This research study examines preservice teachers’ experiences of learning through game design. In particular, we investigate how their perceptions of digital games have evolved through the process of designing and building their own educational games. We are also concerned with the knowledge and reasoning skills that preservice teachers incorporate into their games. Further, we investigate the 21st century skills involved in the game design and implementation process. In this case study, the participants are first-year students at a university in Western Canada enrolled in a secondary mathematics methods course. A total of 21 preservice teachers (10 males and 11 females) in the class participated, ranging from ages 20 to 45 years old. We collected three sets of data: open-ended pre- and post-surveys, games created by preservice teachers, and follow-up interviews with selected participants. The analysis of the data shows that the game-building experience impacted preservice teachers’ perceptions related to challenges, problems solving, and attitudes toward gaming and design. Further, their games demonstrated these preservice teachers’ fair understanding of pedagogical and cognitive components.

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Li, Q., Lemieux, C., Vandermeiden, E., & Nathoo, S. (2013). Are you ready to teach secondary mathematics in the 21st century? A study of preservice teachers’ digital game design experience. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 45(4), 309–337.