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Study-Unit Description
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TITLE Games for Learning: Creating Effective Game Experiences for Learning

LEVEL H - Higher Level


DEPARTMENT Centre for the Liberal Arts and Sciences

DESCRIPTION The Unit is aimed primarily at educators wishing to develop skills in the use of game experiences for learning. The themes covered in this Unit include: an overview of play, games and learning, principles of learning in good game designs, immersion, engagement and motivation, virtual worlds, virtual reality and augmented reality games, gamification and game-informed assessment, game analytics. The Unit will introduce the participants to the themes and will explore them in some detail through literature and case studies. In addition, participants will be expected to play selected games, to critically assess the interrelatedness of elements such as mechanics, dynamics and aesthetics and how these impinge on and impact the process of learning in games.

This Unit will be delivered entirely in the online environment via the MOODLE VLE and will also make use of synchronous meeting sessions via Twitter and Google Hangouts. The participants taking up this Unit will be expected to log in to the Virtual Learning Platform and submit tasks consisting of weekly reflections, critique of literature and other reference sources, as well as a review of their game-based practice according to the weekly themes and topics.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the Unit the student will be able to:

- Critically evaluate the potential of game-based approaches to learning;
- Describe and assess the wider use of games in education;
- Recognise and apply the principles of learning found in good game designs to pedagogic contexts;
- Explain how the various games can be used to transfer effective teaching and learning in the educational setting.

2. Skills:

By the end of the Unit the student will be able to:

- Handle information found and gathered online effectively and filter it according to its value;
- Communicate effectively in the online environment using different digital media, by following best practice guidelines and Internet ethics;
- Co-create game designs in a socio-collaborative setting making use of virtual communities;
- Participate in virtual communities adapting to different roles and responsibilities for task completion;
- Strategically devise plans and methods towards solving set problems and achieving personal goals;
- Develop a consistent and constant communication process based on weekly postings that meets the aims and objectives set for this Unit;
- Demonstrate increased engagement with games that can be used for learning through personal gameplay.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- Gee, J. P. (2003). What video games have to teach us about learning and literacy. Computers in Entertainment (CIE), 1(1), 20-20.
- Koster, R. (2013). Theory of fun for game design. " O'Reilly Media, Inc.".
- Martin, J., Dikkers, S., Squire, K., & Gagnon, D. (2014). Participatory scaling through augmented reality learning through local games. TechTrends, 58(1), 35-41.
- Salen, K., & Zimmerman, E. (2004). Rules of play: Game design fundamentals. MIT press.
- Steinkuehler, C., Squire, K., & Barab, S. (Eds.). (2012). Games, learning, and society: Learning and meaning in the digital age. Cambridge University Press.
- Steinkuehler, C., & Squire, K. (2014). Videogames and learning. Cambridge handbook of the learning sciences.
- Walz, S. P., & Deterding, S. (2015). The gameful world: Approaches, issues, applications. Mit Press.

ADDITIONAL NOTES Pre-Requisite Knowledge, Skills and Competences: Teaching experience

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Independent Online Learning

Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Online Moderated Discussions and Postings No 50%
Assignment Yes 50%

LECTURER/S Stephen Bezzina
Leonard Busuttil
Vanessa Camilleri
Alexiei Dingli (Co-ord.)
Matthew Montebello

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.
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