Assessing the Efficacy of Reflective Game Design: A Design-Based Study in Digital Game-Based Learning

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Reflective learning is widely recognised as a highly effective approach to learning. It involves learners in a process wherein they reflect on their past experiences to improve their skills and knowledge. In recent years, there has been growing recognition of the capacity of games to facilitate experiential learning. Therefore, this research aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of integrating reflective design principles into digital game-based learning (GBL). The focus was on assessing the reliability and appropriateness of reflective game design, as well as learner perceptions. This study adopted a participatory design approach, ensuring the active involvement of the target audience across all extensive phases. The research consisted of three main phases. Firstly, reflective learning was integrated into game design to develop the Reflective Game Design (RGD) framework. This development was guided by insights gathered from participants through both a user survey (N = 101) and semi-structured interviews (N = 15). Subsequently, a GBL digital game was developed based on the RGD framework in co-design sessions (N = 6). Finally, a prototype evaluation (N = 56) was conducted to assess the feasibility and practicality of implementing reflective game design within digital GBL contexts. Overall, the RGD approach and the game prototype received positive feedback in terms of engagement, content clarity, the incorporation of reflective game elements, and player immersion. This study contributes to the literature by providing principles and guidelines for RGD, thus offering valuable insights for researchers, educators, and game designers looking to create effective educational games.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1204
Number of pages22
JournalEducation Sciences
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2023


  • reflective learning
  • participatory design
  • game-based learning
  • reflective game design
  • learning theories


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