Teaching With Video Games in Mind

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This is a presentation for the Reform Symposium 2011 on what we can learn from video game design about designing instruction.

This is a presentation for the Reform Symposium 2011 on what we can learn from video game design about designing instruction.

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  • Welcome to my presentation, explain who I am, thank the organizers, Steve Hargadon, Blackboard/Elluminate
  • Not necessarily what she is doing, but the look on her face. Can’t happen all the time, but that is our goal.
  • I don’t pretend to be an expert, but these are my observations and what I’ve garnered from my own research.
  • Game design---what makes a good game? Instruction, what really happens in school vs what should
  • Timely---just in time. Use right away. Useful—helps move player forward.
  • Games broken into levels, usually with a goal for each level. Player is made aware of the goal at beginning of level. Mastering each level before moving on ensures that player is ready for next level.
  • If game is too easy, no fun. If game is too hard, give up.
  • Back story, characters, social play


  • 1. http://www.flickr.com/photos/somegeekintn/5426529651/ Teaching with Video Games in Mind Mary Beth Hertz The Reform Symposium 2011
  • 2. We are not talking about……. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/game-theory/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamification … or actually playing games in the classroom.
  • 3. http://www.flickr.com/photos/49462908@N00/3983751145 We are talking about game play and game design as it relates to planning instruction.
  • 4. Let’s make learning look like this! http://www.flickr.com/photos/clover_1/3065372014/in/photostream/
  • 5. How?
  • 6. Low-risk learning opportunities … ..just try again! http://www.flickr.com/photos/st3f4n/4122728566
  • 7. http://www.flickr.com/photos/73645804@N00/864731205/
  • 8. http://www.flickr.com/photos/9544998@N04/4051730408 Manageable goals that lead towards mastery
  • 9. http://www.flickr.com/photos/exfordy/1184462890 Just the right amount of challenge…
  • 10. http://www.flickr.com/photos/7525367@N04/2162040262 Fun! Emotionally engaging!
  • 11. http://www.flickr.com/photos/vancouverfilmschool/3613743657 It’s how good games are designed!
  • 12. http://www.flickr.com/photos/26480501@N06/2961565820 http://www.flickr.com/photos/60057912@N00/4185191883 Thinking of game play and game design when planning your lessons and units will help you build meaningful, well-paced and engaging learning experiences.
  • 13. More resources
    • The blog post that sparked this presentation
      • http://philly-teacher.blogspot.com/2011/02/what-can-we-learn-from-gaming.html
    • Quest to Learn School, NYC
      • http://q2l.org
    • Gaming in Education Diigo list:
      • http://www.diigo.com/list/mbteach/Gaming-in-Education
    • Gameful (game design site)
      • http://gameful.org
    • Making Learning Whole by David Perkins
      • A special thanks to Chad Sansing (@chadsansing) and Sylvia Martinez(@smartinez) who helped me wrap my head around this topic.