Development of computational thinking using board games

A systematic literature review based on empirical studies


Palabras clave:

Unplugged Activities; Eurogames; Tabletop Games; Board Games; Computational Thinking; Systematic Literature Review


Computational Thinking (CT) has been highlighted as a key competence of the 21st century. The literature has pointed to the use of unplugged activities, including board games (BG), as a strategy to promote the development of Computational Thinking. Recently, new modern board games (MBG), referred to as Eurogames, have aroused the interest of researchers who have underlined their unique design and mechanics. To investigate the impact of the use of MBG on CT development, a systematic literature review (SLR) was structured using the PRISMA protocol as a reference. The focus was centred on the analysis of empirical studies based on the use of board games in school settings to promote CT skills. This paper opens with the presentation of several essential concepts, among which CT and Eurogames are included, followed by the results of the SLR, focusing on the analysed articles, the theoretical frameworks supporting the studies, the research contexts and methods, the data collection instruments and the results reported by the authors. Out of 85 articles, 11 studies published between 2011 and 2021 were analysed. The results suggest that game mechanics, typical of Eurogames, reveal the potential to promote CT. However, the use of these resources requires further exploration.


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Biografía del autor/a

Fábio Daniel Hermínio Machuqueiro, Instituto de Educação, Universidade de Lisboa

Fábio Machuqueiro trabaja actualmente en el Ministerio de Educación portugués, como profesor de primaria. Es estudiante del Instituto de Educación de la Universidad de Lisboa y candidato a doctor, en la especialidad de TIC en Educación. Está desarrollando un trabajo de investigación sobre la contribución de los juegos de mesa modernos al desarrollo del Pensamiento Computacional.

João Manuel Nunes Piedade, Instituto de Educação, Universidade de Lisboa

Assistant professor at the Institute of Education of Lisbon University, member of the School Council and researcher at the R&D Unit, Education and Training Research and Development Unit (UIDEF). Member of Competence Center in Technology and Innovation of Institute of Education of Lisbon University. My academic qualifications include a Ph.D. in Education - Information and Communication Technologies in Education (2017), and a Master in Technologies and Methodologies in Elearning (2010), and graduation in Computer Science Engineering (2006). My experience as a teacher started in 2004 in elementary and secondary schools teaching subjects in computer science disciplinary area. Since 2010, I'm involved, as a professor, in the initial teacher training programs of the Institute of Education. In the last years, I taught curricular units of Master in Teaching Informatics such as Didactics of Informatic and Initiation to professional practice. My research interests include Technology-enhanced Learning, Online Learning, Informatic Initial Teacher Training, Computer Science Education, Tangible Objects Programming, Computational Thinking, Artificial Intelligence in Education, and Learning Scenarios Design. I'm an author or co-author of peer-reviewed papers published in journals and national and international conferences.


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Cómo citar

Machuqueiro, F. D. H., & Piedade, J. M. N. (2022). Development of computational thinking using board games: A systematic literature review based on empirical studies. Revista Prisma Social, (38), 5–36. Recuperado a partir de