Got game? Playing to learn in Omani education

Mary Lane-Kelso*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Citation (Scopus)


The concept of "play" as a powerful agent for learning has been regarded by a wide range of educators as the modern Trojan horse for 21st century schools. Allowed to enter the classroom under the guise of education, does this game playing lead to better teaching and learning or is it a harmful panacea for poor teaching? With the increased use of educational technology components in both face-to-face and virtual classrooms, this discussion has recently focused on the role of interactive multimedia learning environments as settings of "play." At Sultan Qaboos University in Oman, a Master's level course offered by the Instructional and Learning Technologies Department in the College of Education began using games to explore play learning and its potential educational value. For this course, students were provided with theories of gaming and play with respect to education. The discussion naturally extended to consider the wider context of Omani society and the potential relationship with traditional values. The students were supplied with free, user-friendly, online tools to "get their feet wet" as users and then were provided more complex, interactive game experiences. During this time, students also produced their own designed webquest games incorporating game play practices into the product. This work-in-progress investigation explores the construct of play through a pilot study integrating games-based learning into an existing Masters students' course curriculum during the spring semester of 2014. The audience is invited to share in these experiences with the respectful attention to culture and tradition. The presentation concludes with some initial patterns beginning to emerge from the analysis and thoughts on the intrinsic value of play and potential opportunities for future developments of games to meet a global audience.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the European Conference on Games-based Learning
EditorsCarsten Busch
PublisherDechema e.V.
Number of pages3
ISBN (Electronic)9781910309551
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings of the European Conference on Games-based Learning
ISSN (Print)2049-0992


  • Educational technology
  • Games-based learning
  • Play

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Education


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