A4 – Part C – Reflection

In my young Uni days, I worked in a Shoe Shop part time. At that time, I saw everyone by their “shoes” first. “Hi, how are you? Great shoes!” would be a standard comment.

Now, after participating in #INF451 Game based learning, I can see all the game based possibilities just flooding my thoughts. My reading of Wood’s Structural Characteristics of Video Games has provide one of many methods of clarity in GBL (Wood, 2004). Here the ability to isolate many characteristics in terms of gaming has opened my eyes to the endless amount of concepts and ideas to deliver information in other formats.

Whitton’s association of pedagogies that benefit gaming have also been a substantial learning tool to my understanding of GBL (Whitton, 2009). Looking at the delivery of the narrative, using problem-solving techniques in game design, and achieving tangible rewards as a result of the playfulness of the game (Whitton, 2009).

(Image: “Games I’m enjoying” – posted by a fellow student.  Background: I had shared this wheeldecide.com link in a earlier post. This is the thoughts of a fellow student after using the game I had shared)

One of the major differences between my (See My Post A1 Reflection) and today, is the use of collaboration in terms of game design. I did not take full note of the benefits of creative learning capabilities of a community. Whitton’s states that in analysing digital games to be integrated in the curriculum considerations must be taken into account.  Consideration are; who is playing, are they the same students/groups each time, what truly is collaborative learning vs over sharing. (Whitton, 2009). This concept has encouraged readings from Monu & Ralph where the design includes playfulness vs workfulness (p5, Monu & Ralph, 2013). 

Learning the difference between playfulness  and the feeling of accomplishing a task in terms of workfulness in a game  (See My Post: Playfulness Vs Workfulness) adds to my observation in the classroom.  The idea that students are hiding their secret game screens, for social and playful reasons encourages the question. Could you add those social game features to the learning material in front of them? How can I incorporate this playfulness into the learning outcomes and experiences that the curriculum offer. (Monu & Ralph, 2013)

Another interesting concept that I did not start to envisage when writing A1- Reflection, was the idea of teaching without teaching, the isolation principle (Wood, 2004). The idea that students/players can explore the control or game mechanics to teach themselves the next skill was a idea that really grasped attention and set my development of the prototype’s design. Students can become immersed in a game due to the ability to learn a new skill successfully,  achieve a tangible goal as a result and move onto the next level or space (Wood, 2004). Here learning was encouraged by just “giving it a go”! Lets see what this button can do”. Students in my classes that experienced the game play were immediately immersed in the game, and yet the rules of the game nor the guidelines were not expressly presented to them prior. They just simply “play-the-game”! A little trial by error, and off they went, learning the game dynamics through play (Wood,2004). (See this post: Popular Commentary)

Using collaborative learning and sharing information in this course has helped my understanding of the characteristics of game design (See my post: Importance of Gaming Characteristics ). Students shared ideas on the concept of free flowing gaming environment where the narrative and their character could develop in skills and problem solving tools and techniques. (Whitton,2009). The interesting part I took from comments made by my own students (see A1- Reflection) when looking at performance analysis in their game play it was easily done. The students were positive when discussing their character in a game, they could identify features in their development and so on.  Yet when discussing their performance in classroom learning in general, not game play, they were less resourceful.

My takeaway from INF541 GBL is completely positive. I wish to encourage more teachers to be involved with GBL in the future. I have now created my first formative assessment (my game design) and want to design more. 


Jostson, Fiona –  Blog Post (2019) “Games I’m enjoying https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/dianaperes/wp-admin/index.php?page=msreader.php&module=filter_blog_author&args%5Bauthor_id%5D=2223

Monu, K., & Ralph, P. (2013). Beyond gamification: Implications of purposeful games for the information systems discipline. arXiv:1308.1042 [cs]. Retrieved from http://arxiv.org/abs/1308.1042

Whitton, Nicola. Learning with Digital Games : A Practical Guide to Engaging Students in Higher Education, Routledge, 2009. ProQuest Ebook Central, https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/csuau/detail.action?docID=448350.

‘Good Game Design – Volgarr The Viking: The “Isolation” Principle’ (YouTube | 5:12 mins) | https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThvRVYuDo34

Wood, R. T. A. G., Chappell, M. D., Davies, D., & Mark N. O. (2004). The structural characteristics of video games: A psycho-structural analysis. CyberPsychology & Behavior7(1), 1–10.

A4 – PART A – Game-based learning rationale

Game Name: Game On- Coding 

Please note: a Canvas account is required to play this game.
Click here to create a free account: https://canvas.instructure.com/login/canvas
Click here to play the game: https://canvas.instructure.com/courses/1513121/pages/welcome-to-game-on-coding


This game design is specifically chosen for students to firstly be exposed to an arcade style game and older styles of video gaming related to the unit of work. Secondly, use terminology and coding concepts that are presented in a formative assessment format for teachers to collect data and analysis of student performance in the course.

Conceptually, this project can be related to game based learning in two ways. One in terms of its learning in relation to the design. (Maharg, 2007). Secondly to its interaction to the curriculum and its benefits overall (Whitton, 2009).

This project uses Transactional learning (Mararg, 2007). Here, Transactions take place in the learning environment, where the class (community) knowingly enter the gameplay as a formative assessment.

Students are exposed to a simulation/sample of a final product design for their Technology Mandatory Project (NESA, Tech Mandatory Syllabus, 2013) while participating in a form of observation. Learning is reflected in the characteristics observed and then adapted by individuals when students submit their final designs at a later stage of the course.

The student/players are guided by the rules of the game which relate to the overall limitations of their own designs (Maharg, 2007). They can use these concepts in their design when creating their game. Students can observe the game’s simplistic or complexity depending on the level and participate in changing some of the concepts for their own benefit. (Maharg, 2007). This can be evident is the way the game used the arrow buttons on the keyboard. How does the character move, jump, learn to swim? It can also be reflected in the way the narrative is used to interact with the player. It uses text that is positive and expressive. Asking the player to push forward to the next level.

Authentic transactions in this game design take place in the form of a formative assessment. Questions are provided in the game and answers are entered into a form/quiz answer sheet (Maharg, 2007). Students need to provide some evidence of learning through the course to date, to achieve a score.

Students are provided a score board to create a community environment in a manner that reflects a 70-80s era where communities were created by challengers for the top position/top score on the score board. Maharg calls this collaborative problem-solving (Mararg, 2007) where students in this case would have to retain enough correct information or learn the terms and coding to achieve a top score.

Designing the game to achieve the above concepts needed elements to be examined to allow for this type of learning. Whitton’s Contextual Analysis of Learning Content (2009) where the people, organisation, environment and technology are taken into consideration was needed for the game design and development (Whitton, 2009).

Below I have conducted a Whitton’s Contextual Analysis coupled with the game’s purpose to present how and why the final design was chosen for the game. (Whitton, 2009)



Whitton’s Contextual Analysis (Whitton, 2009)


Subject Area: Stage 4 Technology Mandatory

Audience: Year 7 Co-Educational College Students

Part of Unit: Digital Technologies – Coding

This prototype has been specifically designed for Stage 4 Year 7 Technology Mandatory at Rosebank College Five Dock in Sydney. The NSW Syllabus specifies that coding be introduced to Stage 4, and the College has introduced the Unit for Work in accordance with the syllabus. Students need the link to the game. This will be presented in their Module as a page.

Students need to have completed Lessons relating to

  1. Coding using Grok Learning and Make Code in terms of the terminology

  2. Exposure and use of BBC MicroBit which is the hardware which is programmed by the coding.

  3. Lesson introducing a Research task which contains videos on the “History of coding and gaming” the “the invention of Pong” “history of arcade games


Students are approximately 26 per class. Students have access to Canvas. (The College uses Canvas as their LMS). College requirements run closely to Tech requirements (See below)


Students all have Surface Pros with standard settings. Wi-fi is available in all parts of the school (all classrooms). Students all have access to Canvas. Students all have equal privacy setting that has been considered with using the platforms for this game design.


Teaching will be taking place in Technology classrooms with standard desks. In fact any classroom can be used in the College for this game. Students will be asked to no share their answers. The Classroom environment will be set up as competitive yet not necessarily silent.

Using the above analysis, Whitton suggestions have allowed my design to be supported in this College environment (2009, Whitton). The prototype’s chosen design, an arcade game, aligns with the research task where students are required to produce a report on the history of gaming (NESA, Tech Mandatory). Students watch videos and participate in class discussions on game design with examples such as pong, pacman and supermario bros from the 70s, 80s and 90s. (https://www.bmigaming.com/videogamehistory.htm)

Using the Canvas LMS, students enter the game and are presented with a gaming screen that matches the design of a typical arcade game from the 80s.

Game Construct

The game has 3 levels. Each level has 3 stages. Player must complete each stage.

Player has 3 lives. To get bonus lives Player must collect coins.

Player will receive messages titled “Collect Questions”. Player will be paused when message is displayed. Player will then enter the answer to the question onto the Player Answer Board (google form below) and then continue game. When all questions are answered Player will then submit answers (Google form submit button)

Player will then press the “CLICK HERE FOR SCOREBOARD” link at the bottom of the page.

Player will be presented with their score and the Class TOP SCORE.



Canvas – LMS

FOR GAME LEVELS (Embedded in Canvas page)

FOR PLAYER BOARD (Embedded in Canvas page)

  • Google Forms

FOR ACTIVITIES IN FORMS (Embedded in Player Board)

  • Grok learning – groklearning.com

  • Make Code – Makecode.org

FOR SCOREBOARD (Embedded in Canvas page)

  • Google spreadsheet (results from Google Form)

  • Second Spreadsheet with formulas to present a SCOREBOARD








BMI Gaming (2019). Video Game History. https://www.bmigaming.com/videogamehistory.htm [Accessed 17 May 2019].

Canvas Learning Management System – https://www.canvaslms.com.au/
de Freitas, S., & Maharg, P. (2011). Digital games and learning: Modelling learning experiences in the digital age. In Digital games and learning. Continuum International.
NESA Technology Mandatory Syllabus https://educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/wps/portal/nesa/k-10/learning-areas/technologies/technology-mandatory-7-8-new-syllabus
Whitton, N. (2009). Learning with digital games: A practical guide to engaging students in higher education. Routledge. (Chapter 5)
Games references
PONG – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=it0sf4CMDeM
PACMAN – https://worldsbiggestpacman.com/play/
SUPERMARIO – https://supermariobros.io/


This topic has been in my thoughts quite a bit in regards to GBL. The impacts of gamification and what part of the design makes something a playful or workful game. Monu and Ralph (2013) looked at the impact of gamification in information systems and studied what modifications needed to by created. One of the dimensions that resonated with me what “playful vs workful” (Monu & Ralph, 2013).

Could we employ features in the game design that allows students to feel a sense of achievement? We could employ organisational patterns in the game that allows the user to achieve goals and feel that all tasks are completed? Could we create a game that encouraged all goals to be completed prior to the end of the level?

Monu and Ralph “distinguishes play from work by the intention of whether the person wants to create
something of social value through the activity (work) or perform the activity for its own sake (play)” (p5, Monu & Ralph, 2013)

Yet playfulness it compared to gamefulness where one is more free flowing rather than strict rules that game design requires.

As teachers we do use learning management systems (LMS) in a workful way, the concept that all tasks need to be completed to achieve a result. Workful vs playful-ness has a fine line in terms of definition. Can a student’s experience be one where they achieve all tasks in the unit/LMS vs and playfulness in the format of a game where the rules are less structured.

Westwood & Griffith (2010, p 581-582) identified six distinct types of gamers and it is interesting that we can tap into the plethora of experience that our students may have.  Are they a social gamer or a hardcore gamer, can we examine these skills and evaulate their workfulness/playfulness in a formative or summative way.


Monu, K., & Ralph, P. (2013). Beyond gamification: Implications of purposeful games for the information systems discipline. arXiv:1308.1042 [cs]. Retrieved from http://arxiv.org/abs/1308.1042

Westwood, D. (2010). The role of structural characteristics in video-game play motivation: A Q-methodology studyCyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, (5), 581.



Importance of Gaming Characteristics

Wood (2004) study on the importance of game design really resounded with me when thinking about gaming.  The idea that linear game formats were not an important feature of the game made it quite interesting when I consider teaching and learning in Technology a linear process of sorts.

Surveying my students in Technology Class in Year 7, comments reflected some of Wood’s findings. Wood (2004) suggests that players enjoy the narrative and control manipulation. My students mentioned how they could customise the chracters, development of movement trackers. One student wrote

The engaging story that keeps you engaged for 3 whole games and it never gets old, The play time is really long but in a good way, with lovable villains, heroes and everything in between whats not to like in the batman series.
five different characters and lots of options which make it really fun to play and to challenge yourself – Yr7 Student

Wood suggests that the linear game formats are the most unimportant feature. Another student comment from the survey

I love free roam, open world, 3d platformer games, especially Mario.- Yr 7 Student

I think comparing my “linear style” of teaching vs this free foam game based learning may be a way for combining learning with gaming that uses the key dimensions of good game design by Wood (2004). Game based learning could benefit learning my enhancing the narrative, allowing for problem solving to be more reactional with regular problem delivery (Wood, 2004).

I provide the responses from the Year 7 students below, and find each answer parallel Wood’s characteristics in terms of game design. There are some features in the classroom which are difficult to do such as social utilities where secondary schools do not encourage unless strongly controlled, yet overall the game design characteristics can be used in part throughout the learning process.









Whitton, Nicola (2009). Learning with digital Games : A practical guide to engaging students in higher education. Retrieved from http://www.eblib.com

Wood, R. T. A. G., Chappell, M. D., Davies, D., & Mark N. O. (2004). The structural characteristics of video games: A psycho-structural analysis. CyberPsychology & Behavior7(1), 1–10.

Survey completed using Google Forms: Year 7 Co-Educational Secondary College April 2019


Remediation is the representation of one medium in another. (Bolter & Grisin)

A medium in a medium. Is it a narrative inside a medium. Is it possible to achieve learning outcomes via redemiation?

Tikka states that Computer games can include narrative contents but, in comparison with traditional storytelling, there are also notable differences (Tikka, 2009). Computer games with such a storyline design can develop upon content that the story is based on. 

Tikka also mentions that  ‘computer games can be connected with literacies learning as effective learning tools, but also as learning objectives. (Tikka, 2009)

An example of this could be drawn from the game Minecraft (Short, 2012). Minecraft is a sandbox (open world, freedom of how to play) development of worlds and building blocks/ homes / cities etc. (Short, 2012). The narrative exposes the students to a “survival mode” that equipped with the right tools necessary for each task the player can be successful.  Walking through the world developing the best mode for survival, students can establish the ideal environment to live in the game. Each tool has it’s own set of abilities that may mimic real outcomes. Cutting stones with diamonds, milk from cows, food types from animals or plants, building houses with stones, dangers of lava etc.

Remediation could allow students to develop of learning via the narrative to assist with learning concepts. The use of storytelling creates a real world experience for the student to retrieve content and use it accordingly when in the game.



dex8D (2017). DSU Minecraft Remediation. [image] Available at: https://youtu.be/G8E5t7sES6I [Accessed 1 Apr. 2019].

Duncan, S. C. (2011). Minecraft, beyond construction and survival. Well Played: a journal on video games, value and meaning1(1), 1-22.

Monjong, 2007 https://education.minecraft.net/

Short, D. (2012). Teaching scientific concepts using a virtual world—Minecraft. Teaching Science-the Journal of the Australian Science Teachers Association58(3), 55.

Tikka, S., Kankaanranta, M., Nousiainen, T., & Hankala, M. (2009). Telling stories with digital board games: Narrative game worlds in literacies learning. In T. Connolly, M. Stansfield, & L. Boyle (Eds.) Games-based learning advancements for multi-sensory human computer interfaces: Techniques and effective practices (pp. 174-190). Hershey, PA: . doi:10.4018/978-1-60566-360-9.ch011 http://www.igi-global.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/gateway/chapter/full-text-html/18795

Serious Games

What is a Serious Game?  – After watching the GameLearn video I would control my use of the term to a game that can include various learning tools to practice challenging tasks rather that learn a simple skill. As game-learn.com suggests Serious games can be used to train adults, and not designed for mere entertainment.

A report provided by Susi, Johannesson and Backlund states that Serious games have been ‘applied to a broad spectrum of application areas, e.g. military, government, educational, corporate, healthcare’ (2007). Serious game are used to test problem solving, applications to learning and commitment. (Game-Learn, 2014). Yet is there a difference between Digital learning games and/or Edutainment games.

Susi details the Serious Games Initiative of 2002 which stated “The Serious Games Initiative is focused on uses for games in exploring management and leadership challenges facing the public sector. Part of its overall charter is to help forge productive links between the electronic game industry and projects involving the use of games in education, training, health, and public policy.” (Susi, 2007)

This differs from educational games or edutainment games where their purpose is to develop on a skill or outcome rather that to develop on challenges to test productivity (Susi, 2007).

I would approach the term Serious Games with a more developed set of learning outcomes as opposed to digital learning games where I may use it in the classroom with secondary students to develop on a skill.


Susi, T., Johannesson, M., & Backlund, P. (2007). Serious Games : An Overview (IKI Technical Reports). Skövde: Institutionen för kommunikation och information. Retrieved from http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:his:diva-1279

Gamelearn (2014). What is a serious game.  https://youtu.be/s_7Y24obdxY [Accessed 22 Mar. 2019].

A1 – Reflection

“Not all people learn the same way and nor should they” – Micheal Phillips Monash University from the article by Bridie Smith. (SMH, 2016)

What is game based learning and how can I apply it to my teaching and learning environment, specifically Technology?

Teaching in a Secondary school, Technology classrooms are mostly PBL (project based learning) (Solomon, 2003). How can we use game based learning formally in our learning environment? To date, we have used games in the form of quizzes/question-response. Yet we have not included GBL into the formal part of our programs.

My current understanding of Game Based Learning is divided into two areas that I am interested to divulge into further. Firstly, what is a game? Is it a method of player vs player in the classroom environment? Can I create a relationship with the students that encourage them to strive through the learning material in a competitive fashion? Or is it more related to the digital environment, where hand eye coordination and skills are developed through repetition. Can the creation of digital worlds, progression of levels, avatars, somehow assist in their learning.

Game based learning is to “use elements traditionally thought of as game-like or fun to promote learning and engagement” (Kapp, 2012). The elements of the player, components of the game, the challenges, the rules combine to make an event, which together results in a learning outcome (Kapp, 2012).

Pivec (2003) states that the game based learning model is used in formal education in military, medicine, physical, etc. training (Pivec, 2003). This seems easy to understand where the skills developed upon are repeated and improved.  The area I would need to research is how is GBL relevant in technology classrooms where a major part of our outcomes are how- to’s. How to use a software package, how to make a product, how to create a system.  (Pivec, 2003) (Technology Mandatory Syllabus)

How to create a unit of work where game based learning is used and mapped against the outcomes accordingly. How do I analyse the individual elements of the game, and include the freeflow of outcomes to still reach a learning goal.

A study done by Schenk (2017) stated that there are ‘many cognitive benefits in the realm of visual imagery, problem solving, and visual processing. All these cognitive functions, which can be improved by video games, are important factors within (categorization) learning processes.

So I decided to do some research myself (see below) and ask some of my current Stage 4 Technology students what games they play in their personal time, what interests them and why they play them. The positive responses I received has given me a  starting block to build upon my understanding on the benefits of game-based learning and bring this positive learning experience into my classroom.

Student’s favourite games seemed to be strategy-focused survival action games. Fornite, Mario Bros, Assassin Creed to name a few. When asked what were their favourite features of gaming students mentioned player vs player, variety of games on offer, and creativity given to the user.

When asked why they continue playing for hours on end students mention the pleasure of achievement, collaborative efforts when playing in a team, and it’s fun.

So here it is, can GBL be incorporated in Technology classrooms to teach skills that are beneficial to their progress in a PBL program?

See below for results of the study I conduct with my students.


Kirriemuir, J. (2002). Video gaming, education and digital learning technologies. D-lib Magazine8(2), 7.

Jennings, J. (2014). Teachers re-evaluate value of video games. The sidney morning herald. Sidney, Australia. Obtenido de http://www. smh. com. au/national/education/teachersreevaluate-value-of-video-games-20141130-11jw0i. html.


Kapp, K. M. (2012). The gamification of learning and instruction: game-based methods and strategies for training and education. John Wiley & Sons.

Pivec, M., Dziabenko, O., & Schinnerl, I. (2003, July). Aspects of game-based learning. In 3rd International Conference on Knowledge Management, Graz, Austria (pp. 216-225).

Schenk, Sabrina, et al. “Games People Play: How Video Games Improve Probabilistic Learning.” Behavioural Brain Research, vol. 335, 2017, pp. 208–214., doi:10.1016/j.bbr.2017.08.027.


Selen Turkay, Daniel Hoffman, Charles K. Kinzer, Pantiphar Chantes & Christopher Vicari (2014) Toward Understanding the Potential of Games for Learning: Learning Theory, Game Design Characteristics, and Situating Video Games in Classrooms, Computers in the Schools, 31:1-2, 2-22, DOI: 10.1080/07380569.2014.890879

Smith, B. (2016). Computer gamers have an edge in the classroom: study. [online] The Sydney Morning Herald. Available at: https://www.smh.com.au/technology/computer-gamers-have-an-edge-in-the-classroom-study-20160808-gqnbhc.html [Accessed 16 Mar. 2019].

ScienceNordic. (2017). Are computer games a teacher’s friend or enemy?. [online] Available at: http://sciencenordic.com/are-computer-games-teacher%E2%80%99s-friend-or-enemy [Accessed 16 Mar. 2019].

Solomon, G. (2003). Project-based learning: A primer. TECHNOLOGY AND LEARNING-DAYTON-23(6), 20-20.

Hello world!

Hi All,

I’m Diana Peres. A Technology Teacher based in the Inner West of Sydney. #INF541 #gamebasedlearning. I am eager to learn how to incorporate gaming into the classroom. The Technology classroom has coding and gaming featured in its syllabus, we design programming code to create games and game design. What I am eager to tackle is how it benefits learning overall.