A Reflective Game Design framework for Game-Based Learning


  • Anjuman Shaheen University of Brighton
  • Frida Halvorsen University of Brighton
  • Dr Panagiotis University of Brighton




Reflective design, game design, game-based learning, reflective learning, framework, learning cycle


Reflective practice is the ability to revisit and reassess one's previous actions to engage intentionally in the process of learning. The concept of reflection leads from unconscious aspects of learning or experience to mindful awareness, giving an individual the power to absorb everyday experiences to make appropriate conscious choices. Digital games in game-based learning (GBL) offer interactive learning with authentic practice and a high retention rate. Digital games are also considered an immersive and safe medium of stealth learning with the freedom to identify, explore, fail, and then retry. Main game elements such as feedback in a user interface (UI), head-up displays (HUDs), maps, prompt messages, and social discourse are reflective in nature; therefore, by default, games are reflection machines and appropriate mediums for triggering and supporting reflective learning. However, despite reflective learning having the ability to improve teaching and learning experiences in a practical form, work dedicated to reflective design in GBL is still limited. Previous studies have incorporated reflective practices into a learning environment to improve the learning rate. These practices may vary over domains and yield different outcomes that are not converged yet. While current game design comprises all features that facilitate reflection "as a whole set", it misses individual reflection differences. However, getting maximum usage of the reflective nature of games with authentic learning content while maintaining the fun criteria can be challenging. Hence, a sound design methodology and guidelines are needed to assist the game designer in aiding effective learning with reflective practices. In this paper, our primary purpose is to align reflective learning practices with existing GBL approaches and then provide a framework to incorporate reflective learning practices into designing GBL. The intention is that this framework will help designers, educators, and researchers to design game-based learning experiences following reflective design practices.