Teaching to Teach (With) Game Design: Game Design and Learning Workshops for Preservice Teachers

Jul. 01, 2016

Source: Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 16(1), 60-81. (2016)
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

In this study, the authors were interested to evaluate the participants’ ability to integrate game design in their lesson plans and explore their experiences over time during the workshops.

An exploratory case study was used. Data were collected through post-workshop reflections and lesson plans.
The participants were four preservice teachers (one male, three females)

Discussion and Implications

The findings revealed that the participants’ lesson planscan was improved in terms of allowing students to take ownership during the game creation, design, and problem-solving processes. Instead of giving students freedom and agency, the lesson plans did not allow high levels of collaboration and exploration.

The analysis of the reflections helped the authors describe participants’ varied experiences and identify challenges faced during the Game Design and Learning (GDL) workshops. At the end of the workshops, all participants indicated that they developed a basic understanding of game design and programming and felt comfortable with the process.
In addition, they developed a basic understanding of how to integrate game design into their lessons.

These findings also indicated that the grade level, as a contextual variable, might have played a role in shaping the lesson plan activities. The participants teaching at lower grades might have been more concerned about their young students’ abilities to handle complex design and problem-solving processes. Consequently, they may have chosen to design their lessons in more structured and well-defined manners, limiting opportunities for students to explore, collaborate, and create.
These findings argue that future efforts need to find ways to encourage preservice teachers to promote designing and problem-solving skills for younger students.


The authors conclude that the findings showed that through the GDL workshop they were able to help preservice teachers become more comfortable with dealing with an unknown context such as game design.

Updated: Oct. 22, 2017