24 Educational Gaming

Games are a structured form of play in which players try to meet a goal or solve a problem through repeated trial and error. Game activities can be designed to support a range of instructional approaches, as shown in the following table. Additionally, the University of Iowa Office of Teaching and Learning created a game design template to help faculty think through the purpose and structure of their game-based learning activities.

Instructional Approach Gaming Activities Practice Examples

Collaborative learning

Digital games provide opportunities for developing shared experiences beyond the classroom

Personalized learning

Game structure support curricular flexibility, differentiation, and student choice

Experiential learning

Games provide simulation or role-play opportunities


Game elements, rather than complete games, motivate students to engage with course materials

Additional resources

Select the following links to learn more about games and learning:


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