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Towards a Game-Based Learning Ecosystem: An Institutional Strategy

Lockley, Alison and Boyle, Alicia (2014). Towards a Game-Based Learning Ecosystem: An Institutional Strategy. In: The 8th European Conference on Games Based Learning, Berlin, Germany, 9-10 October 2014.

Document type: Conference Paper
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IRMA ID 84279116xPUB327
Author Lockley, Alison
Boyle, Alicia
Title Towards a Game-Based Learning Ecosystem: An Institutional Strategy
Conference Name The 8th European Conference on Games Based Learning
Conference Location Berlin, Germany
Conference Dates 9-10 October 2014
Conference Publication Title Proceedings of the 8th European Conference on Games Based Learning
Place of Publication Germany
Publisher Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited
Publication Year 2014
Start Page 312
End Page 320
Total Pages 9
HERDC Category E1 - Conference Publication (DIISR)
Abstract In 2013 Charles DarwinUniversity (CDU) embarked on a journey to explore the use of game‐based learning (GBL) and game
thinking as ways to improve engagement and learning outcomes for students. While games have been widely acknowledged as
effective learning tools (Johnson et al., 2013) and have the potential to support learning in a variety of contexts (Whitton , 2012),
there is little information available in relation to systemic implementation of GBL in Higher Education (HE) institutions.
This paper presents a proposed GBL ecosystem that will form the basis of a framework for an institutional strategy to support the
use of GBL pedagogical approaches at CDU. Based on the work by Epper, Derryberry and Jackson (2012), this paper discusses
factors that need to be considered, from a strategic viewpoint, to enable a GBL ecosystem to be effective. These factors include:
Design; Policy and Governance; Faculty Readiness; Technology Infrastructure; and Monitoring and Evaluation. The paper incorporates findings collected through workshops run as part of the “Game On: Exploring Innovative Pedagogies: Using Game
Design to Enhance Online Learning Symposium” hosted by Charles Darwin University in September 2013. The aims of the Symposium were to: Share information about the potential for the incorporation of game design, GBL and/or gamification (the
integration of game elements, mechanics and frameworks into non‐game situations and scenarios), elements into learning resources; and, to explore the opportunities and potential barriers that would arise from such a decision. A mixed methods approach was used to collect data from attendees through anonymous online surveys, workshop activities and observations.
While there is no doubt that many CDU staff are enthusiastic about the opportunities for development of content that could be more engaging, motivating and fun for students, the GBL ecosystem is still under discussion while consideration is given to the
levels of support, professional development, and associated business models needed to successfully implement such a proposal.
Part of the proposal is the establishment of a centre of excellence for GBL development and the offering of seeding grants to spark
initiatives. Implementation of the framework also requires a scalable, staged approach to allow adequate time for professional
development and establishment of the underlying support tools and structures. CDU is in a unique position as a dual sector
university, to be able to support and provide learning experiences for both vocational and higher education  students. Additionally
CDU’s geographically diverse student population, where more than 75% of students access some or all of their learning resources
online, places CDU in a strong position to leverage opportunities presented through game‐based learningpedagogies.
Keyword Game-based learning
Systemic implementation
Higher education
Game-based learning ecosystem
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Created: Wed, 19 Aug 2015, 16:40:28 CST