Digital games and the US National Research Council's science proficiency goals

Mario Martinez-Garza, Douglas B. Clark, Brian Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


This review synthesises research on digital games and science learning as it supports the goals for science proficiency outlined in the report by the US National Research Council on science education reform. The review is organised in terms of these research-based goals for science proficiency in light of their alignment with current science education standards and reform documents worldwide. Overall, the review suggests that digital games can support science learning across the four strands but also suggests that there are few strong quantitative studies examining some of the strands. Much of the research conducted to date has centred primarily on the potential of games to scaffold conceptual knowledge, engagement and participation. Less research has focused on epistemological understanding and science process skills. While much debate has asked whether digital games are 'good' or 'bad' for learning, the research across the strands highlights that the design of digital games, rather than their medium, ultimately determines their efficacy for learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-208
Number of pages39
JournalStudies in Science Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • digital games
  • games for learning
  • literature review
  • science education
  • science proficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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