Quality Teaching

Why does the learning matter?

Using the Game 2 Learn teaching and learning approach, students engage in design and problem-solving activities in order to create their own digital games. They work in teams to undertake research into what makes a game successful, they then prepare and present their findings before undertaking their own digital game design. In the final stage of the project, their learning is synthesised as they trial their games and critically analyse them.

Game 2 Learn assists teachers to implement the model of pedagogy presented in Quality teaching in New South Wales public schools by the NSW Department of Education and Training. The model rests upon three dimensions - intellectual quality, quality learning environment and significance.

Intellectual Quality:
Deep knowledge
In designing their own game, students are challenged to think about what makes a game successful, the importance of narrative and other components of successful game design.
They synthesise and evaluate their research on digital games, draw conclusions and present these in a format that the audience will understand and that suits a project of this nature e.g. a blog or wiki.
They work collaboratively in a team and assist each others’ knowledge and understanding throughout the project.

Deep understanding
In Game 2 Learn, students identify the components of game design that make a game successful. They then apply these as principles to their own game design.
Through an iterative process of designing, testing and evaluating outcomes they build a deep understanding of game design.

Problematic knowledge
As students plan and design their games, they are encouraged to ask reflective questions such as, “why is this game fun?”, “what makes me want to play this game again?”, “why makes me want to stop playing this game?”
As students iteratively test and re-design their games they identify problems and try various solutions. They are encouraged to work in an authentic way through game design that involves identifying problems and sourcing fixes to bugs in programming.

Higher-order thinking
The Game 2 Learn program supports students in problem-solving activities where they regularly apply, analyse, synthesize and evaluate their knowledge.

Students use the authentic language of programming and graphic user interface design that is an inherent part of real-world game design.

Substantive communication
Students have substantive communication with each other, their teacher and through Game Maker forums and user testing pages they can also communicate with game design experts. This is combined with web publishing about their game designs on wiki and blog sites.

Quality learning environment:

Students immerse themselves in game design and demonstrate a deep interest in theirs and others games through the Game 2 Learn activities.

High expectations
Game design emphasizes participation, challenge, cooperation and individual problem-solving.
Game 2 Learn provides a rich space for this type of learning where expectations are high but where students can grow and develop skills in an environment that is safe and where failure is usual part of the learning experience.

Social Support
Through Game 2 Learn students critically reflect on their reasons for playing games. They analyse, share and debate a range of issues around the social nature of gaming.
Students’ self-regulation
The development of a successful game involves students in immersive problem-solving. Through iterative game design processes they take responsibility for identifying problems or issues and seeking solutions.

Student direction
Through the Game 2 Learn program all students work through tasks to produce their own game. The inclusion of student-produced tutorials demonstrates how self-directed many students become.


Background knowledge
In the Game 2 Learn program there is a significant reliance upon students’ background knowledge and interest in playing digital games and in game design.
Knowledge integration
Game 2 Learn supports broad outcomes across science and technology as well as literacy and numeracy and provides students with many opportunities to integrate their knowledge across these learning areas.
Students work in teams to critically analyse games and game design. Through the Game 2 Learn tasks, they support each other and participate in shared learning outcomes.
The Game 2 Learn program provides a rich learning task that connects the work of the classroom with authentic game-player and game-design contexts outside the classroom.
Students develop their own games which require them to create and use a narrative to underpin their game design.

For more information on the NSW Quality Teaching model, visit the website https://www.det.nsw.edu.au/proflearn/areas/qt/