Creative Constructor
Lab Virtual
Leadership Exchange
at ISTELive 21
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Playful and Deeper Learning Through Designing Board Games

Times and dates are displayed based on your device's time zone setting.

Participate and share : Poster

Ayana Bharadwaj  
Using games as a medium of instruction has shown to increase creativity, critical thinking and motivation. Designing games is a student-centered approach to build these skills and enhance learning in a playful way. This presentation shares how designing educational board games in students’ passion areas leads to deeper learning.

Audience: Teachers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices not needed
Topic: Games for learning & gamification
Grade level: 6-8
Subject area: STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Foster a culture where students take ownership of their learning goals and outcomes in both independent and group settings.
For Students:
Knowledge Constructor
  • Students build knowledge by actively exploring real-world issues and problems, developing ideas and theories and pursuing answers and solutions.
Innovative Designer
  • Students know and use a deliberate design process for generating ideas, testing theories, creating innovative artifacts or solving authentic problems.
Additional detail: Student presentation

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

One of the challenges in education is to create student-centered and meaningful real-world experiences that can improve learning. In this session, participants will learn about our experience where students designed their own educational board games in their passion area. Students built creative and critical thinking, user design, communication all of which are essential 21st century skills. In addition, students used Google tools (slides, docs) to create their games thereby building useful technical skills. The project took the students through all phases of the design process - ideation, prototyping, user-testing, iterating and finalizing - which gave them a real world experience. Students were highly engaged during the project and provided highly positive feedback on their experience.

Supporting research

The following references show how board game design builds a playful and authentic learning experience for students, and develops 21st century skills.

K Salen, “Gaming literacies: A game design study in action” Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, 2007

Selen Turkay, Daniel Hoffman, Charles K. Kinzer, Pantiphar Chantes & Christopher Vicari (2014) Toward Understanding the Potential of Games for Learning: Learning Theory, Game Design Characteristics, and Situating Video Games in Classrooms, Computers in the Schools, 31:1-2, 2-22, DOI: 10.1080/07380569.2014.890879

Mostowfi et al., “Designing Playful Learning by Using Educational Board Game for Children in the Age Range of 7-12: (A Case Study: Recycling and Waste Separation Education Board Game)”, International Journal of Environmental and Science Education, v11 n12 p5453-5476 2016

EN Treher, “Learning with Board Games”,

More [+]


Ayana Bharadwaj, Eastlake High School

People also viewed

Digital Citizenship at Your Own Pace
Lessons Learned: Moving Forward in 5 Words or Less
Project-Based Learning: Empowering Your Students