Gaming up the practice of teacher education: Quest2teach

Anna Arici Barab, Sasha Barab, Ryen Borden

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


This study investigates the impact of using 3D immersive game curricula, designed specifically for teacher education, and based in the transformational play theory to inform its impact design. Specifically, we investigated a game-based learning experience called ‘Quest2Teach: The Pursuit of Professionalism,’ in which pre-service teachers enter a virtual world where they apply professional competencies (i.e., suspending judgment, asset-based thinking, locus of control, interpersonal awareness) to forge and negotiate strong relations with a virtual mentor teacher, other game characters and a class of virtual students. To understand the value of the transformational play theory and the impact of using immersive game curricula in teacher education, we implemented ‘The Pursuit of Professionalism’ as embedded in university pre-service teacher field experience courses, across two years with over 3500 students, including a targeted comparison study with 98 students. These data support the notion that the gaming context positioned students to be the protagonists in these immersive classroom narratives, with scaffolded language and experiences in educational theory, able to make authentic decisions, see the consequences of those decisions played out, and gain fluency in these concepts. Importantly, this led to a nuanced and situated appreciation for the core professional competencies being experienced through this game that was inherently richer than learning about these concepts through other pedagogical approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEducational Technologies: Challenges, Applications and Learning Outcomes
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781634857604
ISBN (Print)9781634857383
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Ecosystem integration
  • Games and impact
  • Teacher education
  • Transformational play
  • Virtual worlds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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