Design Thinking, Game Design, and School Subjects: What is the Connection?

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If you want to learn how to become more creative, better at collaboration, or want to develop your critical thinking skills playing games can be a powerful activity. If you want to be even surer, then build a game. This was the conclusion of a review performed by Qian and Clark (2016) on how Game-Based Learning can develop 21st Century Skills. Understanding relations between the broad categories of “learning”, “design”, and “games” is crucial in the research project Game-Based
Learning in the 21st Century (, where we introduce game design activities through 24 teaching units for three subjects respectively Math, Science, and Danish. However, finding meaningful relations between design processes, game tools, and school subjects have proven to be a challenging task. In order to handle this challenge, our paper describes existing research on how to design games as a learning activity. The contribution of the paper is to provide a better understanding of the relations between the three domains of design thinking (DT), game tools/activities, and curriculum in order to develop, game design activities, which are relevant to teaching subjects. The contribution is an insight into research in game design as an approach to teaching; as well as, a review of relevant theories on designing as learning activity, and a discussion of how to implement these approaches in teaching.
TitelProceedings of the 13th International Conference on Game Based Learning, ECGBL 2019
RedaktørerLars Elbaek, Gunver Majgaard, Andrea Valente, Saifuddin Khalid
Antal sider9
ForlagAcademic Conferences and Publishing International
ISBN (Trykt)978-1-912764-38-9
ISBN (Elektronisk)978-1-912764-37-2
StatusUdgivet - 2019
Begivenhed13th European Conference on Games-Based Learning 2019 - Odense, Danmark
Varighed: 3 okt. 20194 okt. 2019


Konference13th European Conference on Games-Based Learning 2019


  • Design Thinking
  • Game-based Learning
  • Game design
  • school subject
  • Learning goals