Date of Award

Summer 2022

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Michael Grant

Abstract

There are many acceptance factors that might influence teachers’ intent to create instruction supplemented or enhanced with digital game-based materials (DGBM). A mixed-methods exploration of five research questions was used to describe how teachers’ perceived ease of use, self-efficacy beliefs, opinions about usefulness, perceptions of relevance, and past experiences informed their acceptance of digital game-based materials. This research study took place at Hill Street Elementary School, which is a suburban K-5 school within the Kaia County School District. Data collection was conducted using a survey, one-on-one interviews, and fieldnotes. A purposeful sample of nine interview participants from grades K-4, and 18 survey participants from grades K-5 was used. Teachers’ high agreement with statements of perceived self-efficacy and perceived ease of use were shown to be the most influential on DGBM acceptance. Perceived usefulness and perceived relevance were shown to moderately influence acceptance. Experience was the least influential construct tested in the study. Qualitative analysis identified three themes: (1) self-efficacy and issues with use influenced teachers’ views about DGBM; (2) effort and engagement influenced the use of adaptive learning games; and (3) independent learning opportunities and curriculum connections influenced acceptance of DGBM. Adaptive learning games made DGBM easier to use, but student technology proficiency decreased ease of use. Self-efficacy influenced teacher acceptance of DGBM but was mediated by teacher beliefs about how to implement DGBM and teaching students how to play the game. Perceived usefulness was controlled by motivation and engagement. Perceived relevance was affected by limitations of curricular connections in DGBM. Digital game-based learning experiences teachers allowed for their students influenced acceptance of DGBM more than teachers’ personal gaming experience. Future professional development for K-5 teachers is recommended. Improving teachers’ technological and pedagogical content knowledge of digital games (TPACK-G) could improve the use of DGBM and the constructs that influence acceptance. Also, by extending the results of the current study on a larger scale using an experimental design, future researchers may be able to examine the effects of professional development on improving elementary teachers’ perceptions of and experiences with DGBM.

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