Research Group for Applied Software Engineering
Forschungsgruppe für Angewandte Softwaretechnik

Typ: Seminar
Semesterwochenstunden: 2+0 

 Seminar: Serious Games


In this Seminar we discuss how games can be exploited for learning. We start out with a definition of what games are. Next we discuss why and how games motivate us. Finally we look into paedagogical and psychological models that help us to design better serious games. We look into some existing serious games and think about how they use those models and discuss how they could be improved.
In parallel to the theory, students design their own serious game and discuss how they applied the theoretic knowledge.
The course language is English.


The goal of the course is to design a serious game while backing up this design with scientific background about learning and motivation.


Participating students should be interested in Games and how and why they can be used for learning.

Course Details

  • SWS: 4 ETCS
  • Preliminary talk / Info meeting: Tuesday February, 5th 2013, 3:30 - 4:30 pm, 01.07.058
  • Time: Wednesday, 1:30 - 3:00 pm
  • Room: 01.07.014 Seminar Room at the chair
  • Number of participants is limited to 20
  • Mandatory attendance
  • Contact: Barbara Köhler and Damir Ismailović

Helpful Software Tools


If you want to work with Latex and have never done so before, here some good starting point with well working configurations for the different operating systems.

For Windows

  • install miktex - TeX implementation for Microsoft Windows
  • install TeXnicCenter - integrated development environment (IDE) for developing LaTeX-documents on Microsoft Windows

For Linux

  • install Texlive
  • install Gummi - LaTeX editor for the Linux platform, written in C/GTK+. It was designed with simplicity in mind, but hopes to appeal to both novice and more advanced LaTeX writers.

For Mac


Manage your references

  • JabRef is a Java program for comfortable working with Bibtex literature databases. Handy feature: if you know the PubMed ID for an article, JabRef can import data from there (via "Web Search/Medline").
  • Mendeley is a cross-platform program for organising your references. helps you keep track of your references, it comes with bibtex-Export to work nicely with Lyx or Latex and a Word extension. Furthermore there is a web importer ( that lets you directly store the complete information about your reference saving you a lot of time typing that information by hand

Starting Points for Literature Search

This list may help you finding some good points to start your search:

Some publishers:

Libraries (online and offline):


You will get a certificate with a grade based on the following criteria:

  • Ability to do independent research: do literature research, not only on given initial reading, but also newer papers (of the last three years) and cite them correctly
  • Short paper about chosen topic (around 10 pages)
  • Oral presentation (15 minutes + 15 minutes discussion) about the selected topic
  • Design document of your team (up to 15 pages)
  • ACTIVE participation at all the other presentations


  • 1st April: Preliminary version of paper (see this as a chance to receive some feedback, before handing in the final version that will be graded)
  • 15th April: Final submission of paper
  • One week before your presentation: slides
  • 11th July: Design Document (might change)

Schedule (prospective)

  • weekly meeting (time and dare tba) 


DatePresenterTopic Initial LiteratureReviewer



Elisabeth Eichholz

Florian Seppi

What is a game


Game Design Workshop, Tracy Fullerton, Part I - Chapter 2 – The structure of Games

The Art of Game Design, Jesse Schell, Chapter 3 – So what is a Game?



Cho Jun Heui

Hornung Manuel

Differences between Games and Serious Games


Richlick Timm

Hüllmandel Alexander

Why do people play?
Game Frame, Aaron Dignan
  canceled - Spitzer Simon Why might games be suitable as learning tools?

Developing serious games, Bryan Bergeron, Chapter 2 - Working Context

The role of play in Development

What video games have to teach us about learning and literacy, James Paul Gee


Zsurzsa László

Laner Hannes

Emotions in Games

On the Way to Fun, Roberto Dillon, Chapter 1

Creating emotion in games, David Freeman

Deep Learning and Emotion in Serious Games, Arthur Graesser, Patrick Chipman, Frank Leeming, and Suzanne Biedenbach

GameFlow: A model for Evaluating Player Enjoyment in Games, Penelope Sweetser, P. Wyeth
Barbara & Damir

Sebald Marcel

Posch Robert

Game Design

Game Design Workshop, Tracy Fullerton, Part 2 – Chapter 1 – The role of the Game Designer

The Art of Game Design, Jesse Schell
05.06 Epple Lukas Constructivism

Pianos not Stereos: Creating Computational Construction Kits

Cognition and learning, James G. Greeno, Allan M. Collins

canceled - Leuprecht Roman

Feil Johannes

  canceled - Tikhonov Roman  Goal Based Scenarios

The design of Goal-Based Scenarios, Roger C. Schank, Andrew Fano, Benjamin Bell, and Menachem Jona

Goal-Based Scenarios, Jörg Zumbach
  canceled - Staab Maximillian Anchored Instruction    
12.06 Schlaffer Markus

Zone of Proximal Development

Mind in society, Vygotsky, Zone of Proximal Development: A new Approach + The development of higher mental processes

Interaction between learning and development, Vygotsky

   canceled Scaffolding Software-Realized Scaffolding to Facilitate Programming for Science Learning, Mark Guzdial Barbara
12.06  Hou Jonas Pedagogical Models

Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, the Classification of educational goals, Benjamin S. Bloom

The 8 Learning Events Model: A Pedagogic Conceptual Framework for the Design of Dedicated Scenarios, D. Verpoorten, M. Poumay, D. Leclercq

  Intermediate Design Critiques
10.07 canceled - Dao Trung Serious Game Applications

M. Ulicsak, Games in Education : Serious Games,€ 2010.

D. Ismailović, D. Pagano, and B. Brügge, weMakeWords - An adaptive and collaborative serious game for literacy acquisition,€ in IADIS International Conference - Game and Entertainment, 2011.

M. D. Kickmeier-Rust, D. Schwarz, D. Albert, D. Verpoorten, J. L. Castaigne, and M. Bopp, €œThe ELEKTRA project: Towards a new learning experience, 2006.

S. D. Rodriguez, I. Cheng, and A. Basu, “Multimedia Games for Learning and Testing Physics,€ in International Conference on Multimedia and Expo, 2007

03.07 Schmolke Andreas

Learner Modeling

M. D. Kickmeier-Rust and D. Albert, €œThe ELEKTRA ontology model: A learner-centered approach to resource description, 2008. Barbara

Blieninger Bernhard

canceled - Stumpf Thomas

Adaptivity Algorithms

M. D. Kickmeier-Rust, C. Hockemeyer, D. Albert, and T. Augustin, Micro Adaptive, Non-invasive Knowledge Assessment in Educational Games, in Second IEEE International Conference on Digital Games and Intelligent Toys Based Education, 2008

Vicente, A.D., 2003. Towards tutoring systems that detect students; motivation: an investigation. Institute for Communicating and Collaborative Systems School of Informatics University of Edinburg

Modritscher, F., 2006. Towards Formalising Adaptive Behaviour Within the Scope of E-Learning.

Mödritscher, F., Garcia-Barrios, V.M. & Gutl, C., 2004. The Past, the Present and the Future of adaptive E-Learning. 2004

  canceled - Duca Victor Intelligent Tutors

Cognitive Tutors, Kenneth R. Koedinger and Albert Corbett

Cognitive Tutors Lessons Learned, John R. Anderson, Albert T. Corbett, Kenneth R. Koedinger, Ray. Pelletier


31.07   Final Design Presentation



x   Workshop    

To apply

Send an email to Barbara Köhler with:

  • Name
  • Email
  • Matrikel number
  • Bachelor/Master & Major subject (e.g. Bachelor Computer Science)
  • Semester
  • Experiences with games
  • Experiences with serious games
  • Short motivation why you want to attend the course


Bernd Bruegge
Prof. Bernd Brügge, Ph.D.


Barbara Köhler
Damir Ismailovic Damir Ismailović