You are here:

Designing Digital Game-Based Learning Environments


TLRPTIL Volume 53, Number 3, ISSN 8756-3894


With the emergence of the Web 2.0 and other technologies for learning, there are a variety of special places that did not exist previously in which to pursue learning. Not just a few dozen more but millions more. Many of these are not the physical learning spaces one might envision but entirely virtual or digital ones. As an example, the area of online games for learning has exploded during the past decade. Many young as well as older learners have not only become enamored by them, they are devoting significant chunks of their life to them. Consequently, there is a need to better understand what makes game-based learning such a special learning place for so many millions of people today. In this article, the authors provide a lens through which they examine how to design special game-based learning places. In an attempt to provide practical guidelines to educators and instructional designers who are interested in designing digital game-based learning, the authors have created a framework for the design of effective digital game-based learning environments called "SPECIAL PLACE." This framework is based on the following 12 key principles that are common to the simulations and game-based learning literature: (1) Scaffolding; (2) Problem; (3) Exploration; (4) Context; (5) Interaction; (6) Agency; (7) Learning through doing; (8) Pause to reflect; (9) Learning through failure; (10) Adaptivity; (11) Character; and (12) Engagement.


An, Y.J. & Bonk, C.J. (2009). Designing Digital Game-Based Learning Environments. TechTrends: Linking Research and Practice to Improve Learning, 53(3), 43-48. Retrieved October 21, 2020 from .

This record was imported from ERIC on April 19, 2013. [Original Record]

ERIC is sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education.

Copyright for this record is held by the content creator. For more details see ERIC's copyright policy.