Media Game Pedagogy

Master of Arts
Certified Program

Master of Arts

The massive social spread of interactive entertainment media represents a major challenge for our education system and at the same time offers enormous potential. Today, children and young people are already accustomed to no longer consuming media passively, but rather to actively participating in the media production process. In this way, a culture of participation is emerging that encompasses all age groups and in which the playful and fun approach to information and knowledge plays an increasingly dominant role.

The Centre for Applied Game Research already conducted a pilot project in the 2007/2008 school year, in which the didactic use of playful entertainment media in regular lessons was tested at several Austrian schools. It was impressively demonstrated that innovative playful approaches not only have a motivating effect on pupils, but can also have a very positive effect on the overall teaching climate and dynamics. The experience gained during this project formed the basis for the development of the course in Media Game Pedagogy.

In the university course the students acquire competences in dealing with proven methods and approaches from the fields of play, theatre and media pedagogy and learn how digital media and games can didactically enrich their field of practice. In addition, the students acquire the appropriate knowledge and know-how to develop their own media pedagogical projects and methods and deepen their knowledge in particular in the areas of "Game Based Learning" and "Educational Game Design".

The course is optimised for pedagogues and is designed to be part-time. The teaching days take place exclusively on weekends or during holidays.

Basic curriculum

Media pedagogical fundamentals

Contents

Media socialisation is a cornerstone for the use of media education. How has the media landscape, its possibilities and usage behaviour changed in recent years? What does this mean for use in education and teaching? In the module, students are introduced to modern media pedagogical practice through practical exercises. A thematic focus here is on digital games, whereby the phenomena multiplayer and online worlds as well as a critical examination of digital games are addressed.

ECTS-Points

6

Media ethics and protection of minors

Contents

This course deals with the protection of minors and (game) media in German-speaking countries. It explains labelling systems such as PEGI and USK, often misunderstood remedies such as the infamous "indexing" and the role(s) and duties of the media in times of fake news, lack of media ethics and "killer game debates".

ECTS-Points

6

Informal learning in interactive media worlds

Contents

The module introduces students to forms and possibilities of informal learning in connection with digital media, with particular emphasis on digital games.

The following topics will be dealt with:

  • gender & diversity
  • social learning
  • interculturality
  • e-sports
  • mobile gaming

In addition to the theoretical introduction, the students also work on the implementation of their own projects and ideas for their practice.

ECTS-Points

4

Design of playful learning environments

Contents

The module "Designing playful learning environments" deepens the use of various digital games that can be used in (school) instruction / to train different skills or to build up competences. First, the role of the game in learning in general is discussed. More detailed is the occupation with Serious Games (definition, categorisation, structure, possibilities of use). Using concrete examples, games are examined for their usefulness with regard to their use in a learning setting. In numerous exercises, the participants are given the opportunity to test for themselves which didactic settings are necessary to use digital games in a teaching sequence and to ensure transfer.

ECTS-Points

4

Play and theatre pedagogy

Contents

The aim of the module is for the participants to learn what theatre pedagogy can do for children, adolescents and adults by means of the lecture, but also by means of practical exercises and games. It is only about the rehearsal and performance of a play, but rather about theatre or theatre pedagogical games as help for problems, as therapy. The participants also receive suggestions for further reading or a detailed list of games that are suitable in certain situations or with certain groups. Parallels to computer games are pointed out as well as new forms of theatre in which computer games become a topic.

ECTS-Points

4

Media rights

Contents

The module deals with legal and economic contexts with regard to modern communication and information technology. In the course of the course, the legal framework in the areas of e-commerce law, consumer protection, imprint obligation, the correct inclusion of general terms and conditions, special features in distance selling as well as legal issues in connection with online advertising will be discussed at national and EU level. The learned legal norms are illustrated by numerous practical examples. The aim of the lecture is to develop the ability to recognise relevant relationships between one's own actions and the legal framework and to adapt internal company processes accordingly.

ECTS-Points

2

Introduction to the development of digital learning games

Contents

The module deals with both technical and creative methods of game development. Based on introductions to the basic concepts of game design and prototyping, this module introduces different methods to quickly achieve playable results and applies them in practice. Technologies like the Unity 3D Game Engine and the modification of existing games are used as well as analog design methods.

ECTS-Points

4

Applied Competence

Core competence: Theory of game

Contents

The course is dedicated to the theoretical foundations of game science research and thus to the question: Can game be defined and what changes when we understand something as a game?
To this end, core texts of the game theoretical debate will first be presented and reflected upon, which make the historical development of the game discourse visible, while at the same time providing the theoretical basis for game studies to this day. On the basis of these texts, instead of a uniform definition of what game is now, various game theoretical perspectives are identified, in the field of tension of which a reflected examination of the topic of game & games should become possible. The aim is therefore to sharpen the "game theoretical view" and to enable an independent examination of fundamental concepts of game theoretical discourse. Furthermore, participants should be encouraged to reflect on game theoretical concepts beyond the medium of games as a perspective on human interaction and cultural construction of meaning.

ECTS-Points

6

Core competence: Future media

Contents

In the "Future Media" module we take a look into the future. Currently available and in development technologies and products in the field of robotics, augmented/virtual reality, intelligent sensors, apps, artificial intelligence, machine and deep learning are presented in detail and tested for meaningful use. The underlying technologies are also referred to.

The aim of the module is to understand the status quo with regard to what is already feasible, or will be feasible soon, and to enable a critical examination of new technologies instead of being pushed into the role of the passive user.

ECTS-Points

6

Core competence: Innovative education

Contents

What comes into view from an educational perspective on Serious Games? How are game purpose and game design related? And to what extent can learning theories and didactic models be used to analyse games and design educational game concepts?

These questions will be discussed theoretically and explored practically during the course. Innovative e-learning with mobile devices will be presented as well as the possibility to make learning and teaching with gamification more attractive.

ECTS-Points

6

Applied project

Contents

The project work is a practical work, whereby the options are extremely varied. For example, a game prototype can be implemented, an event can be organised or a complex machina can be produced. The project work can either be carried out with fellow students or with a partner organisation (company/association etc.).

ECTS-Points

12

Research

Philosophy of science

Goals

In this module the participants deal with science theory as well as guidelines and principles for good scientific work.

ECTS-Points

6

Research methods

Goals

In this module students are introduced to the qualitative and quantitative research paradigm in order to carry out their own research project within the framework of the Master Thesis.

ECTS-Points

6

Master thesis

Goals

The Master Thesis gives the students of the course the opportunity,

  1. to work on a topic in a part of the course and thereby acquire specialist knowledge, and
  2. to conduct a scientifically based study, thereby demonstrating his/her ability to formulate objectives, define problems, select methods, systematically implement and present them.

A further objective may be to submit a summary of the Master's thesis as an article to a specialist publication (e.g. journal, conference or anthology; together with the supervisor) so that the acquired knowledge can be made known to a broad specialist audience.

ECTS-Points

18

Certified Program

The massive social spread of interactive entertainment media represents a major challenge for our education system and at the same time offers enormous potential. Today, children and young people are already accustomed to no longer consuming media passively, but rather to actively participating in the media production process. In this way, a culture of participation is emerging that encompasses all age groups and in which the playful and fun approach to information and knowledge plays an increasingly dominant role.

The Centre for Applied Game Research already conducted a pilot project in the 2007/2008 school year, in which the didactic use of playful entertainment media in regular lessons was tested at several Austrian schools. It was impressively demonstrated that innovative playful approaches not only have a motivating effect on pupils, but can also have a very positive effect on the overall teaching climate and dynamics. The experience gained during this project formed the basis for the development of the course in Media Game Pedagogy.

In the university course the students acquire competences in dealing with proven methods and approaches from the fields of play, theatre and media pedagogy and learn how digital media and games can didactically enrich their field of practice. In addition, the students acquire the appropriate knowledge and know-how to develop their own media pedagogical projects and methods and deepen their knowledge in particular in the areas of "Game Based Learning" and "Educational Game Design".

The course is optimised for pedagogues and is designed to be part-time. The teaching days take place exclusively on weekends or during holidays.

Basic curriculum

Media pedagogical fundamentals

Contents

Media socialisation is a cornerstone for the use of media education. How has the media landscape, its possibilities and usage behaviour changed in recent years? What does this mean for use in education and teaching? In the module, students are introduced to modern media pedagogical practice through practical exercises. A thematic focus here is on digital games, whereby the phenomena multiplayer and online worlds as well as a critical examination of digital games are addressed.

ECTS-Points

6

Media ethics and protection of minors

Contents

This course deals with the protection of minors and (game) media in German-speaking countries. It explains labelling systems such as PEGI and USK, often misunderstood remedies such as the infamous "indexing" and the role(s) and duties of the media in times of fake news, lack of media ethics and "killer game debates".

ECTS-Points

6

Informal learning in interactive media worlds

Contents

The module introduces students to forms and possibilities of informal learning in connection with digital media, with particular emphasis on digital games.

The following topics will be dealt with:

  • gender & diversity
  • social learning
  • interculturality
  • e-sports
  • mobile gaming

In addition to the theoretical introduction, the students also work on the implementation of their own projects and ideas for their practice.

ECTS-Points

4

Design of playful learning environments

Contents

The module "Designing playful learning environments" deepens the use of various digital games that can be used in (school) instruction / to train different skills or to build up competences. First, the role of the game in learning in general is discussed. More detailed is the occupation with Serious Games (definition, categorisation, structure, possibilities of use). Using concrete examples, games are examined for their usefulness with regard to their use in a learning setting. In numerous exercises, the participants are given the opportunity to test for themselves which didactic settings are necessary to use digital games in a teaching sequence and to ensure transfer.

ECTS-Points

4

Play and theatre pedagogy

Contents

The aim of the module is for the participants to learn what theatre pedagogy can do for children, adolescents and adults by means of the lecture, but also by means of practical exercises and games. It is only about the rehearsal and performance of a play, but rather about theatre or theatre pedagogical games as help for problems, as therapy. The participants also receive suggestions for further reading or a detailed list of games that are suitable in certain situations or with certain groups. Parallels to computer games are pointed out as well as new forms of theatre in which computer games become a topic.

ECTS-Points

4

Media rights

Contents

The module deals with legal and economic contexts with regard to modern communication and information technology. In the course of the course, the legal framework in the areas of e-commerce law, consumer protection, imprint obligation, the correct inclusion of general terms and conditions, special features in distance selling as well as legal issues in connection with online advertising will be discussed at national and EU level. The learned legal norms are illustrated by numerous practical examples. The aim of the lecture is to develop the ability to recognise relevant relationships between one's own actions and the legal framework and to adapt internal company processes accordingly.

ECTS-Points

2

Introduction to the development of digital learning games

Contents

The module deals with both technical and creative methods of game development. Based on introductions to the basic concepts of game design and prototyping, this module introduces different methods to quickly achieve playable results and applies them in practice. Technologies like the Unity 3D Game Engine and the modification of existing games are used as well as analog design methods.

ECTS-Points

4

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