Choosing and Using Games in the Classroom

Presentation Type: 1/2 or full day workshop
Group Size: up to 25
Audience: Educators, Designers, Administrators
Presenter(s): Katrin Becker


The use of digital games for learning is becoming ever more popular, but there are few ways to analyse and assess these games. Research on the efficacy of games is growing, but it still won’t help administrators, classroom teachers, and other educators decide whether a particular game is a viable candidate for use in their school or classroom. This tutorial will introduce participants to the general considerations that are important when assessing games and work through the analysis of several games using the presenter’s own “Magic Bullet” – a simple model for assessing the learning potential of digital games.


Participants will come away from this workshop with:

  • Have a greater understanding of the current state of digital game based learning.
  • Know what criteria are important when assessing the suitability of a digital game as a learning object in their specific situation.
  • Have a better understanding for what makes a good educational game, and what doesn’t.
  • Gain some first-hand experience with ways to examine and assess digital games for learning.
  • Get to know the Magic Bullet Assessment Model for educational games and understand how is can be used.

Participants will have an opportunity to:

  • See how the model can be used as a lens through which to assess existing games by using the model to evaluate several existing games.

Intended audience

Educators and Administrators tasked with deciding whether and which digital games could or should be used in their classrooms or with their learners. Anyone else interested in learning how to examine and assess digital games with an eye to determining their potential utility for learning.

Experience level and prerequisites

No gaming experience required.

It is assumed that participants have either taught or designed courses in a relatively formal setting, i.e. formal education (K-12, post-secondary), or professional training or performance improvement where performance objectives are measured for some certification or credential.

Familiarity with basic computer use and web navigation assumed.