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Games for Learning

Project Leader(s): 
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This project, now completed, investigated the actual and potential role of games (including digital and non-digital, gameplay, game design, and gamification) to support ‘transformative learning opportunities’ for diverse learners in New Zealand schools.

The project foregrounded the experiences of New Zealand teachers and learners as game players, game selectors, or game makers. It aimed to understand:

  • how users and players think about games in relation to learning
  • what personal and pedagogical choices they make when games are used in learning environments
  • what happens in the learning environment when games are part of the picture.

This data was woven together with theory from the growing international literature on games for learning to provide a critical perspective on possible directions for games to support New Zealand learners to develop their potential.

Project team

Rachel Bolstad, Sue McDowall, Elliot Lawes

Games for Learning project publications:

Year published Title Publication type
2019 Games, gamification, and game design for learning: Innovative practice and possibilities in New Zealand schools Research report
2018 Opening the door to games at Hutt Central School: The benefits of a syndicate-wide approach Research report
2018 Editorial Journal article
2018 Researching game-based learning practices in Aotearoa New Zealand Journal article
2017 Critical literacy and games in New Zealand classrooms Working paper
2017 Playing for Peace: Complex role-play gaming in high school history Research report
Opening the door to games at Hutt Central School
Game design: an object lesson in seeking and receiving feedback
Game design is hard. That's why your students should do it.
Rachel's recommended reads, views, and listens (repost)
Rachel's top picks on games and gamification
Can conference participants gamify their own learning?
Game developers on an educational mission: Dan Milward and Maru Nihoniho
James Everett on working in game design, and two ideas for discussion
Yasmin Kafai on what students learn from making games
Bron Stuckey on rethinking who (and what) makes a game educational
Exploring and extending culture through games: Amy Fredeen on Never Alone
Four things I learned about ngā tākaro (games) from Harko Brown
What motivates game-using teachers? Episode 6
Game-based learning: Typologies and butterflies
Gazing through the fog surrounding games and learning
Digital gaming, coding, and makerspaces in NZ schools (Part 3)
Digital gaming, coding, and makerspaces in NZ schools (Part 1)
“Do games help learning? Where’s the evidence?” Simple questions with not-so-simple answers
“What would the principal think?” Game-using teachers on how their peers view their practices
What motivates game-using teachers? Episode 5
What motivates game-using teachers? Episode 4
Advice from game-using teachers
Games for learning research project update #3
Games for learning research project update #2