A systematic literature review to identify empirical evidence on the game design framework and model of games-based learning

Kun Fu, Yuan Yuan, Evelyn Li Chuan Mai, Jun He

Research output: Chapter in Book or Report/Conference proceedingConference Proceedingpeer-review


Many empirical studies have been undertaken to prove the valuable contributions of games-based learning and serious games, however information is still lacking with regards to developmental approaches and development frameworks for effective serious game design. There are few frameworks for game design integrating instructional design theory and game design theory into one model or framework. This paper aims to advance understanding by examining a systematic literature review ranging from 2005 to 2017 with regards to game design frameworks and models for serious games, especially with respect to game design principles and instructional design theory. The systematic literature review can effectively support the validity of the serious game design framework and model. The search identified 104 relevant papers reporting empirical evidence. The finding revealed that designing computer games was linked to a range of pedagogic design, engaging game design and usability of the interface design. A narrow literature review was carried out to capture these diverse aspects of game design principles. The results showed that the most frequently occurring design aspects are pedagogic design. Moreover, games for learning are being used across a wide range of subject disciplines such as health and computing which are the most popular. The learning outcomes in knowledge acquisition and content understanding are the most frequently occurring. The most popular platform for delivery games is the PC, followed by video games and online games. Simulations are by far the most popular genre. The majority of the studies utilised quasi-experimental designs, and then use correlational designs and RCT designs. In addition, the variety of indicators and measurements employed in the papers are discussed to develop a more coherent understanding of game design framework and model in computer games, together with the limitations and recommendations for the further study. Finally, this study provides an original contribution to knowledge by developing and validating a model/framework for the design of a games-based learning.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 14th European Conference on Game Based Learning, ECGBL 2020
EditorsPanagiotis Fotaris
PublisherDechema e.V.
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781912764716
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes
Event14th European Conference on Game Based Learning, ECGBL 2020 - Virtual, Online
Duration: 24 Sept 202025 Sept 2020

Publication series

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


Conference14th European Conference on Game Based Learning, ECGBL 2020
CityVirtual, Online


  • Design framework
  • Game-based learning
  • Serious game
  • Systematic literature


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