Sayali Kukday

Game-based Learning

I recently read a great book on the impact of games by Jane McGonigal called Reality is Broken Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change The World. I'd highly recommend this book especially because as educators, we are teaching a generation of college students who are very familiar with the world of games. I'd also recommend watching her TED talks for those who are interested! 

I'm wondering if anyone has any other recommendations for reading about games and psychology, game design or game-based learning?

I'd also love to hear what your thoughts are on game-based learning, and how you would like to incorporate games as a learning tool in the classroom (if you already have, how you're using games to enhance learning!).

Looking forward to hearing form others :)

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Courtney Crabtree

Posted on 11/7/18 10:24:58 PM Permalink

​Sounds like an interesting read. I think boys like to learn through games. Some girls enjoy it but you generally are able to get all the boys interested.

Dean Utian

Posted on 10/3/18 12:21:17 AM Permalink

​Here are some good references:

Gee, J. P. (2004). Learning by design: Games as learning machines. Interactive Educational Multimedia, (8), 15-23.

Schell (2008). The art of game design: A book of lenses

Building the game layer on top of the world - Seth Priebatsch (2010)

SCVNGR's Secret Game Mechanics Playdeck

​If you're interested in game design or gamification, can add a lot more.

Tammy Moore

Posted on 8/16/18 11:56:17 PM Permalink

I have "Game Design Workshop: A Playcentric Approach to Creating Innovative Games written by Tracy Fullerton. She is an award-winning game designer, so she hasn't just gotten a degree in the theory, she has competed in a tough industry and won recognition. The edition I have is at but it has newer editions available now.

Avonn Nova

Posted on 8/16/18 1:15:06 AM Permalink

​Hi, this is already the trend in the K-12. You can visit for resources on game-based learning.


Posted on 8/15/18 11:59:46 AM Permalink

​Thanks for recommending the book.

Cindy Kringelis

Posted on 7/14/18 7:02:54 PM Permalink

Matthew Wager

Posted on 5/31/18 8:29:27 AM Permalink

​There are loads of lesson plans for using Minecraft to teach concepts such as verlocity-time graphs and displacement.

Anais Young

Posted on 5/16/18 12:49:42 PM Permalink

​I think this is a great idea as well! I am planning on teaching photography next year and now you have me thinking of how to including gaming. Maybe allude to those hidden object video games and how we can manipulate the photos we take to hide other objects from other photos we take!

Anthony Skip Basiel

Posted on 5/3/18 5:19:19 AM Permalink

Joanna Marcotte

Posted on 5/2/18 11:15:19 PM Permalink

I also found Jane McGonigal's book a great read. I know there are those that also take a look at virtual worlds and simulations in those spaces. I have read portions of

Games And Simulations in Online Learning: Research and Development Frameworks 1st Edition

by David Gibson Clark Aldrich (Editor),‎ Marc Prensky (Editor) - which has some interesting information. I found McGonigals book a more interesting read, however, Prensky, Aldrich, & Gibson bring up important elements when considering the implications for learning.

Charlotte Ferrell

Posted on 5/3/18 5:20:41 AM Permalink

Thank you for sharing those resources, Joanna. I have used simulations provided by ToolWirefor some health science courses for adult college students. I have also used some "locked into" the curriculum for humanities courses. I think it is more beneficial to provide educators with the academic freedom to select from a group of approved providers or publishers than to lock them to something that may not resonate with a particular group of students. Every group has its own range of personalities and mixture of learning styles. I like choosing games or simulations accordingly, and sometimes making them up to suit the audience/attendees.

Carlos Andres Orozco Palacio

Posted on 5/1/18 8:15:08 PM Permalink

​Gamificatión in the learning process is amazing improve the learning experience for the student and motive a lot to investigate and grow, i think if we need to implement this methodology we need to know how the games works and how can this help us to improve our classroom.

Buts this is only the first step in the journey to gamification our classroom or our topics, or anything else, some day i talking with some friends abut this topic, and to a good implement we need a platform or App to review the student journey and give them, experience point, badged, and any other things help us improve the Experience of Student in this new way to learn, all of this is capable thanks to UX and for this i can call this UxEd "User Experience in Education".

Joanna Marcotte

Posted on 5/2/18 11:17:10 PM Permalink

There is an application that does this.

It is based upon the research of Dr.Chris Haskell who teaches at Boise State University.

Tammy Moore

Posted on 8/16/18 11:36:28 PM Permalink

If you are teaching in a face to face class without technology you can still gamify, so that shows that gamification doesn't have to be dependent on a platform. The nice thing about platforms, though, is the automation ad re-useability which possibly could save you time in the long run.

There are ways to gamify in Moodle, Wordpress, Google Classroom, rapid e-learning tools like Captivate and Storyline, and gamification specific apps as well. but, perhaps that is not the starting place you really need to focus on. Why not start on what change you want to see or where the tough or boring spots are in your course that adding some gamification in can make it fun instead of boring or hard. I teach biology to high school students and despite them giving me the nickname of Ms. Frizzle because I really do a lot to make it fun and interactive I still hear year after year when we got to the two plan modules about how boring they expected the topic plants to be. We,, that just means that I have to work all that much more to make what they expect to be dull to be exciting. Here is one of the ways I made it fun -

Though you will not get to experience it as they do since this is more or less a lesson plan, you can get the gist of how the game is played. I teach online in a live online classroom where the students and I meet up in there at set days and times each week. You will need to modify the game to fit your environment. This game would be pretty easy to set up as an interactive for solo play for an asynchronous player experience and ti could easily be adapted to a classroom setting with a projection device so everyone could see it during gameplay. the graphics assets are available at style="">.

While you may not teach high school biology like I do, maybe the project will get the creative juices flowing. So, to gamify, you can take a little Adobe know-how and make about anything fun. You can even challenge your students to help their other teachers by designing things for the other teachers for their courses.

Charlotte Ferrell

Posted on 4/25/18 7:01:23 PM Permalink

I am a Registered Dietitian and Health Educator who, over the past 20 years, have had the experience of teaching nutrition principles and practices to health care professionals, entry-level college students, and children. Games definitely release stress and engage students in grasping more of the unique characteristics of nutrients when I have them create (or adapt) games based on such things as vitamin and mineral sources, benefits, deficiency symptoms, and overconsumption dangers. Whether it is children or adults, teams always come with rules, props and prizes to present their game for the assigned topic. People have found templates for game shows like Jeapordy, or made adventure-like cards without my ever including such things as a requirement. Recently one institution replaced instructors' ability to give or create their own exams with a bank of virtual test questions about nutrition. Eaach week I met hostile, angry, stressed out students who had just focused their time on looking for the answers to the questions in the assigned readings, and instead of playing with the answers or having people energetically compteting to give the right answers, people competed to discuss their horrible experiences with and opinions about the exams. I believe that an educator with specialized knowledge and experience in a field of study is qualified to identify elements of games that demonstrate whether students are grasping the desired knowledge or skill. I believe that the flipped classroom approach provides educators/trainers/facilitators to use audio-visual media to set the framework for a class session. Then, activities such as simulations, games, and docudrama can help anchor and activate the desired information and skills.

Anthony Skip Basiel

Posted on 4/15/18 7:46:56 PM Permalink

​Hello colleagues

Please see my R&D at

The root of this discussion is about 'telepistemolgy". How do you see virtual knowledge? The game is a process to that end.

Cheers Anthony

Charlotte Ferrell

Posted on 5/3/18 5:21:34 AM Permalink

I learned a new word from this.

Cheers, Charlotte​

Jordi Map

Posted on 12/19/17 9:38:36 PM Permalink

Thanks everyone for your experiences and advices. Game-based Learning is a really interesting topic.

Having said that, my question is:

  • How we can adapt Game-based Learning to Graphic and Video Design teaching?
  • ​Do you have some experience in this field? teaching Graphic Design or Video based on Game Learning?

It will be grateful if we can discuss about this experiencies.

Thanks a lot! :)

Joanna Marcotte

Posted on 3/15/18 1:33:08 AM Permalink

You could gamify your curricula by leveraging tools like Classcraft or 3D Game Lab (I think it is called Rezzly now). Though Gamifying your curricula you can design or have students design digital mastery badges for the course.

Jordi Map

Posted on 3/15/18 8:03:41 AM Permalink

Thanks a lot Joanna, really interesting your information :)​

Kathryn Arnold

Posted on 11/16/17 3:32:23 AM Permalink

​I am so interested in this area as well and will listen to the Ted talk and order the recommended book. I am currently taking the adobe education game design course and completed the CalArts mooc and began the Michigan State intro to Unity 3D. . I want to incorporate games in my classroom (and online courses) as a tool for learning concepts (I teach art history) and developed a game concept for 'the art collector'. however my skillsets are not high enough yet to take it to my classroom - I am wondering if it would be possible to work with a team in order to develop online learning games for higher ed?

Brian Schyth

Posted on 11/4/17 3:57:51 PM Permalink

Thanks for starting this post Sayali and thanks for the many other suggestions. I am considering to make small online games in captivate, but on the other hand my high school students here in Denmark often like to have cards or a real game board in their hands so that´s maybe also to consider when talking games or not. Actually, sometimes I combine a game with tasks they have to do in the class room. I am also a biology teacher by the way.​

Kathryn Arnold

Posted on 11/16/17 3:33:56 AM Permalink

​thank you - what a good idea to also incorporate physical game play!

Renee' Smith

Posted on 8/21/17 4:34:08 AM Permalink

​Thank you for sharing this info! I agree that game based learning does help students learn better. This method is normally used during preschool and kindergarten. Why has this stopped after kindergarten? If it's not broke, don't fix it!

Faten khalil

Posted on 8/11/17 1:03:48 PM Permalink

​Thanks for the info!

Jeffrey Brown

Posted on 6/14/17 8:33:08 AM Permalink

​Yes, there is a Professor with the last name of Gee -- a man very much involved in the literacy applications found in games. It has. Den a while since reading his work, but I believe he became interested while interacting with his son during video game time. He did touch on cognitive aspects, but his thesis, I think, was more focused on the use of video games as one of the multiple literacies.

My best,


Kathryn Arnold

Posted on 11/16/17 3:35:33 AM Permalink

​Hi Jeffrey, do you know where I could locate his research? I will try amazon but perhaps there is info online somewhere? Kathryn

Joanna Marcotte

Posted on 3/15/18 1:35:10 AM Permalink

Arthur Wohlwill

Posted on 1/3/16 11:53:33 PM Permalink

Here is a link to the game if you are interested:

Sayali Kukday

Posted on 1/8/16 4:12:35 AM Permalink

Arthur, your game idea is great! Thanks for sharing it.

Arthur Wohlwill

Posted on 1/8/16 9:30:17 PM Permalink

I added a somewhat simpler game to that site. I also have a similar game based on respiration which I can publish if you are interested. (Do you teach Biology?)

Sayali Kukday

Posted on 1/9/16 7:37:09 PM Permalink

Yes! I teach Introductory Biology to college students. I would love to see your respiration game! I will be working on developing a game this semester. Will share it with you when it's complete :)

Arthur Wohlwill

Posted on 1/10/16 9:01:57 PM Permalink

Kathryn Arnold

Posted on 11/16/17 3:39:33 AM Permalink

​Thank you for sharing - these are great/ very direct. Are you creating these in flash? if not, what application are you using? Thanks! Kathryn

Arthur Wohlwill

Posted on 12/30/15 4:55:55 PM Permalink

I use various games in my classroom. One game which I designed in based on a commercially available game called timeline in which players try to order historical events. However in my version, teams of students order events in biological processes. In the beginning, there are 2 events and students merely to determine which comes first. At each subsequent step, they have to place the event relative to all of the events that have already been placed. The later steps are more difficult (and are worth more points) since there are more possible places to put them.

I also play game like Pictionary using biology vocabulary.

Eliot Attridge

Posted on 1/3/16 2:44:06 AM Permalink

That sounds a great idea! I may have to copy that one ;-)

Ruth Alsobrook-Hurich

Posted on 12/26/15 8:30:07 PM Permalink

I am very interested in how gaming/virtual environments relate to teaching/learning. From the early years of watching my son play games to his teenage years where he met with people all over the world. These people would create teams with natural leaders and perform strategic plans to conquer their opponents. It was amazing to watch. These same people grovel over group assignments and need (some expect) step by step direction.

I've read several books on gaming and what it is about; Reality is Broken included. More books are still being read and virtual environments researched. Because of what I teach, many of these books are based on game design. The three below could be a starting point...

Game Design Workshop: A Playcentric Approach to Creating Innovated Games
Tracy Fullerton

Game Theory & Practice (Second Edition)
Richard Rouse III

Basics of Game Designs
Michael Moore
Would love to hear what you decide to do in the class.

Sayali Kukday

Posted on 1/8/16 4:17:57 AM Permalink

Thanks for sharing Ruth! I agree with the the transition from playing in teams to grumbling about team work. I do a lot of team activities in my classroom and have seen students not want to have a conversation with other people!

My biggest challenge is to incorporate elements of game-based-learning within a "required" course that has on an average of 300 students each semester.

Adobe Education

Posted on 11/23/15 6:29:08 PM Permalink

You must check out the work of Mike Skocko. He's the AEE guru of using gamification in his classroom - he's been doing it since 2011! I'd start here with his reflection on gamifying his classroom: and then search through his other resources to learn more.

We hope to hear more from you as you work on this!

The AEE Team

Sayali Kukday

Posted on 1/8/16 4:23:42 AM Permalink

Thanks for sharing this information! His work is fabulous! I look forward to sharing my progress in future posts.

Elias Ortega

Posted on 11/18/15 5:18:13 PM Permalink

Thank you for the book suggestion.

Sayali Kukday

Posted on 1/8/16 4:24:02 AM Permalink

You're welcome Elias!

Gareth Harle

Posted on 11/16/15 9:44:34 PM Permalink

At the moment our students do very little games based learning. We run a Minecraft club on an evening and it's proved very popular which leads me to believe that a games based learning project would be quite successful. I'm going to add that to my list.

I also think there's massive potential for a games based reward system in schools. I often think about how much time young people spend on MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft etc. I dream of an elaborate system that would engage youngsters, give them points for good work and test them without them knowing it. It could be wrapped up in a fantasy world which represents all aspects of school life. From moral and social skills taught by wizards to the science curriculum delivered by dragons. How exciting would it be to be part of a virtual school world!

I'm just thinking aloud - hope it doesn't sound too crazy!

Sayali Kukday

Posted on 1/8/16 4:31:39 AM Permalink

It doesn't sound crazy at all Gareth! I agree that we're trapped in a education system that is outdated and hasn't kept up with the changing world. It would be wonderful to transform the classroom from a place where students have to be to a place where students want to be, where learning and fun intertwine!

Let us know how things work out with your project!

Thomas Groves

Posted on 11/15/15 1:08:01 PM Permalink

Here is a great video for you to watch:

I have not tried it out in great lengths but I have done experiments with my freshmen level university students in my Intro to Mass Communications. I let students decide either to attend a series of lectures of to play a game system, in this case a board game, which had all of the same information as in the lectures but created in way where the information will help them beat the others participating in that particular game. I found that the students who played the board game were more likely to remember the content as they would use their new knowledge to defeat their opponents.

Yes, in their fourth year the students were using this information but because they understood it rather then learned it traditionally. It is something I have always wanted to pursue in more detail in a virtual gaming situation.

I can see how things like strategy games in realistic geographical locations like a nature photography game based in a particular location and students can collect points and benefits by understanding the geography might be a way to improve geographical knowledge. The one area in the vide which I liked was that we need to understand games must be voluntary in order for it to be successful. I mean after all who doesn't love to play games!

I am building a DPS photography package right now with my senior students with the aim to bring play and education together for youth learners.

Look forward to seeing what else people share in this discussion.

Elias Ortega

Posted on 11/18/15 5:17:51 PM Permalink

Hi Thomas,

Did you designed the board game for this class?

One of the things I do often in my courses (mostly MA students) is to have a game and craft table in the classroom. They can make use of it as they wish during the class. Often the real good conversations happened during a table game. (I have used board games such as Suspended, Qwirkle, and others). In nice Spring days, I take students outside to fly paper-airplanes as we discussed the material. The response of my students is often very similar: "I had no idea we could play and learn!".

Sayali Kukday

Posted on 1/8/16 4:37:54 AM Permalink

Thanks for sharing the video! I agree that games need to be voluntary, but my experience teaching college students has been that if you don't associate an activity with points students don't do it. I haven't tried incorporating elements of gameplay though. Your experience gives me hope! There is some literature on how game-based learning improves student performance and engagement.

Best wishes for your DPS photography project!