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Educational Innovations and Emerging Technologies
Frequency: Quarterly Published by lIKll

Open Access
 EIET 2021/12
Vol.1, Iss.1 : 32-47

What’s in Their Words? How STEM Game Design Participants Discuss Their Projects, Motivation, and Success Differently

Denise M. Bressler1*, Leonard A. Annetta1, Alexis Dunekack1, Richard L. Lamb1 and David Vallett2

1East Carolina University, USA
2University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA

This study explored whether participation in a high school STEM game design enrichment program influenced students’ discussions of project goals, motivation, and success. Seventeen high school students were included in the study, seven participated in the game design program, while ten were traditional students. Post-interviews were conducted using a semi-structured protocol in order to capture students' lived experience in a rich, meaningful way. Transcripts were qualitatively coded by two researchers. Connections between codes were analyzed using epistemic network analysis. Based on experience grouping, we investigated whether there was a difference in how students discussed (1) their projects? (2) their motivation? (3) their success? First, our findings revealed that traditional students discussed performance goals, while game design participants discussed learning goals. Second, game design participants discussed intrinsic motivation while traditional students discussed extrinsic motivation. Third, game design participants discussed persistence in relationship to their success; traditional students did not attribute their success to persistence. Overall, our combined results indicate that traditional students were performance-oriented, while game design participants were mastery-oriented. Designing STEM games is one potential method for helping students develop the mastery orientation that they need for success in future STEM careers and for their future in general.

Keywords:  Mastery, Performance, Goal orientation, STEM, Game design, Persistence, Motivation

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Received:N/A; Revised:N/A; Accepted:N/A; Published:November 20, 2021
*Corresponding author; e-mail:

Citation:M., D., & A., L., & Dunekack, A., & L., R., & Vallett, D.(2021). What’s in Their Words? How STEM Game Design Participants Discuss Their Projects, Motivation, and Success Differently. Educational Innovations and Emerging Technologies, 1(1), 32-47.

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Copyright: © 2021  The Author(s). Published with license by IIKII, Singapore. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.