Project GAME: Design and Development of a Unity 3D based middle school CS curriculum

Mete Akcaoglu, Ph.D. | Selcuk Dogan, Ph.D. | Charles B. Hodges, Ph.D. | Andrew Allen, Ph.D.

Georgia Southern University
Supported by NSF (#2027948)

Why game design?

  • Game design is fun and engaging/appealing for students (and teachers)
  • It (can) target cognitive and motivational outcomes
  • It can lead to future jobs
  • GA Bill - CS Mandate

Why game design with Unity?

  • Unity is an industry-standard software
  • It is uses C# + and a Game-Development Engine
  • Is a direct connection to real-life game development
  • Block-based coding has limits

Unity Workflow

Project GAME

  • Followed GDL (Akcaoglu, 2016)’s structure:

    • Cognitive Goals
    • Structured around Games as Units
    • From simple to complex
    • Repetition
  • ARCS (Attention, Relevance, Confidence, Satisfaction)

Project GAME

  • Year 1: Teacher Professional Development

    • Online
    • Summer institute (f2f, 4 days)
  • Year 2 (this year): Pilot + Implementation

What works:

  • Designers (Research Team & Teachers)go through the process as learners

  • Flow (Simple Games –> More complex games)

    • Simple games: quick achievements + easier to grasp concepts
    • Complex games: more fun + repetition of older concepts and new concepts

How to adopt and what to pay attention to:

  • Project GAME Website (last slide)

  • Follow key principles

    • Simple to complex
    • Games first
    • Go through the design as learners
    • Flexible curriculum
Key Resources

Questions and Comments

Email: mete dot akca at gmail com

Twitter: mete_akca