Good Game Design

Good Game Design

From playing to building – transforming students from consumers to designers and creators of digital content

Game design provides a context for inquiry and discovery, leading students to become active problem solvers and to engage in their own learning.

Discover how to leverage the strong motivation students have to play digital games by engaging them as designers of digital games. During this process students will develop key 21st century skills, thinking skills (design, computational, system) and literacy skills while developing deeper understanding of content.

Game design is a cross-curricular creative activity addressing content and general capabilities across syllabuses.Researchers at MIT, including Mitch Resnick and Karen Brennan from the Lifelong Kindergarten Group, believe coding is an important skill for all primary students. In addition to its application within the Science and Technology syllabus, coding is increasingly being applied in a cross-curricular capacity, connecting to learning areas such as Mathematics, HSIE and Creative Arts.

This workshop will give teachers a fundamental understanding of good game design principles through:

  • deconstructing and reviewing games
  • using a MacICT developed framework to guide the design process
  • protoyping a simple game using game creation software.

Suitable pedagogical models for implementing game design into the classroom will be shared and discussed, and links to the NSW Curriculum will be highlighted. Participants will engage in practical activties to unpack what makes a good game. They will then design and build a simple game using Microsoft Kodu Game Lab (free software now available on all eT4L servers for NSW schools).

Read more about the learning that occurs through designing and building games:

Completing this course will contribute 5 hours of QTC Registered PD addressing 2.2.3, 4.2.5, 6.2.4, 6.2.6 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.

Audience: Stages 2 to 6 teachers.

Keywords: STEAM, Coding, Programming, Creative & Critical Thinking, Design, Digital Literacy, Creativity, Literacy, Cross-Curricular

[It was] great because it was practical and plenty of time to play with Kodu. Also the Google Docs activity was really useful and a good example of practicing what you’re preaching – collaboration.

This really stretched me, which was a good thing. I loved the research framework that was presented prior to the practical application, and then the opportunity to explore, tinker and create.

Game Design Excursions

We run Game Design Boot Camps during school terms. Bring your students to MacICT and see the possibilities in action!


Cathie Howe

Cathie Howe

Centre Manager

Cathie is a Professional Learning & Leadership Coordinator for the NSW Department of Education and manager of MacICT. As well as developing and delivering Professional Learning, Cathie is the creative and strategic leader of an expanding, collaborative team responsible for the design and quality of MacICT’s services. She oversees all course development and mentors many of the team members to ensure that MacICT continues to provide a consistently high level of service to schools, teachers and students.

Cathie manages, and is involved in the development of MacICT’s case studies and academic research projects. She is passionate about inspiring and empowering teachers to transform their practice by understanding what they have to teach (curriculum), how they are going to teach it (pedagogy), integrating digital tools in creative ways to enable meaningful learning to occur.

During her 20+ years both as a teacher and an executive in Primary Schools, Cathie has been recognised for her innovative practice, digital learning design and leadership.


Unfortunately there are no plans to run this course again. Apologies for any inconvenience.


How do I enrol?
Enrolment is through the MyPL system. Click on the Event ID provided and it will take you to the enrolment page. NSW Department of Education (DoE) teachers can log in using their credentials. Non-DoE participants need to sign up for a MyPL account in order to enrol. Click here for instructions, and click here for more information about MyPL for non-DoE participants.
How is payment taken?
If you are from a NSW DoE school, payment will be via direct debit and appear on your school's Sundry Tax Invoice Statement. Non-DoE schools and individuals will be invoiced. Please contact us to confirm your billing details.
How do I get there and do I need to bring anything?
There are many transport options. See our Contact page for more information. We will send out an email to all participants with parking information two days before the event. Please look out for this email and read the instructions carefully. All equipment will be provided unless otherwise advised.
What if I cancel or don't show up?

You can delete your own enrolment through MyPL, however keep in mind any cancellations made within 2 days of the event or no-shows will incur the full cost, charged to your school. Please contact us if there are any issues with your attendance.

What's a follow-on component?

Some of our courses include a follow-on component to be completed by the participant in their school context with the aim of transferring the new practice to their teaching and learning repertoire. These deliverables are included as part of the course hours and are designed to engage teachers in real ‘learning through doing’ leading to improvement in the skills and capabilities of teachers. This is an opportunity for you to have some time to take what you learned during the workshop and apply it to your own context and your own students. Details of the follow-on will be emailed out to all participants. The deliverables must meet the following Criteria:

  1. Product (this may refer to lesson plan, unit of work or other digital product)
    1. evidence of creativity;
    2. planning and/or design;
    3. incorporation of key ideas in the course;
    4. integration of technology; and
    5. a published/shared product that is appropriate to audience, purpose and context.
  2. Online Interaction
    1. peer feedback; and
    2. community building.
  3. Personal Written Reflection (200 words):
    1. Reflect on the learning experience gained by participating in this course, including the deliverables, OR reflect on your classroom practice (including a description of the pedagogical approach, delivery and implications for the future); AND
    2. Reflect on how you achieved one or more of the specified professional learning standards.
More questions? Contact us.

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