Project Name:

A-GAMES stands for “Analyzing Games for Assessment in Math, ELA/Social Studies, and Science”

This project focuses on the convergence of two important trends in education: (1) the rapidly rising popularity of educational video games as a means to increase student engagement and learning, and (2) a growing focus on the use of formative assessment information to shape instruction that meets all learners’ needs.

The project studies how video games designed especially for education in middle school classrooms are used to support teachers’ formative assessment practices. The project explores the range of ways that middle school teachers:

  • think about and employ video games in the classroom
  • think about and employ formative assessment practices
  • employ the formative assessment features of games to support their formative assessment practice.
In this qualitative and exploratory study, our primary goal is to understand how features of games are related to teachers’ formative assessment practices. This study aims to yield important insights for the game development community and for educators about game features that are especially valuable for formative assessment, as well as features that have potential but for various reasons are not taken advantage of by teachers. The project will be conducted in two phases: a survey to investigate the video game and assessment practices of a wide range of teachers, and then follow-up case studies with a group of volunteer teachers in the New York City area. The project will be conducted during the 2013-14 school year, with findings reported in the Fall of 2014. We will share findings with the public through this web site.

Program Facts:

  • This project is a collaboration between two organizations. Investigators at the University of Michigan School of Education and the New York University Games for Learning Institute are co-leading the research, including all data gathering, analysis, and reporting.
  • BrainPOP, creators of animated curricular content for K-12 education is generously providing teachers in the case study portion of our study with enhanced access to GameUp, an educational games portal for the classroom. BrainPOP is also providing professional development for participating teachers related to their use of GameUp.
This work is funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. All opinions expressed are those of the investigators, and not necessarily those of the funding agency or the investigators’ organizations.