As an Online Learning Designer, it is something I am very passionate about and spend much time researching and reading about broadly, and that is instructional design (ID). I have always loved a good model and when I start researching ID models I’m in heaven 🙂 This post may turn into a series of posts as I have read widely and have much to reflect on. However, I read a great article the other night that whilst referencing some old research and ID models, was also addressing newer research into serious game design. It was a very enlightening article for me and gave me much to think about. The article is not extremely current but when compared with some of the ID models referenced it is very recent.
Gunter, G. A., Kenny, R. F., and Vick, E. H. (2006). A case for a formal design paradigm for serious games, The Journal of the International Digital Media and Arts Association, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 93-105.
Whilst the opening sentence of the article didn’t have me hooked, I kept reading and what I learned and came to reflect on was a rich history of ID models that can still to this day inform the design and development of current online learning experiences. The opening line says: “Serious games have become an educational trend.” (p. 93) and that may be true, however, gaming is not just a trend but a way of learning, communicating and interacting with information. It’s not new either, because gaming has been around for centuries in many forms, its shape and design just changing with the times. Game design is therefore not new but is being more readily adopted by educators as a very effective way of motivating and engaging students in learning experiences.
Gunter et al. (2006) discussed and unpacked serious game design and along the way they reference the work of:
- Robert Gagne (1985)
- James Keller (1983), and
- Benjamin Bloom (1956)
Before I get into how they referenced these models and related them to serious game design, I want to share what Gunter et al. (2006) outlined as the elements of serious game design:
- Scenario exposition
- Problem Setup
- Offer Challenge/Choice
- Provide Direction
- Elicit Action/Decision
- Discernable Outcomes
- Success/Failure Screens (p. 104)
They then explore these and how the three psychologists’ models mentioned above can be applied and used to structure serious game design as well. I might do separate posts for each of these and how they relate to serious game design but how can these serious game design elements listed above be integrated into a Moodle course as is?