Digital Game-based Pedagogical Activities in Primary Education: A Review of Ten Years’ Studies

Liping Sun, Xiaojun Chen, Heli Ruokamo

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In primary education, digital games give students the opportunity to explore and participate in digital learning environments. Several researchers have found that digital game-based learning in primary education has many benefits. However, studies have also identified certain problems related to the use digital games in learning. This paper presents the findings of a systematic review of empirical studies published between May 2009 and May 2019 focusing on students’ learning outcomes and teachers’ pedagogical activities in digital game-based learning in primary education. The results indicated that support, guidance, and interaction are the most frequently used pedagogical activities during gameplay sessions in primary education and that teachers’ most significant concern with regard to learning outcomes is knowledge acquisition, followed by attitude and motivation, skill outcomes, and behavior change. The findings will be useful for enabling researchers and teachers to integrate effective pedagogical activities into digital game-based learning strategies. Further studies are proposed to explore teachers’ competencies in relation to digital learning environments in primary education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-92
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Technology in Teaching and Learning
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021
MoEC publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal


  • digital game-based learning
  • earning outcomes
  • pedagogical activities
  • primary education

Field of science

  • Media and communications


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