Samantha A Malick



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The ability to attend to relevant information and resist attention to distractors is important for children’s cognitive development. Much has been written in the news about the impact of electronic media on children’s development of attention skills, but little research has been done explicitly comparing children’s attention to relevant information and resistance to distractions across activities that are presented as either a computerized or tactile learning game. The goal of this study is to compare levels of attention and distraction among preschool-aged children while they engage in a common childhood activity, playing a board game which has shown to be helpful in teaching children about the number line, which is either presented in a computerized or tactile format. Also, comparing children’s basic comprehension of the game across conditions will provide information on whether tactile or computerized games are more beneficial for children to get the most out of the task. Previous research is mixed on the potential benefits of computerized activities compared to tactile versions. I hypothesized that while children’s visual attention may be greater while playing the computerized game, the use of tactile pieces and the tactile game itself may serve as an interactive way to boost comprehension. I hypothesized that children will have greater comprehension of the game when it is a tactile board game. I observed a sample of 12 children and their parents playing either the computerized or tactile version of Linear Numbers Board Game (Seglar & Ramani, 2009). Children’s attention, distraction, and understanding was coded to determine how computerized and tactile games affect these skills.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Honors Thesis - Undergraduate

Primary Advisor

Mary Fuhs

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium project

Effects of Playing Computerized versus Tactile Learning Games on Preschoolers’ Attention Skills and Comprehension: A Pilot Study