Influence of online computer games on the academic achievement of nontraditional undergraduate students.

Many US college and university leaders need to construct ways to engage and retain non-traditional students who make up 75% of student enrollment. During the Obama administration, the US was tied for 12th position with 39% of adults having a minimum of an associate degree. Digital game-based learning, when aligned with the learning objectives of a course or curriculum has been shown to provide a hands-on, interactive, and real-life application learning experience. Learners are engaged through the cognitive, psychomotor and affective domains which increase the opportunity for retention, persistence, and graduation. If the United States is to once again lead worldwide in college degree attainment, the percent rate of successful college graduates needs to raise to 56% by the year 2020. Finding ways to engage the largest but most vulnerable population of learners on campus is vital to the US global position and workforce development.


Technological advances have provided educational institutions the capability to explore various online teaching strategies such as digital games in the classroom. Though games can be used to engage various learning styles and behaviors, the platform is mainly practiced at the secondary educational grade level with traditional-aged students. Little research literature exists that explores the influence of digital game-based learning on the academic achievement of nontraditional undergraduate students. An extensive literature review of 77 articles was conducted using the procedure developed in Cooper’s Taxonomy (1998) for analyzing and synthesizing literature. Cooper’s system involved (a) formulating the problem, (b) collecting data, (c) evaluating data appropriateness, (d) analyzing and interpreting relevant data, and (e) organizing and presenting the results. This scoping literature review explores how digital games can be used in the educational environment to support the learning of nontraditional students.

Publication Type: 
Journal Article
Turner, P., Johnston, E., Kebrtichi, M., Evans, S., & Heflich, D.
Year of Publication: 
Journal, Book, Magazine or Other Publication Title: 
Cogent Education
Taylor and Francis
Date Published: 
Sunday, February 18, 2018
Place Published: 
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