A new Griffith University education study will investigate how digital games enhance high-level understanding and learning.

“Digital games have an enormous impact on the lives of children but their potential to improve learning in schools has not yet been realised,” says Professor Catherine Beavis from the School of Education and Professional Studies.

She said many ‘serious’ games designed for schools had been introduced with little awareness of the role of context in game play or of links between digital culture, game play and identity in young people‚Äôs lives.

“This project focuses on literacy, learning and teaching in the digital age in the games-based classroom.”

The study will investigate how learners and teachers approach games, how games foster new literacies, and what happens to curriculum, learning and assessment when digital games are introduced into the school to support teaching and learning.

Researchers from Griffith University, Queensland University of Technology, Deakin University and the National Institute of Education/Singapore will work with primary and secondary schools in Queensland and Victoria and use a range of methodologies including surveys and case studies.

Professor Beavis says the study is important because it addresses the need for schools to connect with the globalised digital world by preparing students to be critical, confident and creative users of 21st century communicative forms.

“It brings together an international team with expertise in new media and new education literacies.”

The three-year study is funded by an Australian Research Council grant.