Learning and Teaching with Computer Games in Higher Education

Learning and Teaching with Computer Games in Higher Education

Nicola Whitton (Manchester Metropolitan University, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-360-9.ch002


This chapter examines the rationale for the use of computer games in learning, teaching, and assessment in Higher Education. It considers their pedagogic potential in respect to a number of theories of learning, as well as some of the practical issues associated with using computer games in real teaching situations, both face-to-face and online. The first part of the chapter focuses on the theory underpinning the use of computer game-based learning with HE students, examining motivation and engagement, constructivism, collaborative and problem-based learning. The second part of this chapter considers the practical issues of using computer games in actual teaching contexts and presents twelve principles for the design and evaluation of computer games to support learning.
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Computer Games For Learning

One reason often put forward for using computer games in education is their motivational benefits. This section will argue, however, that the motivational aspects of games are often over-stated and secondary to the pedagogic benefits inherent in the design of certain types of computer game. First, issues associated with the motivational aspects of games are discussed, drawing on a small-scale study into motivations for adults playing games, and secondly, a number of theories of teaching and learning are explored in relation to their applicability to computer game-based learning.

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