The Use of Digital Games by Teacher Educators in Colleges of Education

Orit Avidov Ungar, Merav Hayak
Journal of Information Technology Education: Research  •  Volume 22  •  2023  •  pp. 373-387

The current research examined the use of digital games in the fully online learning context imposed by lockdowns in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, we sought to understand the contribution that digital games made to teacher educators and how they used digital games in their remotely delivered courses.

Teacher educators experienced in using digital games in their teaching were interviewed regarding the contribution digital games made to their pedagogy when they were teaching remotely during COVID-19.

This qualitative study included 34 participants who taught four-year-degree programs in 13 teacher education colleges in Israel.

This study sheds light on a sparsely researched area by examining the contribution of digital games to teacher educators' pedagogy. The study also suggests practical implications for implementing digital games for teacher educators.

Many participants used digital games. Some used them extensively as an integral component of the curriculum while others used them to break up the lesson and thereby retain their students’ interest and attention. However, a small number reduced their use of digital games citing work overload.

This study suggests that education systems may be able to obtain post-pandemic-related gains to further advance the use of digital games as a pedagogic strategy in teacher education in the future.

An additional study using a more representative sample of teacher educators would be very valuable to gauge the roll-on effects of the sudden shift to remote online learning on the use of digital games following the return to face-to-face teaching and learning.

The findings have implications for how the use of digital games should be addressed in teacher education at teacher colleges.

Future research can address possible contributions or challenges that teacher educators face when using digital games, for example, in a hybrid learning environment to enhance engagement and promote active learning.

higher education, digital games, pre-service teacher education, COVID-19, active learning
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