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By Nathan Cadoret

Mini-Course:Video Games in the Classroom

Mini-Course Topic: Video Games in the Classroom



The intent of this mini-course is expose teachers to the potential of using video games in the classroom. This idea is not new but it may still invoke ideas of either poorly produced educational games or ultra-violent shooters that would contribute little to instruction. Learning and Teaching Scotland in cooperation with Futurelab Research writes, "Game-based approaches present an excellent opportunity to engage students in activities which can enhance learning and produce a range of educational benefits"(Droff, Howells, Cranmer, p. 5). While gaming can be a beneficial tool at all levels, this mini-course will target grades 7-12. Games are a fantastic way to bring interactive learning to the learning process.

Learning Outcomes

  • Participants will list the ways video gaming can be a useful tool in the classroom
  • Participants will apply video game learning objectives by creating a lesson plan
  • Participants will analyze the benefits generally associated with gaming in the classroom
  • Participants will discuss the learning associated with gaming
  • Participants will debate the impact video games have on learning outcomes
  • Participants will argue for the implementation of video games by writing a mock persuasive essay to their administrators.

Needs Assessment/Learner Analysis

Mini-Course Objectives

After completing this mini-course, participants will be able to...

  • identify the benefits of using video games as a classroom learning tool
  • counter the misconceptions associated with educational gaming
  • create a lesson plan with learning objectives that corroborate gaming as a learning tool
  • choose games appropriate for the learning process
  • argue the pros/cons of using video games as a new classroom tool

Needs Analysis

Instructional Problem

Teachers often have to deal with disinterested and unmotivated learners. Changing the attitudes of students can be quite challenging, but research suggests that one way to make learning fun is to use video games in the classroom. However, the idea of video games as effective classroom tools may be difficult for some instructors to imagine. The main purpose of this course is to present the benefits of gaming in the classroom and how to integrate it successfully.

Nature of Learning

Learning is not going to be "fun" for all students no mater how hard a teacher tries to make it so. Finding a medium of instruction that is both modern and relevant to the lives of many students is going to be a challenge, but education as we know it today fails many students. Bringing in video games gives students a hands on opportunity to interact with their own learning usually through simulated problem solving. Instructors (students of this mini course) will learn:

  • the research behind video game learning in the classroom (Verbal)
  • benefits to using gaming as a classroom tool (Attitude)
  • how to choose beneficial games (Intellectual)

Who are the learners?

This course is primarily for instructors in grades 7-12. The course will also be beneficial to instructors looking to improve attitude by using new tools in the classroom.

Context Analysis

This mini course will be conducted online. This course will utilize video, collaboration with peers, and reflections of experience. One goal is for teachers to share their experiences using games in the classroom. There are many games out their, so having a place to read and share experiences with games would be beneficial to the instructional community.

Instructional Solutions

Learners will begin by reviewing and discussing research about video games in the classroom. The idea is not to use "educational" games in the classroom, but to use games in an educational context. This course will include discussions on attitudes/motivation and serious learning outcomes associated with using video games in the classroom.


  • Educate learners about video games as a learning tools
  • Stimulate discussion about what makes an appropriate classroom game
  • Motivate instructors to try using video games in the classroom

Task Analysis

Essential Prerequisite Skills

The Learner...

  • has an understanding of various learning theories
  • can hook up and operate various game consuls and/or a PC.
  • can effectively use the various video game systems.
  • can discuss the benefits of increased student motivation in the classroom.

Supportive Prerequisite Skills

The learner...

  • has a positive attitude toward using video games in the classroom.
  • is comfortable enough with video games that they can learn a new game in a reasonable amount of time
  • manipulate the various controllers associated with console/ PC gaming.
  • write a persuasive essay

Curriculum Map

File:Curriculum Map VG2.pdf