Teaching with Digital Games

Teaching with Digital Games


Course overview

Digital games are increasingly being used as educational tools. They are intrinsically motivating for many students, and offer a natural learning environment. However, not all games are equally useful for the classroom. Many supposedly educational games aren’t that much fun to play, and many commercial entertainment games are actually commonly used to teach. It can be overwhelming to figure it all out.

In this course we will play and analyze many games and explore game sites that provide guidance and resources for teachers who wants to use games in their classroom. We will create lesson plans that utilize the educational benefits of games and understand what is required to make a lesson with games successful.

When is it?
The next session will run from January 4, 2016 to March 11, 2016 (10 weeks)
What do I get?
You will earn 3 CEUs (Continuing Education Units – for more information see The Continuing Education Unit – How to Calculate CEUs) upon successful completion of this course
What will I have to do?
You will read assigned materials and watch assigned videos each week, as well as play assigned games. You will participate in discussion forums about the assigned materials and submit a completed project each week to receive feedback from your peers and the instructor. You will also provide feedback to peers on their projects. 
How much does it cost?
Tuition is $349 $297 per student (Register by December 7, 2015 to receive the discount)

Course schedule

  • Week 1 – Digital games in the classroom 
  • Week 2 – The pedagogy of digital games
  • Week 3 – Using existing commercial games in the classroom
  • Week 4 – Case Studies of digital games in K-12 classrooms –Portal
  • Week 5 – Case Studies of digital games in K-12 classrooms – Minecraft
  • Week 6 – What is Gamification?
  • Week 7 – The challenges of integrating digital games in K-12
  • Week 8 – Assessing the effect of digital games on learning
  • Week 9 – Final project draft
  • Week 10 – Submit final project


Is This Course Right For Me?

What technical skills do I need?
You need to be able to surf the web, and create and login to an online account.

What day/time is the course being held?
The course is completely asynchronous – this means you can log in to participate whenever it is convenient for you. Weekly deadlines help keep you on track, so it is best to pick specific times during the week when you can consistently sit down and focus on coursework – but you are free to pick the times that work for you.

Will I be the only one taking the course?
No, this is not a self-paced course that you will go through on your own. You will be part of a cohort of students working on the same weekly schedule, participating in forum discussions with each other and working on the same projects. The course is structured around a lot of interaction between students.

Can I make it up if I miss a class?
There are no lectures and no set times for class – as long as you participate each week in the discussions and complete your project, you won’t miss a thing. If you will not be able to participate for one full week, be in touch with the instructor in advance. If you will not be able to participate for more than one week, consider registering for a different session when you will be more available. 

What will I gain from taking this course?
At this end of this course you will have an understanding of how and why you can use games to engage learners of any age, no matter what content area you teach. You will hopefully develop a learning network to help you continue to learn and grow, long after the course has ended.

I have been to technology training sessions before and always walk away wondering what to do next. How will this course be different?
This course takes a very hands-on approach to learning – it will walk you through using these tools and applying them to your classroom. You will have a chance to put them into practice, and discuss any problems that come up with your peers. At the end of this course, you will have a toolbox of new tools, an understanding of how and when to use each tool, and you will have developed at least one if not several sample lessons that you can use right away in your classroom.

What are some benefits of your courses over other available online courses?
Every organization that provides training has unique skills and features to offer potential students. We provide as much information as possible before registration, for example by posting the full course schedule on the site. We do not claim to be the best solution for every student, but want to provide enough information for you to figure out if this is right for you.

How is this different from a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course)?
MOOCs are great, and free, and we definitely encourage people to take advantage if they can. However, we realize that MOOCs are not for everyone – the drop out rates are pretty high (up to 90%!). If you are looking for a small group of people you can get to know while you take the course, and support from a teacher, then our courses are designed for you.
Contact us for more information or with any questions.
Please note: Registration is final. Tuition will be refunded only if the course is canceled by the instructor for any reason.

Course Materials

Computer, internet connection, web browser with flash