Assessing spatial geometry through digital gameplay in a minecraft summer camp

Liam Quinn McCashin, Lynn McGarvey, Mike Carbonaro, Connie Yuen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review


In the last decade, digital game usage in education has been on the rise across all grade levels and subject areas. Digital games are shown to increase classroom participation and engagement. Research has identified case-study evidence on some of these success stories but fails to lay out a concrete method for classroom adaptation. In this project, we studied Minecraft camp participants as they created digital artifacts in a sandbox game world. We explored whether student learning of spatial geometry concepts could be accomplished in a digital game environment. We found that practical math understanding was gained while playing Minecraft but transferred poorly to evaluation items that measured traditional conceptual understanding. Participants used spatial geometry concepts effectively in their camp activities, as evidenced in their digital artifact creations, but post-test math scores did not improve significantly. We argue that stealth learning is a valuable teaching tool but that it requires a more sensitive analytical tool to evaluate. Stealth learning may require an assessment strategy that matches its delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-57
Number of pages21
JournalUbiquitous Learning
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Constructionism
  • Digital Games
  • Game-based Learning
  • Minecraft
  • Stealth Assessment


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