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Exercising Critical Thinking in Higher Education through

Structured Gameplay

Problem: Students in higher education are not frequently engaged as an active participant in their education resulting in underdeveloped critical thinking skills, and an inability to self-direct toward future learning.



Interactive Game Design and Development is an incredibly interdisciplinary field sat on the border of animation, sound design, film and cinematography, as well as whatever the most recent technological advancement is that's sweeping through the broader digital media landscape. By the same coin, Technology isn't going anywhere leaving the best we option to be learning to co-exist with it in a way that is mutually beneficial. During gameplay players interact with a variety of metaphors to serve as a facsimile of the real world, drawing inferences from the real world to inform individual learning of systems and decisions in game. Students in Higher education are less frequently engaged as active participants in their learning, resulting in underdeveloped critical thinking skills; however, according to Benjamin Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning, students participating collaborative exploration will reach higher order critical thinking skills. [Evaluations based on expirement]


This thesis focuses on how a student’s engagement in their learning can improve their critical thinking ability. However, the thesis does not focus on replacing the lecture-style model of teaching, but rather augmenting it. Instead, by modelling Bloom’s “Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching and Assessing” during moment-to-moment gameplay students should be able to strengthen their existing critical thinking skills and reach higher-order levels of thinking. The aim of the thesis is to develop a process outlining how to build gameplay using Bloom’s Taxonomy so professors can craft supplemental lesson game levels to prime students with a survey of broad knowledge while introducing key upcoming topics to incentivize continuous goal setting and knowledge seeking behavior. All of which laid out in specific amounts for the player to practice problem solving and critical reasoning skills to complete checkpoints the professor placed along the way. Furthermore, the thesis should provide a groundwork for future serious game development utilizing Bloom’s Taxonomy, perhaps focusing on more specific steps in the process of moving through the ordered thinking skills.

Keywords: Higher-Order thinking, Critical Thinking, Remember, Understand, Apply, Analyze, Evaluate, Procedural Knowledge, Knowledge Recall

Theoretical Framework: “Anderson, Lorin W., et al. “A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives.” Addison Wesley Longman, Inc. 2001


David R. Krathwohl

Lorin W. Anderson

Interactive Timeline: Week by Week Block calendar with interactive pages allowing you to step into and out of various stages of planning.

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