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Game-Based Learning and Gamification in the Classroom

Table of Contents

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Concept by: Carmine Rodi Falanga

Description

Everybody loves to play games: they are engaging, immersive and fun. Thus, can we make our educational activities just as exciting and rewarding? This is “gamification”, that is, the inclusion of elements of game-design in other areas or activities. Research and observation suggest that gamification provides tremendous benefits when used appropriately. Hence, learning about it, and how to integrate games effectively in an educational framework, is a powerful asset in the curriculum of any professional in the fields of education and communication.

This course will teach you how to make educational activities more effective through the use of games and gamification. It will cover topics like traditional games, role-playing games (RPGs), tabletop games, LEGO, digital and videogames. There will be a specific focus on social and educational games. It will introduce participants to concepts and models of game design, providing them with the full experience of designing a game (phases of concept, design, prototype, playtest). As the game design is a complex activity, it will draw from engineering, informatics, psychology, sociology, history, anthropology, communication science, arts and more to make teachers feel at ease while creating their first game.

The course will have a very hands-on approach, combining elements of the theory, group work and discussion with experiential phases in which participants will have an opportunity to design their own games and learn from direct experience. As a participant, you will also be introduced to the concept and practice of gamification, and receive easy-to-apply tips to include elements of game design in your professional and daily life.

Learning Outcomes

Participants to the course will learn to:

  • Distinguish between various kinds of games;
  • Identify principles and definitions of game design (e.g., reward mechanisms, activity loops, habit creation, fun, immersive experience, emerging and branching storytelling);
  • Use games for educational propose;
  • Draw from their personal experience or design entirely new game-based activities;
  • Include game design elements in their educational work (gamification);
  • Exploit games to spread or reinforce values in communities and society.

Tentative Schedule

The schedule describes likely activities but may differ significantly based on the requests of the participants, and the trainer delivering the specific session. Course modifications are subject to the trainer’s discretion. If you would like to discuss a specific topic, please indicate it at least 4 weeks in advance.

Day 1 – Course introduction & Setting goals

Course introduction

  • Introduction to the course, the school, and the external week activities.
  • Icebreaker activities.

Setting goals

  • Identification of needs and goals for each participant and relevant populations.
  • Presentations of participants, their schools and the trainer.

Day 2 – Game design

  • Introduction to game design and the theory of “fun”: Why are games engaging and what can we learn from them.
  • Easy interactive games to explore learning in games. 
  • Practical activity: developing “1 page games”.

Day 3 – Games and education

  • Dynamics and Mechanics in games.
  • Educational games.
  • Case study: how to adapt a successful game for educational purposes.
  • Groupwork: game design.

Day 4 – Game values

  • Lecture on “Gamification” with case studies and examples.
  • Values in Games (adopting Schwartz’ theory of Basic Human Values). 
  • Groupwork: game design (continuation).

Day 5 – Videogame-based learning & Course closure

Videogame-based learning

  • Introduction to videogame-based learning and digital youth work with examples.
  • Playtesting of the educational games developed by the group.

Course closure

  • Course evaluation: round up of acquired competences, feedback, and discussion.
  • Awarding of the course Certificate of Attendance.

Day 6 – Excursion

Excursion and other external cultural activities.

Audience

  • Teachers & school staff: primary level;
  • Teachers & school staff: secondary level;
  • Headteachers, principals, and managers of schools.

Specifics

  • Activities: All courses include at least one guided city tour and one full-day excursion (usually on Saturday).
  • Certificate: Certificate of Attendance guaranteed for participants who attend at least 80% of the course.
  • Lessons: Classes take place in the Morning (9:00 – 13:45) or in the Afternoon (14:00 – 18:45).
  • Price: 480 €

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