Educational and Serious Game Design: Case Study In Collaboration

Jon A Preston


For the past four years, I have taught an Educational and Serious Game Design (CGDD4303) course at Southern Polytechnic State University. This is a senior-level course in which students apply their previous game design and development learning in an educational/serious setting with a real-world customer. Specifically, this course has partnered with local non-profit and elementary and middle schools. The course begins by presenting an overview and history of learning games, then we initiate a collaborative process with the educational partner wherein game design students work alongside teachers and students at the partner K-12 school.  The games are iteratively refined and presented to the K-12 teachers and students throughout the last two months of the semester, thus a truly collaborative development process with review by all involved is achieved. I have found that the college students are invigorated in their studies by having real ‘customers’ for their course projects, and the K-12 teachers and students benefit through the interaction as well. Furthermore, we have found that the process of developing the games is as much of a learning experience for SPSU students as the content within the games themselves is for the K-12 students. This paper presents our lessons learned from the perspective of the college students as well as the K-12 teachers and students. This unique collaboration between the university and the local K-12 schools does require some initial work to establish expectations, but once the projects are defined and the partnership is underway, we have seen incredible benefits from this approach to service-based learning. It is our hope that others can learn from our successes and apply these techniques within their own courses.

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ISSN 2163-3177

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