Faculty Development & Learning Assessment

Educational Games

posted by Joan Van Duzer on 04/29/2010

Who says learning can’t be fun?

“We believe that the easiest way to change people’s behaviour for the better is by making it fun to do. –TheFunTheory.com

The Fun Theory (video)

I can’t help believing in the Fun Theory. Some of my fondest memories from elementary school were the fun ways that teachers incorporated games into learning—from jump rope songs to spelling bees to trivia games and scavenger hunts—we were always eager to participate. Why should our interest in games for learning disappear in higher education?

Fortunately, the plethora of Web applications make it possible to incorporate learning games easily and quickly so I decided to check them out.

Web-Based Games



bQuia remains my favorite of the online game making sites with 16 tools: matching game, flash cards, concentration game, word search puzzle, battleship, challenge board, hangman, rags-to-riches (“Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”), jumbled words, and more. These games allow a lot of flexibility when including content so are quite adaptable for adult students practicing knowledge, recall, and classifying exercises. Their website includes tutorials for each of the games and also examples shared by other educators. After the 30-day free trial, annual subscriptions range from $49 to $29 per instructor. Contact CELT if you are interested in a subscription and we can coordinate reduced pricing for a group of instructors.



bThe King of all learning games—Jeopardy—can be simulated online with the answers you have in mind. “No fees, no registration, no PowerPoint.”



bDownload this free (beta release) software to create your own web-based or iPhone game. Publish to the web. Its drag-and-drop interface makes this a useful tool for game makers of all levels—no programming experience required!



bEasily create matching or grouping exercises, crossword puzzles, and self-assessment quizzes that may contain pictures and sound. A one-year license of $35 avoids the advertising and watermark that comes with a free account and expands the number activities permitted and the storage quota. All games appear to require a mouse to navigate.



bAlthough this site is free and there are 19 games to choose from, the primitive graphics and simplistic design lead me to believe they are clearly geared for younger students. However, for knowledge and recall, planning projects, or organizing ideas they might be adapted for a college audience. Each Flash-based game has an overview description, sample lesson plans, and sample completed projects using the tool.



Besides the more typical hangman, flash cards, and word search activities, EdCreate also features a States activity (ask questions with a map of the United States as the answer board), cryptogram, and trivia quiz games. After the free trial, annual subscription is $25.

Online Tools to Make Print Games

Discovery Education Puzzlemaker


bThis free resource offers options to create printable word search and crossword puzzles cryptograms, mazes, and more.

The Game Crafter


bThis site allows individuals to create a board game or card game with their own images and rules and—similar to Lulu.com publishing—have the game manufactured at a modest per unit cost. This has very interesting implications when considered with student-generated content and peer teaching.



A free site that helps create both web-based and print-ready flashcards, bingo games, and study worksheets from the list of words you provide.


Can you share any experiences with these tools? Do you have other favorites that should be added to the list? Share your ideas!

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.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) said, on 09/30/2010 at 03:35 PM:

making the mmost

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