Games-based learning for systems analysis and design


Games-based learning is an educational strategy where games and game play are given defined learning outcomes. Games-based learning is designed so that educational content is balanced with game play and the ability of the individual or group of players to apply content learned to simulated situations. The objective here is to prepare the individual to apply the learned content and problem solving skills to future real-world situations.

This paper from the HE Academy Resources bank, describes the use of games-based learning in the teaching and assessment of Systems Analysis and Design, which is a subject that is core to several computer science programmes.

The approach used is game-based learning in a STEM subject, but the principle of using a project that requires students to understand key in order for them to use them to design something or develop a debating position etc. can be used in any subject. For example the project might be to design something for a client (real or you acting as a client with a simulated real world problem) or to prepare a brief for a delegation and to prepared to act out the positions at an event. The essence is that students, individually or in groups, develop some sort of artefact based on, or to explain, the key concepts in the module. There can be elements of competition, peer review,  presentation, debate – all or any of which can stimulate engagement and students as co-creators.

The example here is of  wider relevance than  just Computer Science. The paper describes how the use of the project enabled the different courses using the core module to adapt the students’ learning to their context. It also gives an overview of how the game-based learning project was designed. In brief, the team used the production of a game as way of ‘flipping’ the  assessment focus to drive the learning.

Click here to access the full paper.

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