Announcing the Final Examination of Mrs. Emily K. Johnson for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy

Announcing the Final Examination of Mrs. Emily K. Johnson for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy

Date: October 30, 2015

Time: 2:30 pm

Room: CAH-192 (large conference room)

Dissertation title:  Making waves, mixing colors, and using mirrors: The self-regulated learning support features and procedural rhetoric of three whole-body educational games

This dissertation explores three whole-body educational games (WBEGs) using a quantitative study, a case study, and analyses of their procedural rhetoric to better understand the roles these types of games can have in teaching self-regulated learning (SRL) and digital literacy skills. The three WBEGs, Waves, Color Mixer, and Light and Mirrors, are similarly structured and intended to teach science concepts to players.

Self-regulated learning (SRL) is a complex combination of internal (mental) behavior, external (observable) behavior, and interpersonal (social) behavior, and elements that scaffold this behavior can be found in all three of the WBEGs. These findings inform the understanding of SRL by revealing that each game includes a different combination of SRL-supporting elements that encourage the use of SRL skills in different ways.

Procedural rhetoric refers to the underlying structure of games and reveals the playing techniques that are encouraged and discouraged by the game’s programming and design.  Techniques reinforced by these particular games include player agency, collaboration, player strategy, rote knowledge, and speed. These reinforced techniques perpetuate the underlying, cultural values of accuracy, collaboration, problem solving, autonomy, and scaffolding. This study discusses these values in the contexts of education and society.

Outline of Studies:

Program: Texts and Technology


Educational Career:

B.A., 2003, Dickinson College

M.A., 2007, University of South Florida


Committee in Charge:

Dr. Rudy McDaniel

Dr. John Applen

Dr. Robb Lindgren

Dr. Stacey Pigg

Dr. Stephanie Vie


Approved for distribution by Rudy McDaniel, Committee Chair, on October 16, 2015.


The public is welcome to attend.