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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Moray House School of Education and Sport : Education

Postgraduate Course: Digital games, play and the psychology of learning (EDUA11427)

Course Outline
SchoolMoray House School of Education and Sport CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course will introduce participants to the application of digital games and play in educational settings. As this is a developing field, with more potential than current manifestation, an inclusive definition of game-based learning will be used. The course will consider actual and potential application of existing commercial games in educational settings, games that have been specifically created with educational objectives in mind, and a wider array of practices in experiential learning that can broadly be described as game-informed. In parallel with this practical emphasis the course will provide a theoretical context for the relationships between games, play and the psychology of learning.

Students from outwith the Digital Education programme wishing to enrol for this course or take it on a 'class only' basis must liaise directly with the course organiser before enrolling.
Course description The course is based on several threads of activity that run in parallel across the period of the semester.

The reading load, though challenging, is light relative to other courses on the programme, as there is an intention that participants should spend a significant amount of time in game play. Academic study is based around a number of themes relating to games, play and learning, and participants are asked to focus particular attention on only three of these themes, and thus to become expert consultants for their peers.

Interaction and discussion on the course is synchronised by a series of activities, collaborative and competitive, that unfold week by week. Game play can be both individual and collective.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  25
Course Start Semester 2
Course Start Date 16/01/2023
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) There are three summative elements, with supporting formative activities:

1. Critical review. Participants will review a digital game and evaluate how it might inform learning in a formal, informal or non-formal educational setting. (1000 words) (20%)

2. Position paper. Participants will write a critical reflection on their chosen course theme, relating this to their own education experiences. (1000 words) (30%)

3. Playful design. Participants will design a game or game-informed playful activity (with or without dependency on digital technologies) directed towards the promotion of some specified learning outcome. (2000 words) (50%)
Feedback Feedback comes throughout the course in formative activities such as forum discussions, synchronous tutorials and virtual field trips to shared gaming spaces. Feedforward is explored through group assignment preparation and peer feedback. Finally, individual tutor feedback on assessed activities is given.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand the features, terminology, history and taxonomy of games, play and related psychological concepts
  2. Critically evaluate a range of games and game environments through theoretical perspectives, direct experience and immersion
  3. Evaluate and critically assess the relation between play, games and learning in formal and informal settings
  4. Design, describe and evaluate your own original approach to game-informed or playful learning in your own educational context
Reading List
Bateson, P., Bateson, P. P. G., & Martin, P. (2013). Play, playfulness, creativity and innovation. Cambridge University Press.

Gee, J. P. (2007). What video games have to teach us about learning and literacy. Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan.

Juul, J. (2013). The art of failure : an essay on the pain of playing video games. Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press.

McGonigal, J. (2011). Reality is broken : why games make us better and how they can change the world. New York, Penguin Press.

Plass, J. L., Mayer, R. E., & Homer, B. D. (Eds.). (2020). Handbook of game-based learning. Mit Press.

Whitton, N. (2010). Learning with digital games : a practical guide to engaging students in higher education. London, Routledge.

Willson, M., & Leaver, T. (Eds.). (2017). Social, casual and mobile games: the changing gaming landscape. Bloomsbury Publishing USA.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Keywordsgames,play,psychology,learning,digital education,game-based,game-informed
Course organiserMs Clara O'Shea
Tel: (0131 6)51 6116
Course secretaryMiss Miao Zhang
Tel: (0131 6)51 6265
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