School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Nathan Putney


Digital Game-Based Learning, Gifted Learners, Instructional Technology


Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | Educational Psychology | Online and Distance Education | Other Education


The purpose of this quasi-experimental non-equivalent control group study was to determine the presence of a statistically significant difference in the mathematics achievement of gifted learners when utilizing digital game-based learning (DGBL) for supplemental mathematics instruction when compared to gifted learners not utilizing DGBL. This study compared the Student Growth Percentile (SGP) of 105 sixth-grade gifted participants from two public middle schools as measured by the Renaissance Learning STAR Math Test. The participants took a pretest, completed 540 minutes of supplemental mathematics instruction over a nine-week period, and took a posttest. Participants were randomly selected for the treatment group who utilized a variety of DGBL activities, or participants were randomly selected for the control group who utilized traditional, paper-based mathematics activities. Independent-samples t-tests were used to analyze the SGP between the participants utilizing DGBL and participants not utilizing DGBL, males utilizing DGBL and males not utilizing DGBL, and females utilizing DGBL and females not utilizing DGBL. The importance of this study is to provide educators with knowledge about enhanced instructional technology practices above the prescribed curriculum that may facilitate levels of student achievement for gifted students. No statistical differences in the SGP were found between the treatment group and the control group. Recommendations for further research include the use of specific DGBL games to reduce variations in quality from one publisher to the next, the inclusion of participants from diverse geographic regions, ethnicities, and socioeconomic levels, and data collection over a sustained period of time.