Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

Game-Based Learning (#GBL) and ADHD

From paper : GAME-BASED LEARNING AND ADHD, by Safia Doumani, California State University San Marcos, Spring, 2013

It is a common story: The same child who cannot stay at his desk for more than fifteen minutes at a time is perfectly happy to spend six hours at home mastering his favorite video game. The real problem might not be an attention deficit, but a lack of engagement. Students with ADHD are perfectly capable of concentrating for long periods of time on content that interests them. The task for teachers is to figure out how to make the process of mastering academic content as interesting as playing games. The solution is surprisingly simple: teachers need to incorporate games into the learning process.


Current research does very little to tell teachers how to incorporate learning games into their lessons. The purpose of this project is to develop a website where teachers can go for information about different learning games. The following question will guide my research: Do learning games help to motivate students with ADHD? Ultimately, I want to develop a set of game-based learning activities that middle school teachers can easily incorporate into their lessons.

Project Abstract

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is one of the most commonly diagnosed learning disorders among children. Students with ADHD struggle to pay attention and control their impulses in class. This behavior often provokes frustration in teachers and leads to serious academic problems. Students with ADHD are significantly more likely than their peers to be placed in lower-level classes and drop out of high school. Current research shows that students with ADHD respond well to game-based learning activities. Further research must be conducted to determine which games yield the best academic results. In response to this information, I created a website with instructions for several learning games that teachers can use in their classrooms to motivate their students with ADHD.

game based learningInclusive Classroom Games Website

Website Address:

On this site, you will find:

  • Easy ways to align games to the lessons you develop to meet the new California State Common Core Standards
  • Links to the Standards by grade level and subject
  • The criteria used in selecting games for this site
  • Lists of games and game supplies
  • Suggestions for successful game-play
  • A place for you to share the games and your game ideas

It also contains information about aligning games with standards. Teachers could use the documents provided to guide their planning.

The paper can be downloaded here : GAME-BASED LEARNING AND ADHD


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“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.” -------- Chinese Wisdom "Games are the most elevated form of investigation." -------- Albert Einstein
"I'm calling for investments in educational technology that will help create digital tutors that are as effective as personal tutors, educational software as compelling as the best video game," President Barack Obama said while touring a tech-focused Boston school (year 2011).
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