First Advisor

Ku, Heng-Yu

First Committee Member

Farber, Matthew

Second Committee Member

Kyser, Christine D.

Third Committee Member

Lahman, Maria K.E.

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Document Type


Date Created



College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, Educational Technology Programs, Ed Tech Student Work

Embargo Date



Incorporating game-based learning and technology integration into teacher preparation programs through communities of practice can effectively bridge the gap between theory and practice. This approach involves creating simulations of real-life situations, enabling preservice teachers to prepare to co-construct knowledge and connect with learners on pedagogical and interpersonal levels. The purpose of this critical case study was to explore preservice teachers' experiences constructing game-based learning experiences by collaborating in groups to develop a content-based educational card game along with a lesson plan based on the technological, pedagogical, and content knowledge (TPACK) framework. This study's epistemological view is the transformative learning theory, and the ontological viewpoint is constructivism. This study aims to provide a deeper understanding of the intersection between game-based and technology integration pedagogies to contribute to developing best practices for preservice teacher education. A total of 50 preservice teachers participated in two undergraduate educational technology courses, one for early education (EdTech1) and the second for middle and high school (EdTech2). The findings were analyzed as a case-within-case design in the context of constructing game-based learning experiences. Each course was analyzed separately, and the unique and common thematic relationships were discussed. The research questions included: 1) What are preservice teachers' experiences with developing game-based learning experiences using a content-adaptable card game template? 2) What are preservice teachers' experiences with integrating technology into lesson plans using the TPACK framework? 3) What are preservice teachers' experiences collaborating in small groups to develop educational card games and lesson plans? Thematic findings were derived from three data sources: 1) playtest debrief forms, 2) individual written learning reflections, and 3) two focus group interviews. The findings included 26 unique themes and five intersecting themes from both cases. The case of EdTech1 explored a focus on the creative utilization of game-based learning, deepening understanding of pedagogical methods, addressing developmentally appropriate tools, and focusing on engaging experiences. The case of EdTech2 focused on fostering social-emotional growth, rethinking pedagogical approaches, and shifting tradition to embrace change. The intersecting findings between cases involve creating an engaging, collaborative, standards-based, technology-infused, and reflective approach that prepares learners for the real world.

Abstract Format



205 pages

Local Identifiers


Rights Statement

Copyright is held by the author.

Available for download on Tuesday, May 13, 2025