Game-based learning involves students using game development concepts and software to create their own games. Game-based activities are highly engaging and motivating for students and, when embedded within the curriculum, can be a highly effective way for students to learn. When students create games, they have the opportunity to become involved with authentic collaborative projects that enhance their problem-solving, communication and teamwork skills. Game-making also helps students develop the three types of thinking that the Digital Technologies curriculum is based around—systems, design and computational thinking. The thinking and skills described above that can be developed through this learning process are highly desirable for workplaces of the future.
Research suggests that game-based learning encourages participation and learning in STEM subjects (Jackson, 2014). Furthermore, research indicates that 'games enhance a range of cognitive functions and generate responses in the brain associated with attention and learning'. (Australian Council for Educational Research, 2016)
Learn more about it
This is a broad collection of online courses, lesson plans, resources and supportive material to help educators get started in teaching computer programming.
An experienced teacher argues that computational thinking skills can have a far-reaching, positive impact on children.
How to teach it
This lesson sequence allows students to explore design thinking processes to investigate how games are designed, created and played. Students analyse the audience of games, understanding the importance of empathy in the design process.
This sequence of lessons integrates game design using scratch and a Makey Makey programming board.
In this sequence students plan, create and edit a program that will ask maths questions that are harder or easier depending on user performance.
In this sequence students implement a digital solution for a maths quiz. They test and assess how well it works.
CS First: Game design guides students to use block-based coding in Scratch projects through a series of themed activities.
For the classroom
blurb: Swift Playgrounds is a revolutionary new app for iPad that helps you learn and explore coding in Swift, the same powerful language used to create world-class apps for the App Store
Gameblox is a blocks-based programming tool designed specifically to provide an accessible introduction to game design.
Gamestar Mechanic is a game-based online digital learning platform designed to teach the guiding principles of game design and systems thinking.
This web site contains a link for teachers, schools and students to download a free version of Minecraft and resources for the teacher and classroom.
Agent Cubes is a programming tool for teaching computer science through creating 2D and 3D games.
Greenfoot uses a simple interface to teach object orientation using Java. Students create 'actors' that live in 'worlds' to build games, simulations and other graphical programs.
Students use a block-based coding language to manipulate sprites and story templates as well as community-created code snippets to create stories and games.
Students share and extend learning
Learn more about Makerspaces in the library with both student and teacher perspectives.
Follow, describe and represent a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithims) needed to solve simple problems (ACTDIP004)
Define simple problems, and describe and follow a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve them (ACTDIP010)
Implement simple digital solutions as visual programs with algorithms involving branching (decisions) and user input (ACTDIP011)
Design a user interface for a digital system (ACTDIP018)
Design, modify and follow simple algorithms involving sequences of steps, branching, and iteration (repetition) (ACTDIP019)
Implement digital solutions as simple visual programs involving branching, iteration (repetition), and user input (ACTDIP020)
Design the user experience of a digital system, generating, evaluating and communicating alternative designs (ACTDIP028)
Design algorithms represented diagrammatically and in English, and trace algorithms to predict output for a given input and to identify errors (ACTDIP029)
Implement and modify programs with user interfaces involving branching, iteration and functions in a general-purpose programming language (ACTDIP030)
Design the user experience of a digital system by evaluating alternative designs against criteria including functionality, accessibility, usability, and aesthetics (ACTDIP039)
Design algorithms represented diagrammatically and in structured English and validate algorithms and programs through tracing and test cases (ACTDIP040)
Implement modular programs, applying selected algorithms and data structures including using an object-oriented programming language (ACTDIP041)