Teaching children hygiene using problem based learning: the story telling approach to games based learning

David Farrell, Patty Kostkova, Donna Lecky, Cliodna McNulty

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


This paper discusses the design and implementation of a browser based game ("e-Bug Detectives") that teaches 13-15 year olds about hygiene, microbes and appropriate antibiotic use. Despite the recent interest in technology enhanced learning, there has been little investigation of how to develop design a game that teaches specific Learning Outcomes (LOs) using an established pedagogy. We demonstrate that Problem Based Learning (PBL) is an appropriate framework for games that aim to teach a number of disparate LOs. The introduction explains why it was necessary to create a bespoke game to satisfy the project's requirements. Section 2 presents the reasons behind choosing the adventure game genre and the PBL framework. Section 3 discusses the technical implementation of the game. The five stages of PBL are explained and mapped to the game in section 4. Finally, early evaluation results are presented and future work is discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2009



  • Educational games
  • Games based learning
  • Games design
  • Health
  • Hygiene
  • Narrative
  • Pedagogy
  • Problem based learning
  • Serious games
  • Technology enhanced learning

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