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Gamification in Education: A Study of Design-Based Learning in Operationalizing a Game Studio for Serious Games

DOI: 10.4236/jilsa.2022.144010, PP. 115-131

Keywords: Gamification, Game-Based Learning, Pedagogy, Game Studio, Project Management, Team Structure

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Abstract:

The gamification of learning has proven educational benefits, especially in secondary education. Studies confirm the successful engagement of students with improved time on task, motivation and learning outcomes. At the same time, there remains little research on games and learning at the postsecondary level of education where traditional pedagogies remain the norm. Studies that have been conducted remain almost exclusively restricted to science programs, including medicine and engineering. Moreover, postsecondary subject-matter experts who have created their own gamified experiences often are forced to do so on an ad hoc basis either on their own, teaching themselves game engines, or with irregular support from experts in the field. But to ensure a well-designed, developed, and high-quality educational experience that leads to desired outcomes for a field, a sustainable infrastructure needs to be developed in institutions that have (or can partner with) others that have an established game design program. Moreover, such a design-based learning approach can be embedded within an existing studio model to help educate participants while producing an educational product. As such, this qualitative case study provides an example of the process of operationalizing a game design studio from pre-production through post-production, drawing from the design and development of the educational video game The Museum of the Lost VR (2022). The results, resources, and classification system presented are scalable and provide models for different sized institutions. Methods to develop a sustainable infrastructure are presented to ensure interdisciplinary partnerships across departments and institutions with game design programs to collaborate and create educational experiences that optimize user experience and learning outcomes.

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