesis of a collaboration framework, the elements of effective collaboration (Lai, DiCerbo, & Foltz, 2017), and digital game-based learning (Prensky, 2001), informed the intervention for this study. The intervention of collaborative digital game-based learning was applied in the study context, yielding key findings to inform the practitioner-researcher’s practice. The study found that in the researcher’s context, informal coaching was a valuable part of the collaborative intervention, and that process benchmarking with intermediate projects deadlines could help to alleviate the build.


© 2020, David William Hooks