This conference is organized by iGBL Conference.

IWorkSafe: A Scenario-based Solution To Workplace Safety Training


The Problem:

Health and safety (H&S) compliance training in organisations can often suffer from a number of shortcomings which can make it ineffective in terms of both positive learning experience for the learner and beneficial learning outcomes. While organisations seek to fulfil legal and ethical obligations by delivering H&S training, it is regarded by employees as time-consuming, unengaging, or uninteresting, and irrelevant to the context of their workplace and the kind of work they do, and as unrelated or inconsequential to the reality of their own behaviour or the impact safety could have on their lives.

Objectives and Approach:

In the domain of safety critical environments, such as in complex manufacturing environments or in heavy industries, where injuries and fatalities are more commonplace, H&S training needs to take on an extra level of importance. Immersive learning has been shown to increase engagement and motivation of learners, by making them a more active participant in the learning experience as opposed to passively obtaining information. Compliance training effectiveness could be greatly improved through a learning approach that employs a personalised immersive learning experience, through which learners can engage more actively with the content and are provided with opportunities to both reflect on their learning and understand its impact. However, immersive technology has proven somewhat inaccessible to industries because of high-cost, difficulty of implementation, and lack of accurate organisation specific context provided by the solution.
The iWorkSafe project and associated platform seeks to combine immersive technologies with real world scenarios and outcomes, real-time and personalised feedback, and serious gamified elements.
In order to define the requirements for such a platform, a rigorous research methodology was followed which involved numerous subject matter experts and end-user representatives. The challenges encountered by specific learner and customer personas were defined through the use of ‘Jobs to be Done’ workshops. A comprehensive design thinking process was then followed which asked end-user representatives to prototype various solutions in an iterative manner. The result of this process was the creation of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for immersive learning named iWorkSafe. The iWorkSafe platform brings the learner through a personalised immersive scenario-based journey, whereby they interact with a contextually accurate work environment, and complete tasks and challenges related to safety knowledge. The platform allows learners to reflect on their learning journey and consider the impact the learning has on their daily work life.


From this presentation, participants will learn the process by which Learnovate approached these particular learning challenges, the importance of effective learning experiences in this space, and the elements of the solution that we propose to create a more effective and engaging learning experience for learners in this context.


  • Antonsen, S. (2017). Safety culture: theory, method and improvement. CRC Press.
  • Becker, P., & Morawetz, J. (2004). Impacts of health and safety education: Comparison of worker activities before and after training. American journal of industrial medicine, 46(1), 63-70.
  • Konijn, A. M., Lay, A. M., Boot, C. R. L., & Smith, P. M. (2018). The effect of active and passive occupational health and safety (OHS) training on OHS awareness and empowerment to participate in injury prevention among workers in Ontario and British Columbia (Canada). Safety Science, 108(October 2017), 286–291.
  • Stone, R., Caird-Daley, A., & Bessell, K. (2009). SubSafe: A games-based training system for submarine safety and spatial awareness (Part 1). Virtual Reality, 13(1), 3–12.
  • Wirth, O., & Sigurdsson, S. O. (2008). When workplace safety depends on behavior change: Topics for behavioral safety research. Journal of Safety Research, 39(6), 589–598.

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The Birth Of Alfie The Alpaca; Using Game Based Learning To Bring An Early Literacy Screening Tool To Life


ALPACA (Assessing Letter & Phonemic Awareness Class Assistant) is an early literacy digital screening tool used by teachers to monitor children’s progress in literacy skills in their first year of formal schooling and to identify children at risk for future reading difficulties. The tool consists of a student app, whereby children aged between 4 and 6 years old self-administer a series of phonemic assessments, and an educator dashboard, whereby teachers and other stakeholders can access and analyse results from the student assessments. These results are calculated automatically and colour-coded so teachers can easily determine which children have struggled with certain phonemic tasks. The assessment model of ALPACA was developed by Dr. Jen O Sullivan, while the digital tool itself was developed in-house at the Learnovate Centre, Trinity College Dublin.

A major aspect of the user experience of the student app is the perceived gamified element by student users, who must complete a series of different tasks during a typical assessment. Each task consists of a sequence of assessment items, where an embedded audio instruction is played to the student, who then must take an action to select a correct image from a number of choices. Much of the assessment experience is centred around the character Alfie the Alpaca.

By completing each item in a task, the user allows Alfie the Alpaca to eat a bale of hay. As each task is completed, Alfie moves across a field towards his home barn. Alfie is also on-hand to provide audiovisual cues and encouragement to the student user. It is with this simplified gamified principle that 8000 children have thus far been able to successfully self-onboard and self administer the ALPACA assessment.

In this presentation, we will describe the design process used to develop the ALPACA student app. We will describe the initial literature review of state-of-the-art digital onboarding for children, how gamified elements were explored and trialled, and how the user interface was developed using an iterative design thinking process. We will also present testimony from users on their use of the ALPACA system, and how the game based learning approach has increased the engagement of students and teachers in early literacy screening.

Attendees of the presentation will learn of the design approach followed to design a gamified experience for children between the ages of 4-6. Attendees will learn of the challenges encountered and how they were overcome, and how designing even a relatively simple gamified experience can present complex challenges when it is being designed for use in a fluid use environment (school classroom) by young children. Attendees may be able to apply the lessons learned to their own game based learning experiences.

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GaelQuest: A Fantasy Card Game For Learning Irish


Target Audiences

GaelQuest: Destiny is a custom tabletop card game currently in development. Designed for 2-6 players, its goal is to foster Irish-language learning. Intended audiences include teenagers and adults in Irish and Irish diaspora communities. The game is suited to learners with little or no previous knowledge of Irish.

Key Objectives for the Game

In this game, players are on a quest to discover the “Lia Fáil,” a legendary stone that roars in the presence of the true king or queen. Each player takes on the role of a fantasy hero characterized by common suits and traits. Similarly grouped story cards, representing scenes, foes, gear, etc., present Irish words and phrases. Gameplay involves playing tricks of matching cards. By combining the cards, simple sentences are constructed that support the game’s learning objectives, which are to develop competence in Irish phonology and pronunciation and acquire a basic understanding of Irish syntax (e.g., verb-subject-object word order). As such, and especially in the case of heritage-language learners, gaelQuest: Destiny may be thought of as a foreign-language exploratory (FLEX) game intended to promote Modern Irish as a topic of study and personal enrichment.

Relevance to the Conference

This session will explore the application of game-based learning principles to the teaching and promotion of heritage and/or less-commonly taught languages (LCTLs). It will include a brief overview of the game concept, themes, and genre elements that support situated learning (Hammer et al., 2018), especially sociocultural and motivational aspects of game-based learning. This will be followed by a demonstration of the prototyping and playtesting of a non-digital game, including review of design challenges specific to L2 Irish-language games and the strategies used to address them. Preliminary playtest findings, next steps, and future opportunities will be presented for discussion and critique.

Planned Format:

Printed, bilingual custom card game featuring original artwork and scannable QR codes linking to complementary multimedia (audio) and a bilingual community website.


Hammer, J., et al.,”Learning and Role-Playing Games,” in Zagal, José P. and Deterding, S. (eds.), Role-Playing Game Studies. New York: Routledge, 2018.

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Exploring The Impact Of Digital Game-Based Learning With The Leap Motion Controller Using Artificial Intelligence On Programming Pedagogy At Third-Level


Digital game-based learning strategies are pushing forward differences in didactics in teaching and learning at third-level education (Kim and Ifenthaler, 2019). It is argued that the design process of assessment in the teaching and learning in third-level teaching is arguably very time-consuming. The early adopters of game-based learning strategies can be criticised for a different teaching approach while it seeks to embrace modern-centric learner-focused problem-solving methods that are open and collaborative in a mixed-ability classroom. These game-based learning solutions may include aspects of artificial intelligence and adapt to learners‘ needs. While the world is being shaped by artificial intelligence tools, it is essential to equip students with the skills for a digital era that is ever-evolving (Amnouychokanant et al., 2021). Research questions include:

  • What is the potential for a Gesture-Based game to be used as a tool when teaching programming at third-level?
  • What were the students‘ attitudes before and after using the Leap Motion game?
  • What are the key design elements of a Gesture-Based game and the key challenges for programming teaching environments at third-level implementation?
The purpose of this study is to present the findings conducted after implementing a novel game-based learning approach using gesture-based technology methods. A game was developed using the Leap Motion tool with students engaging in the initial stages of the study using a set of memorisation tasks to learn the foundations of programming. The students then progress to the next phase of the game progressing onto a story-based game that requires solving programming tasks in different contexts based on their ability. The study is conducted over several phases with the first phase collecting feedback from the memorisation game as well as establishing a baseline of students‘ confidence, attitudes and perspectives towards programming. The second phase involves collecting feedback from the story-based game. A survey was conducted at each phase of the study to collect students‘ attitudes regarding programming using an adjustment of the Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) context questionnaires which originally focus on either students‘ attitudes towards mathematics or science perspectives. The context questionnaires consisted of 20 questions on a four-point scale in four dimensions (attitudes towards programming, confidence in programming, motivation towards learning programming and feedback regarding the game itself and improvements (contents, gameplay)). The study supports that the level of engagement and motivation can be improved for different novel experiences (Bakhsh et al., 2022). The effects of learning skills regarding programming using the Leap Motion and a digital game-based learning within context can have different outcomes. As expected the effects of a digital game-based learning solution engages the students and support the notion that offering a solution provides advantages and therefore confirms findings also associated with (Hafeez, 2022). The study provides some tentative evidence that gesture-based technology also impacts positively on students motivation, perspectives towards programming and insights into improving confidence levels while also getting into the concept of a flow state as finding the game intrinsically enjoyable as corroboating the findings by (Admiraal et al., 2011).


  • Admiraal, W., Huizenga, J., Akkerman, S. and Dam, G. ten (2011). The concept of flow in collaborative game-based learning. Computers in Human Behavior, 27(3), pp.1185–1194. doi:
  • Amnouychokanant, V., Boonlue, S., Chuathong, S. and Thamwipat, K. (2021). A Study of First-Year Students’ Attitudes toward Programming in the Innovation in Educational Technology Course. Education Research International, [online] 2021, p.e9105342. doi:
  • Kim, Y.J. and Ifenthaler, D. (2019). Game-Based Assessment: The Past Ten Years and Moving Forward. Advances in Game-Based Learning, pp.3–11. doi:
  • Bakhsh, K., Hafeez, M., Shahzad, S., Naureen, B. and Farid, M.F. (2022). Effectiveness of Digital Game Based Learning Strategy in Higher Educational Perspectives. Journal of Education and e-Learning Research, 9(4), pp.258–268. doi:
  • Hafeez, M. (2022). Effects of game-based learning in comparison to traditional learning to provide an effective learning environment—A comparative review. Contemporary Educational Researches Journal, 12(2), pp.89–105. doi:

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How Can Virtual Reality Enhance Communication During Online Academic Conferences?


During the COVID-19 pandemic, the vast majority of scientific conferences were conducted through video-conferencing platforms such as Zoom, MS Teams, and Google Meet. Despite the cessation of lockdowns, some organizers have chosen to continue hosting their events in an online format. This decision is often attributed to the fact that online events can reduce the costs associated with organizing and participating in conferences, broaden accessibility to a more diverse group of researchers worldwide, and positively impact the environment by decreasing CO2 emissions through the reduction of travel requirements. However, the transition to this format is not without drawbacks, as it may diminish the sense of social and spatial presence and reduce networking opportunities, which are essential aspects of academic conferences.
In recent years, VR technology has undergone intensive development in the entertainment sector. Our objective was to investigate whether there is potential for leveraging the capabilities of this technology to partially gamify a scientific conference by conducting it within a 3D immersive virtual world. We present a case study of an academic conference held entirely on a social VR platform (National Scientific Conference – Wirtualium 2.0) and discuss the results from a survey conducted among its participants (n=43).
The majority of respondents stated that social VR is a suitable platform for the organization of scientific conferences. Most participants noted that during conferences in social VR, the sense of co-presence of others is stronger compared to video-conferencing systems. The majority of participants also mentioned that speaking up is less stressful during conferences in social VR, and establishing new contacts is easier. However, the participants pointed out that conferences in social VR present more technical problems. Other disadvantages of conferences in social VR identified by the participants were the limited availability of VR headsets, the necessity for new technical skills, and difficulties in taking notes.
Despite these challenges, most survey respondents believe that social VR holds promise for hosting such events. Acknowledging the technical and practical limitations, our study suggests that the unique capabilities of social VR could offer experiences not possible in traditional settings, potentially altering the academic conference landscape in the future. This study underscores the importance of integrating gamification into the academic domain, proposing that the immersive and interactive nature of VR can enhance engagement and collaboration in online scholarly gatherings.


  • Waligórski, J., Samsel, Z., Cząstkiewicz, A., & Frys, N. (2023). Reimagining Online Academic Conferences: The Promise of Social Virtual Reality for the Return of Co-Presence. International Journal of Research in E-learning, 1-24.
  • Roos, G., Oláh, J., Ingle, R., Kobayashi, R., & Feldt, M. (2020). Online conferences–Towards a new (virtual) reality. Computational and Theoretical Chemistry, 1189, 112975.
  • Bray, H. J., Stone, J., Litchfield, L., Britt, K. L., Hopper, J. L., & Ingman, W. V. (2022). Together alone: Going online during covid-19 is changing scientific conferences. Challenges, 13(1), 7.
  • Wei, X., Jin, X., & Fan, M. (2022). Communication in immersive social virtual reality: A systematic review of 10 years’ studies. Chinese CHI 2022: The Tenth International Symposium of Chinese CHI.
  • Mulders, M., & Zender, R. (2021). An academic conference in virtual reality?-evaluation of a SocialVR conference. In 2021 7th International Conference of the Immersive Learning Research Network (iLRN) (pp. 1-6). IEEE.

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Incremental Model For Designing An Android-Based Educational Game “Adventure The Kingdom Of Majapahit


The Majapahit Kingdom stands as a significant chapter in Indonesian history, yet despite its profound impact, it often remains shrouded in mystery due to insufficient attention from various sectors. Recognizing this gap in public knowledge, the author embarked on a journey to create an engaging educational platform centered around the history of the Majapahit Kingdom, leveraging the immersive potential of digital gaming. By integrating historical narratives into a digital gaming framework, the author aimed to offer students a dynamic learning experience that transcends traditional classroom settings. This innovative approach not only captures students’ attention but also fosters a deeper understanding and appreciation of the Majapahit era. The development process of this educational game followed the incremental model of software development, spanning three iterative phases. Each increment allowed for refinement and enhancement, ensuring that the final product meets both educational objectives and gaming standards. Upon completion, the game underwent rigorous testing to evaluate its effectiveness and usability. Pre-test and post-test assessments revealed a significant improvement in students’ knowledge of Majapahit history, with performance gains ranging from 20% to 65%. In the educational game “Adventure: The Kingdom of Majapahit”, children can learn about the history of Majapahit from its establishment to its downfall, as well as the wars and conflicts during the Majapahit era along with the key figures involved. These findings underscore the success of the educational game, affirming its capacity to not only educate but also engage and inspire learners. By harnessing the power of digital gaming as a pedagogical tool, educators can effectively bridge the gap between historical scholarship and contemporary learning preferences. Moreover, the positive reception of the game highlights its potential for broader dissemination and adoption within educational institutions nationwide. As awareness of the Majapahit Kingdom grows, so too does the appreciation for Indonesia’s rich cultural heritage and historical legacy. In conclusion, the development of an educational game centered around the Majapahit Kingdom represents a groundbreaking initiative in the realm of history education. By marrying interactive gaming with historical scholarship, this innovative approach promises to revolutionize the way students engage with and understand the complexities of the past, ensuring that the legacy of the Majapahit Kingdom endures for generations to come

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Land Of The Three Fires: Intentional Game Design And The Affordances & Constraints Of Creating Authentic, Transdisciplinary And Critical Learning Outcomes



In this paper we offer a transdisciplinary examination of the design process that informs our educational game prototype, Land of the Three Fires. Our game is set in Michigan, US in the early 16th century, prior to the arrival of French explorers, missionaries, and colonizers; it will use a historical map to provide players with a decolonial understanding of place that pays specific attention to Indigenous naming practices of the Anishinaabe tribes. Our prototype, with its focus on environmental justice, decolonization, and magical realism offers a unique context to begin reimagining how coding and computational learning games can embody important social themes. Specifically, our puzzle game is framed within Anishinaabe culture and literacy practices and invites players to engage with basic coding and computational thinking principles while simultaneously learning about the land where they live and the Indigenous peoples who have inhabited these lands for over a thousand years–these dual goals aim to ensure that the game is appropriate for a variety of learning spaces (e.g. public schools, community centers, science centers, cultural centers, libraries, etc.). Our primary research question–How can a video game be designed to teach alternative histories while at the same time support a transdisciplinary learning experience?–directly inform the multifaceted critical learning outcomes we imagine for this game. For players, these include:
  • teaching environmental justice through uniting culture, language, and literacy via decolonial land narratives;
  • teaching intentional and ethical choices via basic coding principles, which serve as tools for community impact. For game designers and educators, these include:
  • setting an example of how humanities content can and should inform diverse, technology focused learning;
  • creating an informal humanities-driven learning experience that students can enjoy without didactic teaching methods;
  • diversifying the gaming industry through teaching place-based foundational skills to underrepresented minority students.
Throughout gameplay learning will be connected to solving a series of puzzles, which will be informed by Indigenous stories collected from our Indigenous Advisory Board and Indigenous partners; this collaboration relies upon reciprocal practices of dialogic engagement and rhetorical listening. The puzzles are designed to help players understand the importance of environmental stewardship and conservation; the objective of the game is to restore nature and defeat the antagonist using game mechanics that teach how to protect the land. In terms of social impact, Land of the Three Fires is designed for players to engage with the tenets of environmental justice via participatory design; especially attention to decolonial histories, Indigenous land narratives, Indigenous language and literacy, and magical realism.


  • Au, W., Brown, A. L., & Calderón, D. (2016). Reclaiming the multicultural roots of US curriculum: Communities of color and official knowledge in education. Teachers College Press. Care principles. Global Indigenous Data Alliance. (n.d.).
  • Cragoe, N. G. (2017). Narrating indigenous boundaries: Postcolonial and decolonial storytelling in northern Minnesota. Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, 23(2), Paula, B. (2021). Decolonizing Game Literacy. In Global Citizenship for Adult Education (pp. 325-333). Routledge.
  • Flanagan, M. (2009). Critical play: Radical game design. MIT Pres
  • Silva, C., Reyes, M. C., & Koenitz, H. (2022, December). Towards a Decolonial Framework for IDN. In Interactive Storytelling: 15th International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling, ICIDS 2022, Santa Cruz, CA, USA, December 4–7, 2022, Proceedings (pp. 193-205). Cham: Springer International Publishing.

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Educational Game Design: Exploring Energy Matrices Through A Monopoly-Inspired Approach



This paper describes the current design and development of a serious game to enhance player knowledge regarding the diverse energy mixes employed by different countries, considering their geophysical characteristics and energy policies. The problem statement describes the need to convey the energy matrix and policy awareness to citizens. The research questions section will be updated to contain research variables and testable hypotheses for the project. The approach describes the methodology used to design the serious game, including the instructional design for the desired attitudinal change. The future work section includes the next steps in this research project.

Keywords: energy efficiency; serious games; energy matrix

Problem Statement

Video games are potentially an effective pedagogical resource. They can reach large audiences in different countries, as shown by (Mayo, 2009) and combine a wide range of concepts in an appealing way, such as in (García-García et al., 2012) and (UCL Energy Institute, n.d.).

Energy matrices and sustainability are multi-dimensional concepts, as per (Beynaghi et al., 2016), that include strategies for energy conservation, generation with renewable sources, and links with other natural resources like water. Numerous games have been proposed, mainly by universities, to foster their assimilation. However, most of the games are in English, while Spanish-speaking countries, particularly in Latin America, are going through a phase of energy transition. These countries require skilled human resources and population awareness to make informed decisions about energy policies.

Research Questions

  • Can a digital, Monopoly-inspired serious game titled “Power Grid” effectively increase awareness and understanding of energy matrices among Mexican citizens?
  • What scenarios could jeopardize the use of a serious game among Mexican citizens or imperil the creation of awareness?


This paper proposes the design of an educational game, titled “Power Grid,” inspired by the mechanics of Monopoly. The game aims to enhance player knowledge regarding the diverse energy mixes employed by different countries, considering their geophysical characteristics and energy policies.

  • Game Board: Represents various countries with their geophysical features pertinent to energy production.
  • Action Cards: Introduce real-world scenarios through Policy Implementation and Energy Events.
  • Properties: Players can invest in and develop various energy sources, both renewable and conventional.
  • Cost and Development: Reflects geographical suitability and technological advancements.


  • Players roll dice and navigate the board, encountering countries and their energy matrices.
  • Opportunities to acquire knowledge, invest in energy sources, enhance development, or pay rent.
  • Action cards simulate external influences on energy production.
  • Player with the most accumulated currency wins.

Instructional Design

The systematic approach model proposed by (Dick et al., 2015) is used for instructional design due to its cyclic development process.

Needs Assessment

A normative need to understand energy matrices was identified, alongside an expressed need due to market competition.

Instruction Analysis

Most skills are intellectual, but the primary need is attitudinal: promoting awareness.

Learner and Context Analysis

Players gain knowledge through gameplay, considering geographical factors and policy implementation.

They manage energy portfolios and make strategic decisions to foster critical thinking.

Data Acquisition and Analysis

The project involves video game designers and energy experts, using an iterative design. Proof-of-concept tests will be conducted with students from specific courses at the Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico.

Future Work

Upon completion, the game will be applied to measure its impact on energy matrix awareness. It will be part of a multi-year experiment with new versions launching annually.


  • Beynaghi, A., et al. (2016). Future sustainability scenarios for universities. Journal of Cleaner Production
  • Dick, W., Carey, L., & Carey, J. O. (2015). The Systematic Design of Instruction
  • Extremera, J., et al. (2020). Effects of Time in Virtual Reality Learning Environments
  • Fell, M. J., & Schneiders, A. (2020). Make fun of your research
  • García-García, C., et al. (2012). ALFIL
  • Mayo, M. J. (2009). Video Games
  • UCL Energy Institute. (n.d.). Watts the deal?

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Designing Persuasive Games For STEM Teacher Recruitment


Games for recruitment have predominantly focused on business or military recruitment (Edery & Mollick, 2008, p141). Games for recruitment have often been controversial but effective in promoting applications, and in some cases have resulted in better ‘fit’ employees (Edery & Mollick, 2008, p146). Designing games for recruitment is a challenge, particularly in what you communicate to players or prospective candidates. Persuasive games, which persuade or inform players of contexts, provide reflection and information to players and present a plausible approach to informing players (Bogost 2007, Iacovides et al. 2022). A key component for communicating recruitment motivations to potential candidates is having them reflect on their conceptions about, for example, teaching. In our research, we developed a teacher recruitment game to address the national, and global, shortage of STEM teachers in secondary/high school education. Over 12 months, we developed an online visual-novel-style game “TeachQuest” to persuade players to consider a career in teaching. A challenge of the development was how to inform players while keeping the suspension of belief. Throughout development, we involved our target audience, STEM undergraduates as informants in the design process. We carried out a user-centered design process to ensure TeachQuest remained engaging and informed potential candidates about a realistic expectation of teaching. At each iteration of the design process, we carried out stimulated recall methods (Pitkanen, 2015) with thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2013) to analyze user requirements and understand whether TeachQuest was effective at informing STEM undergraduates of a teaching career. Through analysis, we identified three design recommendations for informing players about teaching that could be applied to the future development of games for recruitment, (1) Game events need to be believable, and players need to believe the scenarios can happen if they don’t it can result in disengagement, (2) Use simple language with your audience, we learned early in development our target audience were unaware of language specific to teaching, keeping the language simple or introducing these terms helps inform prospective candidates, and (3) consider externalities to your context, where our target audience wanted to know more about life outside the classroom, we ended up covering the social side to teaching, work/life balance, and introducing teaching pedagogies. These themes helped guide the design of TeachQuest and consequently provided a game informed by users that delivered content they wanted to know more about. Attendees can expect to takeaway insights into persuasive game development, key factors for recruitment games, and methods to inform players through gameplay.

  • Bogost (2007) Persuasive Games: The Expressive Power of Videogames, The MIT Press DOI:
  • Braun, V. and Clarke, V. (2013) Successful Qualitative Research: A Practical Guide for Beginners. SAGE Publication, London.
  • Edery, D. and Mollick, E. (2009) ‘Stand Alone Recruiting games’, in Changing the Game: How Video Games Are Transforming the Future of Business. New Jersey: Pearson Education, pp. 141–146.
  • Iacovides et al. (2022) Close but Not Too Close: Distance and Relevance in Designing Games for Reflection. Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer InteractionVolume 6Issue CHI PLAYArticle No.: 224pp 1–24
  • Pitkanen (2015) Studying thoughts: stimulated recall as a game research method. Game Research Methods January 2015 Pages 117–132

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The Connective Detective – Workshop Series Exploring Telecommunications And Connectivity



This presentation introduces “The Connective Detective,” a new workshop series by the smart city engagement program Academy of the Near Future. Academy of the Near Future is a collaboration between CONNECT, the Research Centre for Future Networks at Trinity College Dublin, and Dublin City Council. It seeks to demystify smart cities for underserved STEM groups, particularly through DEIS schools and by ensuring 50% female participation.

Relevance to the Conference

Attendees will learn how to make telecommunications more tangible for students and integrate learning into games so that students actively engage with telecommunications concepts instead of passively receiving information.

Challenge Addressed

It is crucial to offer learning opportunities about telecommunications to counter false narratives related to emerging technologies. For instance, misconceptions such as “coronavirus is caused by 5G” are concerning, as 1 in 5 adults in England somewhat believe this myth (Langguth J, 2023). Vandalism of 5G poles in Ireland further demonstrates the risk of misinformation. The Connective Detective combats this by providing accurate information and encouraging critical thinking and creativity through gamified content developed with CONNECT researchers, Dublin City Council, and a youth panel.

Key Learning Outcomes

The Connective Detective workshop series introduces 5th and 6th-grade primary students to telecommunications and connectivity through three consecutive workshops. Each workshop builds on the last, with interactive games making complex topics more tangible. Students engage in “solving challenges” or investigations, ensuring they are part of the telecommunications concepts.

Attendees will gain methods to make telecommunications more understandable for students and incorporate educational elements into games.

Game-Based Learning Activities and Results

The presentation will cover two main game-based learning activities, “Museum in a Box” and “Network Game,” used to illustrate key learning outcomes:

  • Museum in a Box: This activity showcases the evolution of telecommunications. Students can handle old and new telephones to understand the tangible changes in technology while solving tasks and using detective skills.
  • Network Game: This game allows students to embody different network infrastructure elements (e.g., optical fiber cables, masts, data centers) and interact to complete tasks. By doing so, students gain a deeper appreciation of the invisible technologies behind daily communications.

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Break It Before You Make It’ – A Design Thinking Approach To Explore STEM With Students



This presentation introduces a workshop technique frequently embedded in the Academy of the Near Future programs called “Break it Before you Make it.”

The Academy of the Near Future is a smart city engagement program in partnership between CONNECT, the Research Centre for Future Networks at Trinity College Dublin, and Dublin City Council. It aims to demystify smart cities, particularly for groups underserved in STEM. Half of the workshops take place in DEIS schools with 50% female participation. A game-based learning approach and design thinking methodologies are used to achieve this.

Relevance to the Conference

This presentation will share the game technique used with students to help attendees develop practical, user-centered STEM solutions. This gamification technique reduces barriers to participation, especially among audiences with low STEM capital, such as females and DEIS participants.

Challenge Addressed

Students can often lack confidence and fear mistakes when developing solutions, leading to disengagement. To ease the “pressure to be perfect,” students are challenged to design the worst possible design in a game setting. This approach reduces barriers, fosters creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking skills, and allows students to explore problems in a fun way.

After creating intentionally poor designs using craft materials, students explore the consequences of these decisions, developing empathetic problem-solving skills. This technique has been implemented successfully in post-primary classes and informal educational settings.

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Cyber Security Escape Room


The Cyber Security Skills Report 2022, found Ireland has a serious skills shortage in the cybersecurity sector. The goal of this project is to develop the workforce by promoting cyber security careers, pathways, and diversity. The Cyber Skills team developed a Cybersecurity Escape Room as part of the Cyber Futures project funded by the Science Foundation Ireland Discover programme. The escape room was developed through co-creation with transition year students and has been iteratively improved throughout is journey with input from student participants and industry experts.

The escape room activity is a classroom activity simulates a cyber-attack on a company. Students take on the roles of six company departments; IT, Legal, Finance, Operations, PR/Marketing, and Operations. Each department must solve a series of puzzles and clues to open locked boxes and complete the game. The challenges are based on common tasks and features of cyber- attacks. Student learn the eaffects cyber attacks can have on a company and why cybersecurity is not simply a technical profession.

The Escape Room was launched at the MTU iWISH/Engineering your Future Campus Week, in early 2023 and by March 2024 it was incorporated into the national iWish event in the RDS. Over 300 students have already taken part in the escape room and it has been run at multiple outreach events and by 2 cyber security industries. Industries and universities have found that by running the event, they can then lead into a discussion on cyber security training and jobs and opportunities for students at Junior and Senior Cycle.

Based on positive responses to the initiative, the team developed an escape room resource pack which supports the running of the escape room workshop by any school, company or university in Ireland. In 2024 we hope to further expand the reach through partnerships with a range of organisations and we are always happy to collaborate on further development.
Cyber security can often seem like a daunting and technical career and women and socio-economically disadvantaged groups are underrepresented in the field. By promoting the joy of problem solving and providing a first introduction to the field of cybersecurity we can improve participation in the field by underrepresented groups.

The conference presentation will tell the story of how the game was developed and how the link between a classroom activity and real-life cyber-attacks was considered and retained as a feature throughout its development.

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Supporting The Transition From Scratch To Python Coding: Using Pytch To Create A Space Invaders-style Game


For this one-hour workshop, all you need is your own laptop, a browser, and internet connection. You will enjoy the guided experience of creating a simple Space Invaders-style game on Pytch while learning Python programming. Pytch is a free web-based coding environment co-designed with teachers and students to help learners transition from block-based programming languages like Scratch to text-based programming languages like Python. Pytch extends Python with Scratch-style sprites and events (although no prior Scratch knowledge is required), and is well suited to creating small games. The project also provides free teaching and learning resources including lesson plans and step-by-step tutorials for teachers and students. Pytch is funded by SFI and led by Glenn Strong in Trinity College Dublin, School of Computer Science, with partners in TU Dublin. It aims to make the blocks/text transition more accessible, engaging and intuitive, allowing learners to build on the skills they have developed in Scratch while gradually introducing them to Python syntax and concepts. This workshop is for you if you would like to discover more about how you can create and design simple games while learning Python programming:

  • (1) if you are a learner or passionate about computer science education and you would like to start your coding journey,
  • (2) if you are a teacher or an educator interested in exploring an engaging and successful way to introduce text-based programming to students, or learning more about our system and resources, and how they can be useful for you.
In this workshop you will learn how make your own version of the Pytch “Blue Invaders” game as a Python project. The aim of this activity is to create a game (starting from a given skeleton, and guided by the presenter) where we’ll defend ourselves from dangerous blue invaders, by clicking on them, collecting points. But don’t destroy the friendly green aliens by mistake or we will lose lives! You will have a chance to:
  • Start your Python learning exploring basics you will need for your game, like: indentation, variables, lists, loops, conditions and more.
  • Explore the process of making a game including game development and design, computational thinking — and probably debugging!
After the workshop, (1) learners will be encouraged to continue their Python learning, personalizing their Space Invaders Python project, and exploring Pytch’s online step-by-step tutorials to create other interesting games, while (2) teachers and educators will be encouraged to guide students on the transition from Scratch to Python using Pytch, and think about how to create learning activities based on Pytch; we will also explain how to access a free set of Pytch lesson plans.

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Social Gaming As A Gateway To Inclusion For Vulnerable Young People


There are increasing challenges with lack of well-being, diagnoses, and school refusal among young people. In Denmark, vulnerable young people (age 16-25), who are unable to attend regular youth education, may be offered access to a three-year Specially Planned Youth Education (STU). Approximately 25% of the STU students are diagnosed with disorders such as ADHD and autism. Several of the STU students have a strong passion for gaming.

The aim of this presentation is to share and discuss findings from an on-going research project entitled “Esport as learning space and bridge builder for vulnerable youth” (2023-2027) funded by the Velux Foundation. The project investigates how esports education at three different STUs are using multiplayer games such as Counter-Strike and League of Legends to motivate vulnerable young people for completing the STU programs and develop coping strategies as well as professional, social and personal skills that can support them in the transition to adulthood, further education and/or working life. Moreover, the esports programs also serve to build friendships and establish social ties with the teachers. In this way, the esports programs can be seen as a form of boundary crossing by allowing the young people to transition across different domains – i.e. from isolated leisure gaming at home to social gaming activities at the STU. This transition also relates to other domains such as municipal stakeholders (e.g. educational career counselling) as well as the adult life that the young people are assumed to lead after they have completed the STU.

In addition to contributing new theoretical and empirical knowledge in an overlooked field, the project also develops free teaching material and evaluation tools for practitioners. The project is based on extensive field work, teacher and student interviews, video elicitation interviews based on recorded game sessions and iterative design processes. The project is carried out in close collaboration between researchers, vulnerable young people at STU, STU teachers, esports consultants as well as municipal career counsellors, which refer young people to STU programs.

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Game Design For Students And Community Alike: A Teaching Method


In the evolving field of game-based learning (GBL), educators continually seek innovative methods to introduce and elucidate complex concepts in accessible and engaging ways. “Game Design for Students and Community alike: A Teaching Method,” presented by Nico Valdivia Hennig, a seasoned game designer, psychologist, educator, and game studies researcher, offers a novel approach that leverages the universal familiarity and simplicity of traditional games to teach foundational game design principles grounded in the concepts of recreational equity and inclusive game design. This methodology, refined over seven years and applied across diverse educational settings, emphasizes hands-on experimentation, group reflection, and creative adaptation, making game design concepts tangible for a broad audience. The challenge addressed by this methodology is multifaceted: it aims to demystify game design, making it approachable for individuals outside the traditional game development community and utilizing GBL as a tool to foster essential skills such as collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity. Traditional hand games, such as “Jan Ken Po” (Rock Paper Scissors), serve as the cornerstone of this approach. Embedded deeply in cultural practices worldwide, these games provide a scalable foundation for exploring and expanding upon game design concepts.

The presentation will outline the cultural significance of hand games and how these simple forms of play can be transformed into rich learning experiences. Valdivia Hennig will detail the methodology’s steps, from initial gameplay through to the introduction of modifications that complexify the experience and illustrate fundamental game design dynamics. Key phases include transitioning from competitive to collaborative gameplay modes, introducing game variants that encourage strategic thinking and group consensus, and facilitating reflective discussions that link gameplay experiences to broader game design principles, supported by citations from relevant literature. Applied in various contexts, from public schools in Chile to open spaces in California, this method has introduced participants to game design and served as a powerful tool for community engagement and learning. Through case studies and practical examples, insights into the methodology’s application, adaptability to different cultural and educational settings, and impact on participants’ learning and development will be shared.

Conference attendees will gain insights into employing traditional games as a pedagogical tool, though due to the session’s duration, this will be an introductory overview rather than a comprehensive framework. Attendees interested in deeper exploration will be directed to additional resources and a link to the full framework for further study. This session underscores the potential of GBL to transcend conventional educational boundaries, offering a scalable model for incorporating game design into various learning environments to foster a more inclusive and innovative educational landscape.

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Participatory Urbanism: Making The Stranger Familiar And The Familiar Strange


Although urban areas are planned structures, they afford physical spaces for various types of expression and participation that are not anticipated in the original plans. One way in which citizens can influence the contours of the urban landscape is through leisure practices, but they can only do so if they are aware of the impact of their behaviour on their physical surroundings. This talk explores some of the ways in which citizens engage in leisure activities to co-create urban space. It demonstrates how locative games/media allow participants to negotiate the structures designed by those in power and alert citizens to their influence.

The talk also explores aspects of the merging of urban and digital spaces to document experiences that relate to ownership of urban space and offer participants a fresh perspective on their surroundings. Locative games/media projects, I argue, are political artefacts that impact the relationship between participants and their surroundings and designing them thus demands attention to how such artefacts position participants and non-participants in the project.

The talk outlines a participatory and political approach to designing locative games/media that aims to make the familiar strange as well as making strangers familiar.

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Augmented Reality Innovations For Promotional Purposes: A Case Study Of The Mpu Tantular Museum


The Mpu Tantular Museum, situated in the Buduran region of Sidoarjo, East Java, Indonesia, stands as a notable repository dedicated to the preservation, curation, and exhibition of historical artifacts possessing significant cultural and antiquarian value. As an institution entrusted with safeguarding cultural heritage, the museum houses a substantial collection comprising approximately 15,800 artifacts, meticulously categorized into ten distinct classifications including geology, biology, ethnography, history, numismatics, heraldry, fine arts, technology, ceramics, and philology, as per records obtained in 2021. However, inherent to the nature of historical artifacts, a subset of the museum’s collection has inevitably succumbed to the ravages of time, resulting in deterioration and damage. In response to this challenge, researchers endeavored to introduce innovation within the Mpu Tantular Museum by conceptualizing and implementing an Augmented Reality (AR) application. This technological intervention aims to generate immersive three-dimensional (3D) models of the museum’s artifacts, thereby facilitating their preservation in digital format. Such a novel approach not only ensures the conservation of historical objects but also extends their utility as educational and promotional resources. The development of the 3D Augmented Reality application followed a methodical trajectory, leveraging a prototype software development process model. This approach allowed for iterative refinement and enhancement of the application’s features and functionalities, ensuring its alignment with the museum’s objectives and stakeholder requirements. Application users will be taken into the Mpu Tantular Museum environment, where historical objects are simulated in 3D form. Researchers have also created the Book of Mpu Tantular so that the learning process can occur anytime and anywhere. In total, researchers developed 36 historical objects in 3D form. Users can scan the QR Code in the Book of Mpu Tantular and then move the 3D object to the left, right, up, or down to see the accessed object. With the successful deployment of this innovative technological solution, the Mpu Tantular Museum stands poised to capitalize on newfound avenues for both promotion and digitization of its invaluable historical artifacts. By harnessing the transformative potential of augmented reality, the museum not only augments its capacity for preservation but also amplifies its role as a custodian of cultural heritage, thereby enriching the scholarly discourse and public engagement with Indonesia’s rich historical legacy.

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Learning And Reinforcing Geographical Skills Within Fieldwork Activities As A Video Game For KS3


Being Outdoors: Good for Mental Health and Education

Being outdoors has been shown to be good for you, but the recent pandemic and constraints on leaving home have seen a drop in engagement with nature and outdoor activities. Children’s education has also been impacted by these events. Even now, in 2024, absenteeism, anxiety, stress, and problems related to social integration and expected school behavior are evident. However, the effect on out-of-school learning activities is less clear. Experiential learning (Kolb, 1984) has been shown to provide holistic learning — of the curriculum content and 21st-century soft skills — enabling students to practice and cement classroom learning through practical application and improve recall (Ofsted 2011). Data provided shows only 40% of geography students aged between 11-14 were provided with outdoor fieldwork opportunities (Brace 2023). In response, several methods have been devised that enable students to carry out fieldwork activities within the school grounds to practice geographical skills learned in class (Sloggett 2021). However, limiting activities to school grounds, while providing exposure to the outdoors, does not allow for a full range of skills to be explored. What is needed is an approach that can augment existing outdoor geography lessons by providing experience of other locations that are unavailable, to broaden the experience of using and developing geographical skills in practical ways.

Educational Video Game Approach

There is potentially another way to enable fieldwork activities — primary data collection, analysis, use of secondary data sources, and presentation — using technology in the form of an educational video game. To reach this point, a systematic route was used to design an initial framework layout based on a standard school lesson plan format. A short narrative was written and critiqued by practicing geography teachers over three consecutive revisions to ensure all required teaching and learning elements were present. This third iteration will provide instruction for the test game level.

The Design Science Process methodology adopted by this research led to:

  1. The identification of gaps in current literature regarding the design of educational video games, alongside feedback from current practicing geography teachers.
  2. Enabling the development of a new design framework that contains the requisite elements of a lesson plan and fieldwork practical objectives, activities, and assessments.
  3. Using the framework to develop a game level as an interactive storyboard — currently in production.
  4. This will be tested and critiqued by teachers towards the end of 2024, with the analysis informing necessary changes before progressing to
  5. The development of a fully playable sample game level (2025), which will be tested by the same group of teachers, with the resulting comments analyzed.

Gamification in Educational Resources

‘Gamification’ (Koivisto & Hamari 2019; Seaborn & Fels 2015) of educational resources is not new, but this research takes these ideas a step further. It has built a draft design framework to embrace both traditional and digital learning within an educational video game. During the iterative design process, teachers identified critical areas necessary for a teaching and learning video game — matching National Curriculum content, providing formative and summative assessment appropriate to learning objectives, being mindful of different teaching and classroom pedagogies, learner types, timing of lessons, and access to computers and technical help/training.

The framework presents a guideline on how to design, develop, and create a pedagogically sound e-learning resource by identifying all learning and assessment opportunities in each narrative frame. It is currently being followed to design the interactive storyboard. In this instance, the storyboard game is underpinned by a geographical/environmental narrative that necessitates the player using geographical skills to solve problems en route to various locations within England and Wales. During the storyboard development, the game mechanics that enable interactivity and gameplay will be identified and interwoven to create the video game playing experience.

The game will be designed as a first-person exploring/investigating geographer having an adventure in the real world. The point is to match students’ game expectations with a geography game, not to have them learn how to interact in a geography edutainment experience.

Takeaways for Delegates

Delegates will take away a clear understanding of a framework suitable to develop video game teaching and learning resources and use that framework to create a storyboard for a geography game example.


  • BMA (2023). Mental Health Pressure in England. Retrieved April 2024.
  • Brace, S. (2023). How do we save geography fieldwork? Read Article.
  • Office for Standards in Education. (2021). Research Review Series: Geography. Read Report.
  • Koivisto, J., & Hamari. J. (2019). The Rise of the Motivational Information Systems: A Review of Gamification Research. Read Research.
  • Kolb, D.A. (1984). Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development. Prentice Hall.
  • NHS England. (2023). Green Social Prescribing. Read More.
  • NIdirect. (2018). Playing Outdoors. Read Article.
  • Seaborn, K., & Fels, D.I. (2014). Gamification in Theory and Action: A Survey. Read Research.
  • Sloggett G. (2021). COVID-19: An Opportunity to Review Fieldwork Provision. Teaching Geography. 46 (1), 29–31.

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Teaching History Of Art And Architecture With Commercial Digital Games


This presentation explores how commercial digital games (Bar-El and E. Ringland 2020) can be used to enhance the teaching of art and architecture history. Students are naturally more familiar with commercial digital games, rather than ad-hoc developed educational applications. Moreover, commercial games usually display a higher degree of graphical fidelity and expansive reconstructions due to their larger budget, allowing for impressive visuals and environments. However, due to their nature as commercial entertainment products, commercial games need to prioritize their role as games, often to the detriment of historical accuracy, for technical or ludic reasons. It is therefore important to contextualise the information provided to students with clarifications and additional information (Aroni, Bregni, and McDonald 2019). In the field of art, commercial games that are not striving for historical accuracy, nor depict any specific historical art, can still be used as a link to the artworks that inspired them.

This use of game-based learning was employed by the author in undergraduate and postgraduate university settings at three universities in Canada, China, and the UK, to a diverse body of students ranging from architecture, to digital media, and games art, although it could be applied to students of any grade with the appropriate considerations. Games used varied with the course and the aim, and ranged from Kingdom Come: Deliverance (Warhorse Studios 2018) Assassin’s Creed II (Ubisoft 2009) for history of architecture, in particular regarding Renaissance Florence, to more abstract games such as NaissanceE (Limasse Five 2014) for the study of visionary architecture, in particular the links to 18th century engraver Giovan Battista Piranesi and contemporary mangaka Tsutomu Nihei (Aroni 2022).

In all cases a selection has been operated on what to show of the games, and where to direct students to. Most games, especially open world ones, can require dozens of hours to explore, and comprise material that can be inaccurate or irrelevant, as such, a certain degree of “curation” is required. At the same time, the open world configuration allows the exploration to be conducted calmly, as the action and narration can be put on hold to focus on the “open living history heritage environment” (Chapman 2016, 178). Linking contemporary entertainment products to historical art and architecture has displayed positive results for students of any course, provided that game information and analysis is supported by additional research.

Participants to this presentation will be made aware of what kind of commercial digital games are best suited to teach history of art and related disciplines, as well as the most effective techniques to employ them in a university course in a variety of disciplines.


  • Aroni, Gabriele. 2022. “Visionary Virtual Worlds: Storytelling via Digital Architecture in NaissanceE.” In Interactive Storytelling, edited by Mirjam Vosmeer and Lissa Holloway-Attaway, 684–96. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Cham: Springer International Publishing.
  • Aroni, Gabriele, Simone Bregni, and Heidi McDonald. 2019. “Assassin’s Creed Series.” In Learning, Education and Games, edited by Karen Schrier. Vol. 3. Pittsburgh: Carnegie Mellon University ETC Press.
  • Bar-El, David, and Kathryn E. Ringland. 2020. “Crafting Game-Based Learning: An Analysis of Lessons for Minecraft Education Edition.” In Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games, 1–4. New York: Association for Computing Machinery.
  • Chapman, Adam. 2016. Digital Games as History. How Videogames Represent the Past and Offer Access to Historical Practice. New York: Routledge.
  • Limasse Five. 2014. “NaissanceE.” Windows. France: Limasse Five. Ubisoft. 2009. “Assassin’s Creed II.” PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X. Assassin’s Creed. Canada: Ubisoft.
  • Warhorse Studios. 2018. “Kingdom Come: Deliverance.” Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One. Czech Republic: Deep Silver.

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Dismantling Boardgames


Problem statement: a simple framework to creating learning boardgames. Aimed at instructional designers, educators and developers who are interested in that domain or discipline in learning design.

Methodology: it follows 3 main principles of practice: action mapping, self determination theory and basic principles in behavioral science, like the use of heuristics, biases and patterns to consider & capitalize on for the sake enhancing learning experiences.

The results: are over 16 different games since 2018 till now following the same approach. I’ll be showcasing many of those games and how the design document presented helped out.

Attendees will learn: Simple steps to follow through with in the form of sprints to brainstorm and iterated upon creating a learning boardgame.

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Exploring Literacy Through Quests


Quests are designed as a narrative roadmap to guide students through activities, projects, and resources. Additionally, quests provide a narrative, written in the chapter’s featured genre, to guide students through objectives, rules, procedures, and clues. These narratives, along with many fiction offerings within the quests, can be enjoyed as read alouds, choral reading, or small group readings. According to ILA (n.d.), a read-aloud happens when someone, usually a teacher, orally reads a text and shares pictures, images, and/or words with a group of students. However, the purpose of a read-aloud “is to model proficient reading and language, promote conversation, motivate, and extend comprehension and conceptual understandings” (ILA, n.d., para. 2). Furthermore, reading aloud can provide listeners practice with foundational skills, opportunities with vocabulary, models of fluent reading, access to complex text, and opportunities to experience pleasure reading (Varlas, 2018). Going a step further and considering the classroom as a community of learners, Valas (2018) states, “read alouds can draw students of any age into a community that is knowledgeable and curious about topics and texts, from novels to news reports” (para. 1).

Participants will learn how quests and activities can support students as they work to master literacy skills. Quests offer differentiation through choices related to materials, time, and groupings. Presenters with outline how teachers can provide choice by allowing students the option of choosing different and/or additional resources other than those offered within the quests. During the presentation, we will also provide examples over how to embed “Experience points”, or XP, into each quest. Players will need to earn XP for each quest before advancing to the next in the series. Bonus XP can be earned throughout game play as individual students or groups of students make connections between activities, projects, and resources, and can be awarded at the discretion of the teacher. XP can serve as a motivational tool as students work cooperatively to complete tasks. Attendees will leave with several specific examples of quests and associated activities that can be embedded in elementary classrooms.


  • Literacy glossary (n.d.). International Literacy Association.
  • Varlas, L. (2018). Why every class needs read alouds. ASCD.

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This conference is organized by iGBL Conference.