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This article presents ten guidelines for the effective use of video games in online teaching environments for post-secondary instructors. These guidelines include: taking advantage of existing resources, asking students to be producers instead of just consumers, avoiding being overly prescriptive, being aware of non-media-intense and non-electronic games, staying focused on learning—not technology, orienting and debriefing students as to the value of gaming activities, embracing interdisciplinarity, taking advantage of serious games, considering collaborative technologies and virtual worlds, and playtesting. Recent research in game-based learning is considered to help guide these best practices and numerous ideas for incorporating games into the virtual classroom are provided. Although empirical research about the effectiveness of online video games as educational tools is an important component for sustainability and for improving online learning games, this paper focuses exclusively on the theoretical and applied issues associated with online game-based learning. The authors contend that such teaching practices are useful for engaging with student audiences and encouraging them to take intellectual risks in comfortable and familiar territory.
Keywords: video games, engagement, play, game theory, teaching, pedagogy, applied research, game-based technology, guidelines, best practices