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Play games to learn: Pre-service teacher development

, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

AACE Award

EdMedia + Innovate Learning, in Lisbon, Portugal ISBN 978-1-880094-89-1 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC


This paper argues that computer video games support learning when function as tools to mediate knowledge construction. The study makes use of two intrinsic cases as part of a collective instrumental case study to advance the theory of the use of video games in learning and teaching. Two groups of pre-service teachers participated in the study. While playing a video game on the biology of diseases groups of undergraduate students developed theoretical and practical knowledge in the use of video games in teaching and learning. Postgraduate students overcame some to their misconceptions related to genetics by playing a video game that addresses such learning problems. The introduction of game puzzles into a learning activity acted as an extrinsic mediator, while the discussions between players intrinsically mediated their understanding. Computer video games should never be the object of the activity, but should function as the tool to mediate learning within an activity system.


Amory, A. (2011). Play games to learn: Pre-service teacher development. In T. Bastiaens & M. Ebner (Eds.), Proceedings of ED-MEDIA 2011--World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications (pp. 2119-2128). Lisbon, Portugal: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved May 12, 2021 from .



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