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Game Development-Based Learning Experience: Gender Differences in Game Design

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Learning theories emphasize the importance of intrinsic and extrinsic motivators in curricula, and games are a promising way to provide both while constructing the game and presenting or sharing it in public or with a community. New technologies and the emerging mobile gaming sector further the case that learning should be promoted everywhere and anytime. What seems to be a promising opportunity for all pupils to learn coding in an entertaining way raises the question of whether such game based concepts also help to fix the gender gap of women in IT related fields. Gender differences are already present in secondary schools. These are the years where first career choices but also low levels of participation in technical subjects occur. To address this gender bias, a goal of the European project No One Left Behind (NOLB) was to integrate Pocket Code, an app developed by Catrobat, a free open source non-profit project at the University of Technology in Graz/Austria, into different school subjects, thus making coding more accessible and attractive to female pupils. During the period of this project (2015-2017), teachers were supported to guide their pupils in the learning processes by constructing ideas and realizing them through game design. Furthermore, teachers were trained to teach good game design and game production by sticking to an agile game design approach (research, design, development, testing, sharing), and the Mechanics, Dynamics, and Aesthetics framework, as well as other techniques, like the use of storyboards, and “ceremonies”. This is especially important for girls; according to the literature, they are less likely to play games. For this paper an analysis of submitted programs according to their game design has been performed. In detail, the evaluation considered formal game elements, gaming structures, and used graphics, as well as Pocket Code specific aspects. The program’s analysis showed commonly used design patterns by genders and suggests preferred game design characteristics of female teenagers. This analysis helps to build a more creative and inclusive Game Development-Based Learning (GDBL) environment that provides room for self-expression and inspires by building on intrinsic and extrinsic motivators by constructing personal experiences.
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ECGBL 2018, Sophia Antipolis, France
For BibTex entry see last page.
Game Development-Based Learning Experience: Gender Differences
in Game Design
Bernadette Spieler, Wolfgang Slany
Graz University of Technology, Graz, Austria
bernadette.spieler@ist.tugraz.at
wolfgang.slany@tugraz.at
Abstract: Learning theories emphasize the importance of intrinsic and extrinsic motivators in curricula, and
games are a promising way to provide both while constructing the game and presenting or sharing it in public
or with a community. New technologies and the emerging mobile gaming sector further the case that learning
should be promoted everywhere and anytime. What seems to be a promising opportunity for all pupils to
learn coding in an entertaining way raises the question of whether such game based concepts also help to fix
the gender gap of women in IT related fields. Gender differences are already present in secondary schools.
These are the years where first career choices but also low levels of participation in technical subjects occur.
To address this gender bias, a goal of the European project No One Left Behind (NOLB) was to integrate Pocket
Code, an app developed by Catrobat, a free open source non-profit project at the University of Technology in
Graz/Austria, into different school subjects, thus making coding more accessible and attractive to female pu-
pils. During the period of this project (2015-2017), teachers were supported to guide their pupils in the learn-
ing processes by constructing ideas and realizing them through game design. Furthermore, teachers were
trained to teach good game design and game production by sticking to an agile game design approach (re-
search, design, development, testing, sharing), and the Mechanics, Dynamics, and Aesthetics framework, as
well as other techniques, like the use of storyboards, and “ceremonies”. This is especially important for girls;
according to the literature, they are less likely to play games. For this paper an analysis of submitted programs
according to their game design has been performed. In detail, the evaluation considered formal game ele-
ments, gaming structures, and used graphics, as well as Pocket Code specific aspects. The program’s analysis
showed commonly used design patterns by genders and suggests preferred game design characteristics of
female teenagers. This analysis helps to build a more creative and inclusive Game Development-Based Learn-
ing (GDBL) environment that provides room for self-expression and inspires by building on intrinsic and extrin-
sic motivators by constructing personal experiences.
Keywords: Pocket Code, game design, gender design, gender, mobile learning, coding
1. Introduction
Much effort can be recognized from the Austrian government (Federal Ministry of Education Austria, 2017),
the European Commission (EC, 2016), and from institutions all over the world (Code.org, 2018; Ladner and
Israel, 2016) to apply Game-Based Learning concepts (GBL or Game Development-Based Learning/GDBL) from
primary school to higher education. In addition, games are known as an effective approach for teachers to mo-
tivate pupils to interact and communicate as well as to learn (Kafai and Vasudevan, 2015). To play an active
part in the learning process and to create something meaningful allows pupils to collaborate and construct
solutions for problems. Uptakes of the constructionist approach (Papert and Harel, 1991) to foster playful ac-
tivities in teaching are increasing within the education communities, e.g., K-12 movements in the US (Kopcha,
Ding, and Neumann, 2016). Through an interdisciplinary approach, teachers not only transfer their subject
knowledge but also teach fundamental programming skills. Playful coding activities are therefore a perfect
match of development of creativity, problem solving, logical thinking, system design, and collaboration skills
(Backlund and Hendrix, 2013). In that way, pupils can learn about a specific concept or subject by developing
personalized games, allowing pupils to freely select and use content-related preferences, like genres, themes,
goals, characters, game dynamics and mechanics, backgrounds, or assets.
This paper is organized as follows: First, the paper provides a literature review by presenting intrinsic/extrinsic
motivators, gaming elements, game design principles, and game-based learning theories. This section con-
cludes by focusing on games and gender issues. This should suggest optimal conditions from the literature on
how to use GDBL in an academic setting. Subsequently, Section 3 presents the app and the related NOLB pro-
ject. Section 4 present the results of the game design analysis by gender and Section 5 and 6 concludes this
paper and describes the authors’ future work.
2. Games and Learning
Engaging activities are well-received by pupils and contribute to improving their overall motivation and
productivity (Khaleel and Meriam, 2015). Within suitable game-based learning environments, learners are en-
couraged to be creative and collaborate with others. In addition, learners acquire conceptual understanding as
well as practical skills (Singer and Schneider, 2012). Hence, the use of digital games as part of the formal aca-
demic curriculum comes as a natural response (Kerr, 2006). The concepts of intrinsic motivation and the flow
of experiences are best applied if pupils are freely engaging in self-chosen activities with a playful twist (Bro-
phy, 2013).
The literature distinguishes between two types of reinforcement: external and internal reinforcement (Ryan
and Deci, 2000). Only the external is perceived directly. Both encourage people to repeat their previous behav-
ior. External reinforcement provides motivation, but often the learner sets the wrong goals. Examples for ex-
ternal motivators are the earning of certificates or awards. Therefore, extrinsic motivation is associated with
Skinner's behavioral theories of human learning (Skinner, 1976). In contrast, internal motivation builds on
praising pupils and recognition or acknowledgements (Hamari and Kovisto, 2013). This gives the pupils the
feeling of pride and achievement and supports self-directed learning and practical relevance.
2.1 Game Design Elements and the Game Design Process
Most characteristics are very similar in all games. For instance, rules, goals, and uncertain outcomes (Seaborn
and Fels, 2015). Games are formed from a variety of components and it is the players’ perception, which de-
termines whether the experience is fun and entertaining or not. In addition, the Mechanics, Dynamics, and
Aesthetics (MDA) of a game motivates the players to keep on playing and to be successful (Ibáñez et al, 2014).
Different dimensions exist within games that characterize them (Arseth, 2003). The game design elements can
be broken into three subcategories:
Gaming-world (e.g., level design, theme, genres, like adventure, action, puzzle, simulation, strategy)
Game-structure (the rules of the game and the goal, MDAs)
Game-play (e.g., the story, the player and their actions, strategies, and motives)
The description of game genres and MDAs was already part of the authors’ previous work (Spieler et al, 2017).
In short, Mechanics describe the particular components of the game and the constructs of rules or methods
for the gameplay (e.g., points, level, or challenges). Dynamics are defined through interactions of users with
the game mechanics and describe the play of the game when the rules are set in motion (e.g., rewards, status,
or achievement). Aesthetics refer the player’s experience with the game (e.g., fantasy, narrative, or discovery).
To transfer the concept of games in a consistent structure, several strategies are possible. For the European
project NOLB, the team used the term “ceremony” or “Shape of a Game” to identify the different “scenes” of a
game (title, introduction, levels, end screen). This shape of the interface should support overall clarity, help to
focus on the relevant elements of the game, and follow a clear method of interaction (Martinovs et al, 2017).
For game development cycles, concepts of agile and iterative software development can be used to leverage
this process and to see first results very quickly (DeMarco-Brown, 2013). As the scope of this paper is limited,
only a simplified life cycle is visualized to describe the process of how a team works in iterations to deliver or
release software:
Research: story, title, genre, and theme of the game is selected, as well as a rough concept about the
structure and gameplay
Design: the artwork, game content and other elements (characters, assets, avatars, etc.) are produced
Development: includes all of the actual programming, followed by Testing the code
Release: as a final step
This concept should help, before concentrating on every detail of the game, focus on the smallest step the
games needs for playing it, e.g., limited interface control but basic game functionality (Salen and Zimmerman,
2003).
2.2 Game-Based Approaches for Fearning
Serious games, as an overall term and involve all aspects of education, e.g., teaching, training, and informing
(Michael and Chen, 2006). GBL is the practice of creating serious games to improve teaching activities and ini-
tiatives by virtue of its factors concerning engagement, motivation, role-playing, and repeatability (Backlund
and Hendrix, 2013). The goal of Gamification is to apply game elements in a non-gaming context (Glover,
2013). Thus, Game Development-Based Learning (GDBL), is defined as learning by making games, includes all
these aspects (see Figure 1) (Wu and Wang, 2012).
In this constructionist-learning environment, learners are encouraged to
develop their own games and make design decisions (Kafai, 2006). Bene-
fits of designing games include enhancing problem-solving skills, foster-
ing of creativity and self-directed learning, and learning how to code in a
fun way. The game construction process encourages further collabora-
tion and engagement through teamwork within the classrooms. There-
fore, creating personalized games is a popular approach to introduce
novice users to programming, to conceptual thinking, engineering, art,
and design. In this context, not only can a game be used for learning, but
also the game development tools be used for studying relevant topics
within computer science, software engineering (SE), or game program-
ming through motivating assignments.
2.3 Games and Gender
A closer look on girls’ typical design patterns has been already presented in the author’s previous work (Spiel-
er, 2018). According to a study (Google, 2017), a percentage of 43% of women play mobile games five times
per week or more (38% of men to so). This study also mentions that even the Google Play Store on its own,
features more male identified characters than female (44% more male characters than female in the 100 most
revenue-generating games). In addition, only 30% of the women who play feel that the games are made for
them. Google believes that mobile gaming can inspire creativity, show users new worlds, and let them engage
and they sees a huge opportunity to make mobile games more diverse, inclusive, and engaging for all players
(Bevans, 2017). Current numbers of the video game industry showing that 46% of gamers across 13 countries
are women (aged between 10-65) and that the favorite game genres among different consoles are ac-
tion/adventure, strategy, or puzzle games (NewZoo, 1017). This indicates games of different genres, charac-
ters, or themes that were commonly played more by females. A closer look at the developed games during the
NOLB project (see next section) should show if this is also the case for the games that are developed by fe-
males.
3. Pocket Code and the No One Left Behind (NOLB) Project
The European No One Left Behind
1
(NOLB) project has been funded by the Horizon 2020 framework, involved
partners from Germany, Spain, the UK, and Austria and evaluated its results from January 2015 to June 2017.
The vision of the NOLB project was to unlock inclusive gaming creation/game design and to construct experi-
ences in formal learning situations through secondary level, particularly for teenagers at risk of social exclu-
sion. The study in Austrian was seen as a chance to recognize gender differences in engaging with coding and
game design activities. Thus, the app Pocket Code
2
, a media-rich programming environment for teenagers to
learn coding with a visual programming language very similar to the Scratch
3
environment, has been used for
creating games and apps. Pocket Code is freely available at the Google Play Store and allows the creation of
games, stories, animations, and many types of other apps directly on phones, thereby teaching fundamental
programming skills. During NOLB, pupils used Pocket Code for creating small classroom projects in different
subjects like, fine arts, computer science, physics, music, or English. This app is developed at the University of
Technology in Graz/Austria (TU Graz) as part of the Free Open Source Software (FOSS) project Catrobat
4
.
4. Game Design Analysis by Gender
Different types of game analysis exist (Arseth, 2003), e.g., players’ reports, walkthroughs, discussions, observ-
ing others play, interviews with players, game documentation, playtesting reports, or interviews with game
1
No One Left Behind EC project H2020: http://no1leftbehind.eu/
2
Pocket Code Google Play Store: https://catrob.at/pc
3
Scratch MIT: https://scratch.mit.edu/
4
Catrobat: https://www.catrobat.org
Figure 1: Relationship of Serious
Games, GBL, Gamification, and
GDBL
developers. For this analysis, the formal elements are the most interesting (Lankoski and Björk, 2015). For the
evaluation of the created Pocket Code games, different game elements, the game mechanics and the goals
they relate to (MDA) have been identified. In addition, special characteristics of the programmed games
(theme, genre, goal, etc.) have been analysed. In detail, the evaluation considered formal game elements,
structure, and graphics of the created games (Jesper, 2007). The following analysis has been made:
Definition of the used genre, theme, and goal of the games
Description of the used MDA: mechanics, dynamics, and aesthetics,
Usage of formal elements, e.g., level of control (interaction), visual design, sound design, restart/end
of the game, and the “Shape of a Game” ceremony
Other design elements: main character, side characters
Pocket Code specific aspects, e.g., used sensors, amount of bricks, scripts, objects, looks, or variables
Altogether, 77 programs have been analysed which have been created during the course of the NOLB project
in Austria by pubis Year 8 to 12 in English, computer science, and fine arts: girls created 37 of the programs,
boys 34, and 8 programs were created in mixed gender teams. The number of programs made in mixed teams
is too small to perform a significant analysis. Thus, games made in mixed groups are not part of this analysis.
By analysing the games made by boys/girls separately a gender differentiated approaches has been used to
trigger a trend. This may can be criticized because “stereotypical” forecasts are often confirmed by it
(Grünberg, 2011). In our case it should build gender awareness and help in setting up a more inclusive GDBL
classrooms for female pubils.
4.1 Genre, Theme, and the Goal of the Games
Figure 2 shows the used genres/themes of female pupils and Figure 3 games created by male pupils.
Figure 2: Created games by girls categorized by their used genre/theme
Figure 3: Created games by boys categorized by their used genre/theme
The games created by girls were mostly adventure games, text adventure/storytelling games, puzzle games,
and platform games. None of the games created by girls falls into quiz genre. Games created by boys were also
mostly adventure games, followed by action shooter games, puzzle games, quizzes, and action games. Boys, in
contrast, created only two games that could be considered in the text adventure or RPG adventure genres. A
Chi²-test has been performed to analyze if there is a significant relationship between the gender and the genre
they choose for their games. The results indicated that the relationship between gender and genre is signifi-
cant χ2(71) p = 0.008 (α = .05). A comparison between the two genres adventure (included also text/RPG ad-
venture genre and action (included also shooter) showed that female pupils used significantly more often the
adventure genre than male student did (χ2(71) p = .002, α = .05). The most popular genre among mixed gender
teams was the quiz genre (n = 3). None of the created games were based on the strategy genre or the simula-
tion genre (e.g., racing). Female pupils most often used a nature-based theme (43%) and the most popular
theme among male pupils was the space theme (46%).
A closer look at the underlying goals of the games shows no significant differences between games from girls
and boys. Most of the games of both genders had either the goal of capture, avoid, or destroy something
(55%), collect items (11%), solve a puzzle (9%), or no goal (e.g., in storytelling games, or animations; 18%). Ter-
ritorial, spatial alignment, or building something were never used as goals for any of the games. In addition, 10
of the games used the options to restart the game (12%).
4.2 Mechanics, Dynamics, and Aesthetics
Figure 4 provides an overview about mechanics, dynamics, and aesthetics used by gender. The size of the icons
correlates with the frequency of the mentions.
Figure 4: Mechanics, dynamics, and aesthetics used by gender
For mechanics and dynamics, female and male pupils both most often used points as a reward (female = 14,
male = 17) and levels or lives for status (female = 7, male = 7) in their games (no significant differences). In ad-
dition, four of the games created by mixed gender teams had levels integrated. Both used virtual goods in the
form of a virtual shop to purchase goods in one game, and challenges were used by male pupils five times and
by female pupils once. Challenges are provided in the form of bosses or achievement of missions through lev-
els. One program created by male pupils used leaderboards in the form of a high-score list for competition at
the end of the game. In mixed groups, levels were used the most often (n = 4) for showing the status. Togeth-
er, five games of mixed gender groups had both points and levels. Gifting has not be used in any of the games.
The definition of the used aesthetic elements is very objective. What one defines for him/herself as sensation-
al could be seen as boring for another user. For the evaluation, the game has been characterized as narrative
if, for instance, an intro is provided, the game has a storytelling part, or explanations are provided through the
game. A number of 10 games created by girls had this property as well as seven of the games created by boys.
In addition, seven of the games created by mixed gender groups are considered as narrative. Sensation is part
of the game if the game surprises the player with unusual characters or new concepts (female = 7, male = 2).
The game has the aesthetic of fantasy if the story includes fantasy characters or a fantasy world (female=8,
male = 4). A game has the characteristics of discovery if missions lead you through a world (female = 4). Other
characteristics like fellowship, expression, and submissions are difficult to integrate in a game made with the
Pocket Code app and thus they were not used in pupils’ games.
4.3 Formal Elements
In total, 40 of 77 games used the “Shape of a Game” (female = 23, male = 10). Thus, more of the half of the
games had a title, instruction, and end screen integrated. Figure 5 shows which level of control has been used
to control the main characters: Animation (female = 9, male = 3), inclination sensor of the device (female = 15,
male = 18), buttons (female = 3), “When tapped property (i.e., tapping on the screen or objects, female = 14,
male = 10), or the use of physical properties (through the integrated physics engine, e.g., gravity, female = 1,
male = 10). To conclude, both genders used mostly the inclination sensor to control their ch aracters, or the
story is continued by the “When tapped” property. The analysis of the Chi² test shows that there is a significant
relation between the gender and the used level of control χ2(71) p = 0.004 (α = .05).
Figure 5: Level of control of games made by girls and boys
Another interesting question was how the graphics were created. The inspection of the programs shows that
many of the imported pictures were handmade artwork which was photographed (female = 19, male = 9) or
made by pupils as a whole in Pocket Paint (Pocket Paint is our second app for creating/edging objects
5
, female
= 8, male = 9). Male pupils mainly used pictures from the Internet for their games or utilized the predefined
graphics from our media library
6
. In addition, some of the programs made by girls had self-made graphics
drawn in Photoshop (n = 3). Games that have photographs integrated showed pictures of the pupils them-
selves. In mixed groups, the artwork was either handmade or Pocket Paint was used (n= 4). A performed Chi²
test showed that overall female pupils made significantly more graphics on their own (artwork, Photoshop,
Pocket Paint) than male pupils did (Internet, Media Library), χ2(71) p = 0.030 (α = .05).
Figure 6: Source of visual design: boys’ and girls’ games
In regard to sound design, only 24 games used sounds (31%) in total. 15 games made by boys used sounds (2
used their own recordings, 5 used sounds imported from the device, and 8 imported from the media library).
In games made by females, 10 sound files were found (3 used their own recordings, 1 used files imported from
the device, and 6 borrowed from the media library).
4.4 Game Characters
A range of different graphics from different sources was used. For this evaluation, first, the main character and
second, the side characters were assessed. Figure 7 shows the main characters used in games made by girls.
Most games had animals as main characters, like a dog or a penguin (n = 13), or fantasy characters (n = 11),
like a fairy, monsters, or a mermaid. None of the games made by female pupils had a main character which
could be characterized as transportation. In contrast, games made by boys mostly consisted of main characters
that represented the category of transportation (n = 12), like spaceships (n = 8), rockets (n = 3), and UFOs (n =
1). A number of six programs made by boys had male main characters. Only one game made by boys had a
5
Pocket Paint: http://catrob.at/PPoGP
6
Media library for looks: https://share.catrob.at/pocketcode/media-library/looks
female character (it is a woman who balances a bucket on her head). Main characters in mixed teams were
mainly male characters (n=4) or animals (e.g., a raccoon or a dog).
Figure 7: Used main characters in games made by girls
Figure 8: Used main characters in games made by boys
In addition, a number of side characters are used within the games. A number of 8 games made by females
used animals as side characters. Examples are a seal, a cat, or a snake. In addition to fantasy characters (n = 7;
e.g., angel, snowman, zombies) and many food characters were also used (n = 8, e.g., donuts, carrots, or pea-
nuts). Side characters used by boys were mostly space stuff (n= 13), e.g., meteors, asteroids, stars, planets, or
items (n = 8), e.g., a football or coins. Mixed gender groups used mostly animals (n = 3) for side characters. A
wide range of different backgrounds has been used. The backgrounds used are mostly complementary with
the theme of the game, thus they are not described in detail.
4.5 Pocket Code Specific Aspects
Finally, all created programs have been analyzed according to their number of scenes, scripts, bricks, objects,
looks, sounds, and global and local used variables (see Figure 9) game that has been upload
7
.The mean value
for each element of all programs was calculated and analyzed by using a t-test. The results were not significant
in the means of the numbers of objects in the games (p = .401, α = .05) but the mean is still interesting: female
pupils used an average of 24 objects in their games, whereas male pupils used only 11 objects on average.
7
Pocket Code web-share platform: https://share.catrob.at/pocketcode/
Figure 9: Code statistics NOLB programs
5. Discussion
The game design analysis shows many interesting issues regarding the different game design patterns of
female and male pupils. Not only the literature stated commonly used game design patterns among genders,
our female participants also liked to create significantly more games of adventure genres. In contrast, boys
created significantly more shooter games and puzzle games. In addition, girls used several kinds of adventure
genres (RPG, text adventure), in contrast to boys, who more frequently used the default adventure genre. The
chosen themes of the games show more “stereotypical” choices between boys and girls. Girls mostly prefered
nature themed graphics (woods, fields, sea, winter, sky, etc.), wh ereas boys chose more space, fantasy, and
realistic themes which also suited the action shooter genre. Overall, female pupils spent much more time with
creating their artwork. Moreover, the used MDA shows that pupils of all genders know how to integrate
mechanics of points, levels, and challenges for the player, but for female pupils aesthetics are more important
than for male pupils. Games created by girls used more elements of narrative, sensation, and fantasy than
boys’ programs.
6. Conclusion and Future Work
To conclude, this analysis highlights that it is important that female game designers get enough time in game
design in order to create artworks and build up the concepts that drive their gaming worlds. Boys in contrast,
focused less on creating sophisticated graphics and but used significantly more advanced features, like physical
properties. However, Figure 9 shows that there are no significant differences in the scope of the programs. On
the basis of these results, new featured games who should attract especially our female target group has been
developed for the community webshare as well as new assets and templates for our app (Spieler et al, 2017).
Further, the setting for our future workshops will consider the results, e.g., by providing additional information
to game design, MDAs, goals, or different levels of control functionalities. Therefore, the storyboard template
used in class has been enhanced by these components. In future, more workshops are planned which empha-
size “girls-only” environments, to reinforce especially girls with playful coding activities and help them in de-
signing sophisticated games.
Acknowledgements
This work has been partially funded by the EC H2020 Innovation Action No One Left Behind, Grant Agreement
No. 645215.
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BibTex entry:
@InProceedings{SpielerECGBL,
author = {Spieler, B. and Slany, W.}
title = {Game Development-Based Learning Experience: Gender Differ-
ences in Game Design }
booktitle = {Proceedings of the 12th European Conference on Games
Based Learning },
isbn = {1911218999, 9781911218999 },
location = {Sophia Antipolis, France},
month = {03-05 October, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {616-625}}
... In this chapter, we will introduce the SADDIE method for developing educational games, which we developed ourselves, to propose a game design-based learning (GDBL) as an appropriate method for achieving digital competencies, expected from future teachers, as declared in DigCompEdu framework. Wu and Wang (2012) define game design-based learning (GDBL) as a learning approach in which students are encouraged to make design decisions (Spieler & Slany, 2018) in order to develop their own or to modify existing games on a basis of a chosen game development framework. Many researchers (Guzdial, 2015;Harackiewicz et al., 2014;Kafai, 2012;Qian & Clark, 2016;Spieler & Slany, 2018;Tzuo et al., 2012) have been recognizing the efficiency and positive effects on teaching and learning with the use of GDBL. ...
... Wu and Wang (2012) define game design-based learning (GDBL) as a learning approach in which students are encouraged to make design decisions (Spieler & Slany, 2018) in order to develop their own or to modify existing games on a basis of a chosen game development framework. Many researchers (Guzdial, 2015;Harackiewicz et al., 2014;Kafai, 2012;Qian & Clark, 2016;Spieler & Slany, 2018;Tzuo et al., 2012) have been recognizing the efficiency and positive effects on teaching and learning with the use of GDBL. Kafai (2012) argues that learning is most efficient if students are involved in a design process that includes the building of artefacts or objects because it engages their thinking and learning, especially if they are designing something that is personal and meaningful to them. ...
... Furthermore, game construction context can influence the students' performance and their intention to create projects in which knowledge and skills from previous activities would be transferred (Guzdial, 2015). There are also other benefits of designing games that include development of important skills such as analysis, synthesis, evaluations, revising, planning and monitoring (Wu & Wang, 2012), enhancing problemsolving skills, fostering the development of creative thinking skills (Spieler & Slany, 2018) which emerges naturally during the process of producing the game (Sanford & Madill, 2007), improving critical thinking, facilitating twenty-first century skill development (Qian & Clark, 2016), and overall making learning more engaging (Seaborn et al., 2012). ...
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This chapter discusses the role of agile software development methods and design thinking in university education. We will discuss the combination of agile and design thinking methods in software and media engineering education. The approaches of project-based learning and agile methods intermingled into various learning contexts are presented and discussed. The knowledge gathered from a series of experimental modules at the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences in Helsinki is brought together into a summary.
... In this chapter, we will introduce the SADDIE method for developing educational games, which we developed ourselves, to propose a game design-based learning (GDBL) as an appropriate method for achieving digital competencies, expected from future teachers, as declared in DigCompEdu framework. Wu and Wang (2012) define game design-based learning (GDBL) as a learning approach in which students are encouraged to make design decisions (Spieler & Slany, 2018) in order to develop their own or to modify existing games on a basis of a chosen game development framework. Many researchers (Guzdial, 2015;Harackiewicz et al., 2014;Kafai, 2012;Qian & Clark, 2016;Spieler & Slany, 2018;Tzuo et al., 2012) have been recognizing the efficiency and positive effects on teaching and learning with the use of GDBL. ...
... Wu and Wang (2012) define game design-based learning (GDBL) as a learning approach in which students are encouraged to make design decisions (Spieler & Slany, 2018) in order to develop their own or to modify existing games on a basis of a chosen game development framework. Many researchers (Guzdial, 2015;Harackiewicz et al., 2014;Kafai, 2012;Qian & Clark, 2016;Spieler & Slany, 2018;Tzuo et al., 2012) have been recognizing the efficiency and positive effects on teaching and learning with the use of GDBL. Kafai (2012) argues that learning is most efficient if students are involved in a design process that includes the building of artefacts or objects because it engages their thinking and learning, especially if they are designing something that is personal and meaningful to them. ...
... Furthermore, game construction context can influence the students' performance and their intention to create projects in which knowledge and skills from previous activities would be transferred (Guzdial, 2015). There are also other benefits of designing games that include development of important skills such as analysis, synthesis, evaluations, revising, planning and monitoring (Wu & Wang, 2012), enhancing problemsolving skills, fostering the development of creative thinking skills (Spieler & Slany, 2018) which emerges naturally during the process of producing the game (Sanford & Madill, 2007), improving critical thinking, facilitating twenty-first century skill development (Qian & Clark, 2016), and overall making learning more engaging (Seaborn et al., 2012). ...
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... In this chapter, we will introduce the SADDIE method for developing educational games, which we developed ourselves, to propose a game design-based learning (GDBL) as an appropriate method for achieving digital competencies, expected from future teachers, as declared in DigCompEdu framework. Wu and Wang (2012) define game design-based learning (GDBL) as a learning approach in which students are encouraged to make design decisions (Spieler & Slany, 2018) in order to develop their own or to modify existing games on a basis of a chosen game development framework. Many researchers (Kafai, 2012;Tzuo et al., 2012;Harackiewicz et al., 2014;Guzdial, 2015;Qian & Clark, 2016;Spieler & Slany, 2018) have been recognizing the efficiency and positive effects on teaching and learning with the use of GDBL. ...
... Wu and Wang (2012) define game design-based learning (GDBL) as a learning approach in which students are encouraged to make design decisions (Spieler & Slany, 2018) in order to develop their own or to modify existing games on a basis of a chosen game development framework. Many researchers (Kafai, 2012;Tzuo et al., 2012;Harackiewicz et al., 2014;Guzdial, 2015;Qian & Clark, 2016;Spieler & Slany, 2018) have been recognizing the efficiency and positive effects on teaching and learning with the use of GDBL. Kafai (2012) argues that learning is most efficient if students are involved in a design process that includes the building of artefacts or objects because it engages their thinking and learning, especially if they are designing something that is personal and meaningful to them. ...
... Furthermore, game construction context can influence the students' performance and their intention to create projects in which knowledge and skills from previous activities would be transferred (Guzdial, 2015). There are also other benefits of designing games that include development of important skills such as analysis, synthesis, evaluations, revising, planning and monitoring (Wu & Wang, 2012), enhancing problem-solving skills, fostering the development of creative thinking skills (Spieler & Slany, 2018) which emerges naturally during the process of producing the game (Sanford & Madill, 2007), improving critical thinking, facilitating 21st century skill development, (Quian & Clark, 2016) and overall making learning more engaging (Seaborn, El-Nasr, Milam, & Young, 2012). ...
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... Further, with the increased development of digital GBLEs in the educational context, it is significant to recognize that students' digital technologies are conditioned by age and gender (Sjöberg & Brooks, 2020). However, several research studies reveal that female students preferred more game design characteristics than their male counterparts (Spieler & Slany, 2018). Further, Tsai's (2017) study findings showed that the females had significantly better learning performance on gained knowledge acquisition than the males did after playing the game, and so does Khan et al.'s (2017) study that revealed female students outperformed males in terms of engagement and learning outcomes. ...
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