‘It was fun’: Exploring the pedagogical value of collaborative educational games

Cooney, A. and Darcy, E. (2020) ‘It was fun’: Exploring the pedagogical value of collaborative educational games. Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice, 17 (3). pp. 1-15.


This qualitative descriptive study explored the value of games as pedagogical tools to teach team working and foster collaborative learning in a higher education classroom. Groups of three or four students (n = 181) were asked to participate in a simple low-tech serious game which required them to solve a puzzle. The puzzle simulated ‘good’ teamwork practices. Subsequently, participants were asked to complete an open-ended qualitative questionnaire about their experiences. The game was found to enhance learners’ understanding of the attributes of effective team working. It was concluded that teambased collaborative games have value in experientially ‘teaching’ team working skills. Moreover, simple low-tech games were found to have good capacity for generating high-quality collaborative learning experiences. In this context it is argued that simple low-tech games should not be forgotten in the rush to develop computer-supported collaborative learning environments. Not least because they generate opportunities for face-to-face interaction. © 2020, University of Wollongong. All rights reserved.

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