Characteristics of a “learning game” and an understanding of ways that games can provide meaningful experiences
How to design, develop, and test a learning game, utilizing educational frameworks and incorporating feedback
Types and kinds of challenges regarding implementation and assessment of learning games
Current state and emerging trends of the educational games market
The field of learning games is rapidly growing, with interest from academics, publishers, schools and startups. But what makes a good learning game? Where do ideas come from and how do you create them? These are the questions that this course tries to answer.
The premise of learning games from some perspectives seems like a perfect and easy solution – get people to learn things they don’t want to by motivating them through game play. To others it seems like an oxymoron – if learning is hard then it can’t possibly be fun at the same time. The key to designing good learning games is to reconcile these perspectives by creating games that focus on creating environments based on “hard fun.” This idea will be a central tenet of this course.
Through six units comprising nine weeks, we will look at the evolution of educational video games and hear from experts working on many aspects of learning games from design to development to implementation. For the course project, participants will create their own learning game. This course utilizes Gameblox, a game editor that uses a block based programming language to allow anyone to create games.
Experience playing games (of any type). Recommended: Some educational experience. 11.132x and 11.126x are not required but are one pathway into the course.