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March 22 – 24, 2017 Orlando, FL

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P09 BYOL: Play to Learn—Designing Effective Learning Games

8:30 AM - 4:30 PM Tuesday, March 21

International South

Learning games are a hot trend—but why? What makes them work, and how in the world do you go about designing one?

In this workshop, you will explore a variety of games to identify what makes them playable, and then you’ll design your own learning games using a step-by-step approach. You will build a prototype of your game and actually play it—learning how to play test and how to iterate to improve the game’s playability and efficacy as a learning tool. You will leave the workshop with a coherent road map to help you design future games (whether those are online or table-top games). You will also take with you a list of resources to help you further your learning and skill development as a game designer.

In this session, you will learn:

  • How to use an evaluation checklist to assess a wide array of games for the quality and effectiveness of your game design and your potential applicability to a learning game design
  • How to recognize and define 15 common game elements and 10 common game dynamics in the development of learning games
  • How to create simple prototypes for learning games
  • How to use a play testing process to do rapid iteration of a game design

Novice to advanced designers, developers, and anyone else who wants to learn how to incorporate effective games into their learning initiatives.

Participant technology requirements:
Participants should bring a laptop or tablet. If participants are unable to bring a device, there will be an opportunity to share and work in teams.

Karl Kapp


Bloomsburg University

Karl Kapp, Ed.D., is a professor of instructional technology at Bloomsburg University, where he teaches instructional game design, gamification classes, and online learning design. He is the creator of the web video series, "The Unauthorized, Unofficial History of Learning Game." Karl has authored or co-authored eight books including The Gamification of Learning and Instruction, its accompanying field book, and the widely popular, Play to Learn. He is the author of 10 LinkedIn Learning courses. Karl's academic and practitioner work explores the research, theoretical foundations, and practical application of gamification and game-thinking to organizational performance issues.

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