This module models the UDL Principles of Representation and Action & Expression.

Game-Based Learning

Using games to Increase Representation, Expression, and Engagement


Contributing Faculty

Mr. Scott Rice
Belk Library and Info. Commons
Appalachian State University


Appalachian State University Game-based learning has been growing in popularity for years, with researchers noticing that good game experiences and effective educational experiences have many similarities. Both types of experiences engage students on many levels, provide multiple means for learning content, and are flexible enough to be used in various contexts and learning situations. The following video provides a brief introduction to game-based learning [transcript].

Figure 1: "What is Game Based Learning" (3:23 minutes)

Scott Rice, an Associate Professor and Librarian at Appalachian State University, has used game-based learning in several different contexts to enhance the classroom experience and to deliver game-based learning over the web. He has used games, puzzles, and game-like simulations to teach concepts in an introductory philosophy course, used games to provide library instruction, and created several online educational games. He has also taught a freshman seminar course entitled "The Study of Games," which examined games and game design in detail, with students creating their own games as final projects in the course.

Module Format

Each of the College STAR modules includes a concept map, giving readers an overview of the module content. (A concept map represents information in a graphical format.) The module concept maps show the links between the instructional practice in the module, possible outcomes, and, in some cases, the principles of Universal Design for Learning, known as UDL.

Figure 1, the concept map shown below, illustrates the instructional practice in this module, which is using game-based learning. The module outlines how games are defined, the links between good game-based learning and good educational practice, and types of games that may be used. In addition, the module discusses different design approaches to using games in the classroom. The module also gives examples of ways in which this pedagogical practice may be used, as it outlines several different games Mr. Rice has used in his instruction.

Concept map presenting an overview of the module content as noted in preceding paragraphs.

Figure 2: Concept Map: Game-Based Learning

Module Navigation

There are multiple ways to navigate College STAR modules. Clicking on the sidebar menu takes you directly to the main sections and subsections of the module.

Navigation features located at the top and bottom of each screen allow you to move through the module. Clicking on the “breadcrumb trail” at the top of the module screen takes you directly to previously viewed parts of the module, as shown below in Figure 3 in the example from the Charting Student Information module.

Figure 3: A "breadcrumb trail" is located below the title of each page. A "breadcrumb trail" is located below the title of each page.

The navigation arrows at the bottom of each screen take you to the previous or next components of the module. The menu link at the bottom of each screen takes you to the top of the screen where you may view the menu sidebar as shown in Figure 3 below.

Figure 4: Navigation links are also located at the bottom of each page of a module.

Additionally, some links within the text lead to other sections of the module. Please use your preferred method of navigation to proceed to the next section about Universal Design for Learning (UDL).