Introduction to Using Games in Education: A Guide for Teachers …

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Introduction to Using Games in Education: A Guide for Teachers and Parents

Introduction to Using Games in Education: A Guide for Teachers and Parents

8/15/06 (first release); 2/3/07 (references checked; many copy editing changes made) Dave Moursund Teacher Education, College of Education University of Oregon 97403 Email: moursund@uoregon.edu Web:

Contents ....................................................................................... 1 About Dave Moursund, the Author ............................................... 5 Preface.......................................................................................... 6

Learning Through Game Playing ...............................................6 Computational Thinking .............................................................7 Puzzles..........................................................................................8 Brief Overview of Contents ........................................................8

Chapter 1: Thinking Outside the Box.......................................... 10

Puzzle Problems ........................................................................11 Problems and Problem Solving ................................................14 Problem Solving is Part of Every Discipline ...........................16 Cognitive Maturity ....................................................................17 George Polya's General Problem-Solving Strategy ................18 Modeling and Simulation..........................................................19 Games Can be Addictive...........................................................20 Final Remarks ............................................................................21 Activities for the Reader ...........................................................22 Activities for use with Students................................................23

Chapter 2: Background Information............................................ 25

Types of Games Considered in this Book................................25 Games-in-Education as a Discipline of Study .........................27

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Introduction to Using Games in Education: A Guide for Teachers and Parents

Expertise.....................................................................................28 Competition, Independence, Cooperation................................30 Learning to Learn ......................................................................33 Situated Learning and Transfer of Learning............................34 Learning in a Game Environment ............................................37 Precise Vocabulary and Notation .............................................38 A Few Important Research Findings........................................39 Final Remarks ............................................................................40 Activities for the Reader ...........................................................40 Activities for use with Students................................................41

Chapter 3: Sudoku: A Puzzle ...................................................... 42

Introduction to Sudoku..............................................................43 A 4x4 Example and a High-Road Transferable Strategy........44 Metacognition ............................................................................45 Is the Puzzle Problem Solvable? ..............................................46 Getting Started in Solving the Puzzle ......................................47 Persistence and Self-confidence ...............................................48 The Elimination Strategy ..........................................................50 Final Remarks ............................................................................51 Activities for the Reader ...........................................................52 Activities for use with Students................................................53

Chapter 4: More Puzzles............................................................. 54

Goals for Using Puzzles in Education......................................54 Free Puzzles ...............................................................................56 Jigsaw Puzzles ...........................................................................57 Incremental Improvement .........................................................57 Online Jigsaw Puzzles...............................................................59 Complexity of a Puzzle or Other Problem ...............................60 Water-Measuring Puzzles .........................................................61 Spatial Intelligence ....................................................................62 Tower of Hanoi..........................................................................63 Bridge Crossing Puzzle Problems ............................................66 Brain Teasers .............................................................................67 Miscellaneous Additional Examples of Puzzles......................70 Final Remarks ............................................................................72 Activities for the Reader ...........................................................73

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Introduction to Using Games in Education: A Guide for Teachers and Parents

Activities for use with Students................................................73

Chapter 5: One-Player Games..................................................... 75

Learning to Play a Game...........................................................75 Solitaire (Patience) ....................................................................76 The Solitaire Game Eight Off ...................................................80 Tetris...........................................................................................90 Final Remarks ............................................................................91 Activities for the Reader ...........................................................91 Activities for use with Students................................................91

Chapter 6: Two-Player Games .................................................... 93

Tic-Tac-Toe ...............................................................................93 Chess ..........................................................................................98 Checkers.................................................................................. 101 Hangman ................................................................................. 102 Othello (Reversi) .................................................................... 104 Dots and Boxes ....................................................................... 108 Cribbage .................................................................................. 109 Activities for the Reader ........................................................ 110 Activities for use with Students............................................. 111

Chapter 7: Games for Small & Large Groups............................ 112

Monopoly ................................................................................ 112 Hearts ...................................................................................... 113 Card Sense .............................................................................. 115 Oh Heck: A Trick-Taking Card Game.................................. 116 Whist: A Trick-Taking Card Game....................................... 117 Bridge: A Trick-Taking Card Game ..................................... 118 Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOG) ................. 119 Star Trek's Holodeck ............................................................. 121 Final Remarks: Moursund's 7-Step Advice.......................... 122 Activities for the Reader ........................................................ 123 Activities for use with Students............................................. 123

Chapter 8: Lesson Planning and Implementation....................... 124

Roles of a Teacher .................................................................. 124 Learning to Learn ................................................................... 125 Lesson Plan Ideas ................................................................... 127 More Specific Educational Goals .......................................... 129

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Introduction to Using Games in Education: A Guide for Teachers and Parents

Goals of Education: Rigor on Trial ....................................... 131 Rubrics .................................................................................... 132 Activities for the Reader ........................................................ 132 Activities for use with Students............................................. 132

Chapter 9: Miscellaneous Other Topics..................................... 133

Women and Gaming............................................................... 133 Student Creation of Games .................................................... 134 Games and the Aging Brain ................................................... 135 Artificial Intelligence ............................................................. 136 Dangers of Too Much Game Playing.................................... 137 Knowledge-Building Communities....................................... 138 Static and Virtual Math Manipulatives ................................. 139 Research on Games and Gaming........................................... 140 Activities for the Reader ........................................................ 142 Activities for use with Students............................................. 143

Appendix 1: Summary of Problem-solving Strategies ............... 144 References ................................................................................ 150 Index ........................................................................................ 153

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Introduction to Using Games in Education: A Guide for Teachers and Parents

About Dave Moursund, the Author

Dave Moursund Teacher Education, College of Education University of Oregon Eugene, Oregon 97403 Email: moursund@uoregon.edu Web:

? Doctorate in mathematics (numerical analysis) from University of Wisconsin-Madison. ? Assistant Professor and then Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics and

Computing Center (School of Engineering), Michigan State University. ? Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics and Computing Center, University of

Oregon. ? Associate Professor and then Full Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of

Oregon. ? Served six years as the first Head of the Computer Science Department at the University of

Oregon. ? In 1974, started the publication that eventually became Learning and Leading with

Technology, the flagship publication of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). ? In 1979, founded the International Society for Technology in Education ). Headed this organization for 19 years. ? Full Professor in the College of Education at the UO for more than 22 years. ? Author or co-author of about 40 books and several hundred articles in the field of computers in education. ? Presented about 200 workshops on various topics in the field of computers in education. ? Served as a major professor for about 50 doctoral students (six in math, the rest in education). Served on the doctoral committees of about 25 other students. ? For more information about Dave Moursund and for free (online, no cost) access to 20 of his books and a number of articles, go to .

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