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We will be exploring the field of instructional gaming through a survey of readings, existing products, and those in development. What is the emerging nature of this field? What are the elements of an effective game? What makes for “good” instructional design within a gaming environment? A large emphasis of the class will be in the examination of current research in the field. Who is doing the research, and what are they recommending? For what kinds of learning needs are video games appropriate? What techniques exist for the assessment of learning within a gaming environment?

The class will center on readings and class discussion. Out-of-class activities will include exposure and the playing of games, and the creation of students’ own game design. We will utilize resources available at the Creative Learning Environments Lab within Instructional Technology.


At the end of the course, students can expect to have a breadth of knowledge in the field and have completed a design brief for an instructional game of their own. One of the assignments for this class will be the design and partial creation of an instructional game based on Edgar Lee Masters work: Spoon River Anthology using the medium of interactive fiction (IF).

    1. Gain exposure to the field of instructional games--the history, research, classification schemes and culture.
    2. Explore current research into instructional games and learning, in both informal and formal learning environments. Address theoretical approaches for future research.
    3. Practice in reviewing pertinent articles and chapters, analyzing them, and creating summaries suitable for literature reviews, comprehensive exam preparation, dissertation preparation, etc.
    4. Become familiar with various design approaches for creating instructional games, with an emphasis on how to motivate the learner/game player.
    5. Put design theory into practice by designing, creating, and implementing an instructional game based on a classic text in a team environment. Create an additional design brief for a game of your own creation.
Copyright 2008, by the Contributing Authors. Cite/attribute Resource . admin. (2008, May 20). Overview. Retrieved January 07, 2011, from Free Online Course Materials — USU OpenCourseWare Web site: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons License
Online Degree Program
Utah State University offers an online masters degree program (MS & MEd) in Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences. Click below to find out more.