Critically Reviewing GraphoGame Across the World: Recommendations and Cautions for Research and Implementation of Computer-Assisted Instruction for Word-Reading Acquisition Academic Article uri icon


  • AbstractOverall, gamebased technology for early reading instruction has not robustly met the learning potentials of young readers. To better understand the effects and limitations of computerassisted instruction in classrooms, researchers have called for more critical attention to learning theory, methodological selection, and context for learning. GraphoGame (GG), an adaptive serious game designed to prevent reading difficulties through the promotion of soundsymbol connections, has been implemented in over 20 countries. Therefore, the GG research base provides an opportunity to synthesize research on a single computerassisted instruction across diverse contexts. Surprisingly, despite extensive use and further implementation plans, no review has yet synthesized GG's effects. Specifically, this systematic literature review, with an embedded metaanalysis, synthesized 28 empirical studies for theory, methodological quality, and outcomes. The GG research base was dominated by theories of reading disabilities and psycholinguistics. Methodologically, quantitative methods, focusing on phonological and decoding outcome measures only, were most common. The metaanalysis (n = 19), measuring GG's impact on wordreading outcomes, did not yield an overall meaningful effect size (g=0.02). However, among moderators (language complexity, duration of intervention, and adult interaction), adult interaction was significant, favoring implementation contexts with high levels of adult interaction. Specifically, studies with high adult interaction produced an average positive effect size (g = 0.48), which suggests implications for classroom use. Regarding future research, the authors recommend stronger clarity of theory, attention to learning context, and a more purposeful collection of process data, which can be obtained through greater plurality of methodology.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 6.5

author list (cited authors)

  • McTigue, E. M., Soiheim, O. J., Zimmer, W. K., & Uppstad, P. H.

citation count

  • 50

complete list of authors

  • McTigue, Erin M||Soiheim, Oddny Judith||Zimmer, Wendi K||Uppstad, Per Henning

publication date

  • January 2020