Are you looking for a new way to engage and motivate students to learn? Have you ever considered using games for that?
Designer: Riccardo Manni
Dates: 18th – 22nd of December 2023
Location: Florence, Italy
Price: Free of charge
Registration are not open yet.
Game-Based Learning (GBL) is a teaching approach that incorporates games and interactive activities into the classroom to enhance the learning experience, to promote student engagement and motivation, and to create a more effective learning environment.
Significantly, it can be adapted to many curricular subjects as well as to promote creativity, collaboration, communication, and other interpersonal and emotional skills.
The course is intended for schoolteachers from either primary or secondary education, as well as educators, social workers, museum curators, and librarians working with groups of children, adolescents, or young adults.
It will introduce game-based learning and its benefits in education focusing, in particular, on 3 powerful tools for gamification: Minecraft, gamebooks and interactive fictions, and treasure hunts.
Minecraft is a popular sandbox video game that allows players to build and explore virtual worlds. Teachers can use it in education by creating engaging and immersive learning experiences that promote creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking, focusing on subjects such as history, math, and coding.
Interactive fictions and gamebooks (also known as “Choose-Your-Own-Adventure” books) are text-based (paper or digital) adventures where players make decisions that affect the outcome of the story. They can be used in education to promote reading and writing skills, and to teach critical thinking and problem-solving, among the others.
Treasure hunts are games that involve searching for hidden objects or clues, and can be used to make learning more engaging and fun to and teach problem-solving, critical thinking, and collaboration skills. Significantly, they can be created for outdoor activities but also for digital environments and learning in the classroom.
Participants will gain familiarity with each of these 3 activities and evaluate their educational potential while also discovering best practices to bring them in the classroom. They will also learn and practice how to design lesson plans to create interactive and engaging learning experiences for their students.
As the course is the outcome of the European project EU-TEAM: European Teachers on the Move, it will focus on engaging students in learning EU-related content (e.g., European cultural elements, European history and cultural heritage, the functioning of the EU institutions, the fundamental principles of the EU, and European Union’s involvement in contemporary world challenges).
However, the proposed GBL techniques have a wider scope, and school teachers will be able to adapt what they learnt in the course to any curricular subject.
By the end of the course, participants will feel confident in using Minecraft, gamebooks and interactive fictions, and treasure hunts to increase their student motivation and engagement. They will have acquired a range of competences on using game-based learning activities to teach either their subject or EU-related content as well as to promote important 21st century skills such as creativity, collaboration, digital skills, design thinking, problem-solving, critical thinking, and emotional intelligence.
|Monday||Games in Education: When Playing Has a Pedagogical Function |
• Introduction to the course, the school, and the external week activities.
• Icebreaker activities.
• Presentations of the participants’ schools.
• Game-based learning and its benefits in education
• Why teaching EU-Content at school?
• Discussion forum on games in education: sharing of best practices.
|Tuesday||Teaching EU-Content with Minecraft |
• Minecraft in the Classroom: Between Constructionism and GBL
• Activity: Getting familiar with Minecraft interface and environment.
• Promoting creativity, collaboration, digital skills, and planning with Minecraft.
• How to teach EU-related content with Minecraft: case studies.
• Activity: It’s time to build! Building in/with Minecraft and sharing of results.
|Wednesdat||Teaching EU-Content with Interactive Fictions |
• What are interactive fictions?
• Activity: Reading time! Getting familiar with interactive fictions. • Interactive fictions in education: fostering reading and writing skills.
• Choose your intended educational function for interactive fictions. How to use interactive fictions to promote softs skills, creativity, design thinking, problem solving, critical thinking, and emotional intelligence in the classroom.
• Teaching EU-related content through interactive fictions: case studies.
• Activity (individual/group): Write your first (short) gamebook/interactive fiction, and sharing of results.
|Thursday||Teaching EU-Content with Treasure Hunts |
• What are treasure hunts?
• Activity: Discover analogical and digital treasure hunts.
• Treasure hunts in education: educational, pedagogical and motivational functions.
• How to teach EU-related content with treasure hunts: case studies.
• Activity: Draft a treasure hunt for your subject, and sharing of results.
|Friday||Planning a lesson with Game-Based Learning to Teach EU-Content |
• How to design lesson plans for Game-Based Learning activities.
• Activity: Create a lesson plan on your subject with game-based learning.
• Sharing of results.
The course requires participants to bring their laptop to take part to digital activities.
The course has been created as a part of the European project EU-TEAM: European Teachers on the Move, co-funded by the European Union. Materials of the course are freely available for school teachers and online users in the Massive Open Online Course Teaching the EU through Game-Based Learning.
Course materials, readings and other resources
Desilets, B. (2015). Teaching and Learning With Interactive Fiction. https://bdesilets.com/if/
Di Blas, N., Paolini, P., & Poggi, C. (2004). Learning by playing an edutainment 3d environment for schools. In Proceedings of ED-MEDIA’04: World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications, 1313-1320. Lugano, Switzerland.
Ford, M. (2016). Writing interactive fiction with Twine. Que Publishing.
Hamelin, D. (2004). Searching the web to develop inquiry and collaborative skills. In Proceedings of ITiCSE-WGR’04: Working group reports from ITiCSE on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, 76-79. Leeds, UK.
Kim, D. W., & Yao, J. T. (2010). A Treasure Hunt Model for Inquiry-Based Learning in the Development of a Web-based Learning Support System. Journal of Universal Computer Science, 16(14), 1853-1881.Miller, J., & Gallagher, C. (2014). Minecraft in the Classroom: Ideas, Inspiration, and Student Projects for Teachers. Peachpit Press.