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Game Design for Learning

Alex Chisholm

The Learning Games Network is a highly regarded organization committed to helping teachers use games and game-design for learning. Participants in this mini-course will benefit from the resources of the Design Corps Program and its Game Design Tool Kit — an innovative and free online resource to help teachers integrate game design across the curriculum. The toolkit has been specifically refined for STEMx teachers within this exclusive mini-course, and the content will also build a bridge to a larger set of game-based learning resources and introduce teachers to the Playful Learning knowledge network. Teachers who currently implement project-based instructional activities will find adapting the GDTK a breeze!

Mini-Course and Registration Schedule:
This mini-course is self-paced and can be started upon enrollment.

Instructor: Alex Chisholm — Learning Games Network

  • Activity One. All quests require mini-course participants to tackle one phase of the GDTK with a group of local educators.  Thus, completion of a quest requires registration and collaboration with a team of three to five (3-5 teachers).  The first “quest” will be to (a) identify and register a team of collaborators; (b) identify a grade-level AND subject area for your team’s game concept; (c) complete the RESEARCH prompts of the GDTK; and (d) document an EXPLORE implementation plan for each team member’s classroom.  Time Estimate: One-two (1-2) hours.
  • Activity Two. The second “quest” will be to (a) complete the DISCOVER prompts of the GDTK, where mini-course participants brainstorm a creative learning game design; and (b) document an DISCOVER implementation plan for each team member’s classroom.  Time Estimate: Three to five (3-5) hours.
  • Activity Three. The third “quest” will be to (a) complete the CREATE prompts of the GDTK, where teachers build a level of their game concept for peer testing; (b) test the paper prototype with other local teachers; and (c) document a CREATE implementation plan for each team member’s classroom.  Time Estimate: Three to five (3-5) hours.
  • Final Activity. The final “quest” will be to (a) complete the SHARE prompts of the GDTK by pulling together previous “quest” deliverables to produce a complete game design implementation and/or lesson plan to share with other teachers and review with department heads and school administrators.  Time Estimate: One-two (1-2) hours.

Note: For this mini-course, teachers should work in local teams of three to five educators.

About the Learning Games Network
The Learning Games Network (LGN) team is committed to the development and distribution of games informed by research in the learning sciences, creative design, and technical development. LGN works with a variety of partners to design and produce playful learning games for use across the curriculum and in formal and informal learning settings. Assessing learner performance is one of the biggest challenges in the widespread distribution and use of learning games. LGN is working on data structures and interactive templates to help inform new formative and summative assessments for use as standalone modules or as models for integration into larger designs.  LGN help teachers define new online and offline strategies to assess their students. LGN collaborate with publishers to create effective new products and services that assess critical learning goals and standards.

About Alex Chisholm
Alex Chisholm is Executive Director and a founding member of the Learning Games Network, a non-profit organization that champions the use of games in education and supports the design, development, and production efforts of both non-profit and commercial partners. Between 1999 and 2003, Alex served as Director of Development and Communications for MIT Comparative Media Studies, working with Henry Jenkins.