The Sum Is Greater Than the Parts: Deconstructing Homemade PowerPoint Games

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2015


Homemade PowerPoint games are a low-tech alternative for using game design in classrooms. To date, much of the research examining the games has not shown an improvement in performance. This has led some to question whether the games are properly aligned with the instructional strategies researchers have used as justifications to support using them. This study examined how increasing the structure of the game design project affected student performance when compared to control groups, as well as those who created games in previous iterations of the study. In addition, we examined the effects of student performance when two of the instructional strategies (microtheme writing and question writing) were tested in isolation. Most of the comparisons showed no statistical difference in performance; however, results from the final iteration yielded significant gains when compared to the control group.