Designing Game-Based Pedagogy

  • Katrin Becker
Part of the Advances in Game-Based Learning book series (AGBL)


This chapter looks at game-based pedagogy from the design perspective. It begins by considering who our learners are and who digital natives really are. Then there is a second look at the teacher’s roles in DGP and what it means to enter the magic circle. Further, there is a look at the wicked problem of creating lessons that use games and create a rough hierarchy for learning interventions which we use to help us scope the lesson planning task. Finally, the chapter considers instructional design as it applies to DGBL and looks at how to leverage some ID models for our purposes.


Instructional Design Lesson Planning Game Design Subject Matter Expert Wicked Problem 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Barab, S., Pettyjohn, P., Gresalfi, M., Volk, C., & Solomou, M. (2012). Game-based curriculum and transformational play: Designing to meaningfully positioning person, content, and context. Computers & Education, 58(1), 518–533. doi: 10.1016/j.compedu.2011.08.001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Becker, K. (2007). Wicked ID: A conceptual framework for considering instructional design as a wicked problem. Canadian Journal of Learning Technology, 33(1), 85–108.Google Scholar
  3. Becker, K., & Jacobsen, D. M. (2005, June 16–20). Games for learning: Are schools ready for what’s to come? Proceedings of the DiGRA 2005 2nd International Conference, “Changing Views: Worlds in Play”, Vancouver, BC.Google Scholar
  4. Becker, K., & Parker, J. R. (2011). The guide to computer simulations and games. New York, NY: Wiley.Google Scholar
  5. Bennett, S., Maton, K., & Kervin, L. (2008). The ‘digital natives’ debate: A critical review of the evidence. British Journal of Educational Technology, 39(5), 775–786. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8535.2007.00793.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bulger, M. E., Mayer, R. E., & Metzger, M. J. (2014). Knowledge and processes that predict proficiency in digital literacy. Reading and Writing, 27(9), 1567–1583. doi: 10.1007/s11145-014-9507-2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. DeGrace, P., & Stahl, L. H. (1990). Wicked problems, righteous solutions: A catalogue of modern software engineering paradigms. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Yourdon Press.Google Scholar
  8. Dick, W., Carey, L., & Carey, J. O. (2001). The systematic design of instruction (5th ed.). New York, NY: Longman.Google Scholar
  9. Emin-Martinez, V. E., & Ney, M. (2013, Oct. 2013). Supporting teachers in the process of adoption of game based learning pedagogy. Proceedings of the ECGBL 2013 - European Conference on Games Based Learning, Porto, Portugal.Google Scholar
  10. Felicia, P., & Egenfeld-Nielsen, S. (2011). Game-based learning: A review of the state of the art. In S. Egenfeldt-Nielsen, B. Meyer, & B. H. Sørensen (Eds.), Serious games in education: A global perspective (pp. 21–46). Aarhus: Aarhus University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Gerlach, V. S., & Ely, D. P. (1980). Teaching & media: A systematic approach (2nd ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, Inc.Google Scholar
  12. Hanghøj, T. (2013). Game-based teaching: Practices, roles, and pedagogies. In S. D. Freitas, M. Ott, M. Popescu, & I. Stanescu (Eds.), New pedagogical approaches in game enhanced learning: Curriculum integration (pp. 81–101). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hanghøj, T., & Brund, C. E. (2011). Teacher roles and positionings in relation to educational games. In S. Egenfeldt-Nielsen, B. Meyer, & B. H. Sørensen (Eds.), Serious games in education: A global perspective (pp. 125–136). Aarhus: Aarhus University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Hannafin, M. J., & Peck, K. L. (1988). The design, development, and evaluation of instructional software. New York; London: Macmillan Collier Macmillan.Google Scholar
  15. Huizinga, J. (1950). Homo Ludens: A study of the play element in culture. New York, NY: Roy.Google Scholar
  16. Kenny, R. F., Zhang, Z., Schwier, R. A., & Campbell, K. (2005). A review of what instructional designers do: Questions answered and questions not asked. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, 31(1), 9–26.Google Scholar
  17. Lorenz, K., & Leyhausen, P. (1973). Motivation of human and animal behavior; an ethological view [by] Konrad Lorenz [and] Paul Leyhausen. Translated by B. A. Tonkin. New York, NY: Van Nostrand Reinhold Co.Google Scholar
  18. Magnussen, R. (2007). Teacher roles in learning games - When games become situated in schools. Paper presented at the DiGRA ‘07 - Proceedings of the 2007 DiGRA International Conference: Situated Play.Google Scholar
  19. Margaryan, A., Littlejohn, A., & Vojt, G. (2011). Are digital natives a myth or reality? University students’ use of digital technologies. Computers & Education, 56(2), 429–440. doi: 10.1016/j.compedu.2010.09.004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Merrill, M. D. (2001). First principles of instruction. Journal of Structural Learning & Intelligent Systems, 14(4), 459–466.Google Scholar
  21. Morrison, G. R., Ross, S. M., & Kemp, J. E. (2004). Designing effective instruction (4th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: J. Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  22. Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. On the Horizon, 9(5). Retrieved October, 2001, from,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf.
  23. Rittel, H. W. J., & Webber, M. M. (1973). Dilemmas in general theory of planning. Policy Sciences, 4, 155–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Salen, K., & Zimmerman, E. (2004). Rules of play: Game design fundamentals. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  25. Shaw, A. (2008). What is 21st Century Education? Retrieved March 2, 2015, from
  26. Takeuchi, L. M., & Vaala, S. (2014). Level up learning: A national survey on teaching with digital games. Retrieved October 24, 2014, from
  27. Tripp, S. D., & Bichelmeyer, B. (1990). Rapid protoyping: An alternative instructional design strategy. Educational Technology, Research and Development, 38(1), 31–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Tzuo, P.-W., Ling, J. I. O. P., Yang, C.-H., & Chen, V. H.-H. (2012). Reconceptualizing pedagogical usability of and teachers’ roles in computer game-based learning in school. Educational Research and Reviews, 7(20), 419–429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Wiggins, G. P., & McTighe, J. (1998). Understanding by design. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katrin Becker
    • 1
  1. 1.Mount Royal UniversityCalgaryCanada

Personalised recommendations