Gaming in the Classroom: A mixed-methods investigation of MinecraftEdu in a rural career and technical education course
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Rural school districts all over the state of Texas are looking for ways to prepare students to become college and career ready. However, rural districts face challenges with the lack of qualified and certified career and technical education teachers, a decrease in offered endorsement electives and the lack of nearby industry and college partners. The purpose of this study was to determine if MinecraftEdu implemented in a career and technical education course could increase academic achievement. As well as, examine student’s perceptions of MinecraftEdu being used as an instructional tool. This study used a mixed-methods research design completed in two phases. Phase I used a pre-and post-assessment to determine if MinecraftEdu had a significant effect on academic achievement. Phase II used focus group interviews to understand how the participants in a rural high school perceive using MinecraftEdu in a career and technical education course. The analysis indicated there was not statistically significant data due to the small sample size. The focus group interviews found students were overwhelming interested in implementing MinecraftEdu into future courses. However, students lack of experience using MinecraftEdu played a vital role on student response and self-efficacy. Additional research replicating this study on a large sale at multiple rural high schools and other CTE courses is recommended for future research.