Instructional Technology students with a Virtual Reality (VR) headset.

Instructional Game Design

Learn the skills to design and develop successful instructional games to teach and reinforce content.

Degrees & Offerings
  • Certificate
Format Option(s)
  • Hybrid (Online + In Person)
  • Online
Program Contact
MSIDT Program Coordinator; Associate Professor
Professor of Instructional Design and Technology
illustration of Carver Hall

Bloomsburg University's Instructional Game Design certification prepares students to design and incorporate learning games  in a variety of educational environments including corporate training and classrooms. This program is offered online and encompasses five courses (15 credits).

I’ve been a gamer all my life. In the Instructional Game Design course, I learned the fundamentals and mechanics of instructional gaming and was given the freedom to design a game for the entirety of the course. It was amazing to have a finished and functional product that not only sparked my passion for creating games, but did it in a meaningful and helpful way. Since the class, I've used my game in multiple successful interviews and have seen and worked with gamification in my everyday life.
~ Beth Myers, MSIDT ’17

Courses and Curriculum

Examines the uses of game elements, game mechanics and gamification within educational learning environments. Students work with a variety of gamification tools to understand how the tools can be utilized for the design and delivery of corporate training environments, classroom instruction, online and in mobile learning environments. Aspects of gamification explored include intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation, feedback loops, the role of story and characters and the application of points, badges and leaderboards. Emphasis is given to the design, implementation, and assessment of using gamification, game elements, game mechanics and game thinking for learning.

Examines the theory and practice of instructional game design from the perspective of creating learning games to teach and reinforce content. Students conduct a needs analysis, produce design documents, produce prototypes, acquire sign offs on the project, and produce an instructional game. Students also evaluate the efficacy of several different types of games designed to promote learning.

Examines the design of scenario-based learning for instructional settings. Students work with a variety of scenario-based designs, concepts, and tools to understand how they can be utilized for the design and delivery of corporate training environments, classroom instruction, online instruction, and for mobile learning environments. Aspects of scenario-based learning explored within this course include design of challenges, creation of choices, and incorporation of consequence feedback loops, the role of story and characters, and guidelines for effective visual design of story plots. Specific emphasis is given to the design, development, and assessment of scenario-based learning.

Acquaints students with authoring tools like Articulate Storyline and Adobe Captivate used to develop training applications that may be implemented online and/or by way of mobile devices. Authoring software will be used to develop interactive simulations and training module frameworks. All elements of course work are reviewed and developed with emphasis on good design, programming techniques, and learner effort. Writing code for specific applications or deployment is not a requirement or any part of this course.

This course provides an in-depth look at topics in the authoring of interactive applications with a focus on instructional game development issues. Advanced authoring software, such as Articulate Storyline or Construct 2, will be used to develop instructional games that are highly interactive and require the use of external data and complex scripting techniques.

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