To what extent do game design factors impact children’s engagement on digital education games?


This study explores the extent to which game design features impact children’s engagement with digital education games (DEGs). Research has highlighted that the topic of digital game-based learning (DGBL) is becoming increasingly complex, with benefits such as the acquisition of 21st century skills as central to its implementation. However, in this field of literature a void is presented around experiences of gaming platforms and how engagement can be heightened. To investigate this, an empirical, qualitative study was undertaken, utilising mixed methods and a sample of 6 children aged 10-12. 

The findings of this study generally supported existing literature. However, there were two emerging themes; - the mode of questioning posed by the game, and the extent to which the DEG supported customisation and character building (characterisation) through the use of the in-game avatar and reward mechanisms. – My research aims to assess the effect that both themes had on overall student engagement with the game through consideration of the synergy between the disciplines of teaching and game-design. These arguments stressed recommendations that if tweaks were made to the way a child is both questioned and rewarded, their engagement would be prolonged, possibly heightening the long-term benefits of DEGs. 


Child-led participation, Learning, 10-12 years old, Digital game-based learning, Engagement, Digital education games

How to Cite

Akram, S., (2021) “To what extent do game design factors impact children’s engagement on digital education games?”, Fields: journal of Huddersfield student research 7(1). doi:


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Sidra Akram (University of Huddersfield)





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