This paper consolidates evidence and material from a range of specialist and disciplinary fields to provide an evidence-based review and synthesis on the design and use of serious games in higher education. Search terms identified 165 papers reporting conceptual and empirical evidence on how learning attributes and game mechanics may be planned, designed and implemented by university teachers interested in using games, which are integrated into lesson plans and orchestrated as part of a learning sequence at any scale. The findings outline the potential of classifying the links between learning attributes and game mechanics as a means to scaffold teachers’ understanding of how to perpetuate learning in optimal ways while enhancing the in-game learning experience. The findings of this paper provide a foundation for describing methods, frames and discourse around experiences of design and use of serious games, linked to methodological limitations and recommendations for further research in this area.
Bibliographical noteThis is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Lameras, P., Arnab, S., Stewart, C., Clarke, S., & Petridis, P. (2016). Essential features of serious games design in higher education: linking learning attributes to game mechanics. British Journal of Educational Technology, Early view, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjet.12467. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
- serious games
- game based learning
- Game mechanics
- game design