Journal of Research in Technical Careers


agriculture, food, and natural resources education; educational games; experiential learning; professional development; problem-centered learning


Educational Methods | Vocational Education


Educational games provide learners with team-based, experiential, and problem-centered learning opportunities. Therefore, educational games are recommended to encourage learner success in an increasingly complex and collaborative world. Research exploring interventions to increase teacher affinity toward games is needed to inform expansion of games within classrooms. The current study leveraged the input, environment, and outcomes model to analyze perceptions of games held by school-based agriculture, food, and natural resources (AFNR) educators before and after a professional development experience focused on educational games. Results indicate teachers held a favorable perception of games before engaging in the professional development. Engagement in the professional development was related to only minimal increases in the perceptions held by teachers regarding educational games. Importantly, individual items within the construct illuminate an expanded view of educational games and their utility within AFNR classrooms as a result of the professional development experience. Specifically, respondents saw educational games as being valuable to engage learners in new content, not just as a review tool. Findings suggest a professional development experience related to games may help expand teacher conceptualizations of educational game utility. Specific recommendations are included to expand teacher understanding and use of educational games.