The purpose of this study was to measure the instructional effectiveness of digital game-based learning pedagogies in teaching digital citizenship skills to middle school students. These skills included identity exploration in online spaces and online privacy management. The researcher conducted an experiment with a population of seven middle school students at the Boys and Girls Club of Wooster. Over three sessions, participants played Digital Compass, a “butterfly effect” game that places players in real-world scenarios where the combination of decisions made directly affect the story’s outcomes. Participants took a pre- and post-survey that gauged their feelings on statements regarding internet usage preferences, digital safety knowledge, and playing and learning preferences. The survey found that playing Digital Compass significantly changed participants’ outlooks on feeling less important than celebrities they see online, likely due to the game’s exploration of the idea that online content is heavily curated and often not real.


Singh, Rohini


Communication Studies


Educational Technology | Instructional Media Design


digital game-based learning, pedagogy, digital citizenship, online safety, game-based learning, middle school

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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