Games Research Lab
Teachers College, Columbia University
Teachers College
Columbia University

Skip to navigation menu

Skip to main content

Games Research Lab

Game Courses at TC

MSTU 4039 - Video Games in Education: Theory and Practice of Game Design

This course provides students with the tools needed to understand, analyze and build games.   A primary focus is made on the basic language of games: game play and game design. Students will explore the understanding of rules, interactivity, play, social interaction, and other factors which go into the making of an innovative and fun game.  Nascent trends in games will also be explored, especially in terms of their opportunities for education.


MSTU 5000 - Possibilities of Virtual Worlds
This course explores possibilities of virtual worlds for education.  Through readings and theoretical discussions of identity construction, positioning and social aspects of virtual and traditional communities, participants explore how virtual environments may function to support teaching and learning, and how virtual communities are affecting people's lives inside and outside the virtual.  Hands-on work in the Secondlife community, as well as guest lecturers in and out of Secondlife, will be used to explore virtual space and provide basic knowledge about scripting and building within the Secondlife environment (  While the class uses SecondLife as it's predominant platform, the class explores virtual worlds in general (worlds such as, ActiveWorlds, Club Penguin, IMVU, Whyville, and others).

MSTU 6000 -- Advanced Designing Educational Games

This course serves as an intensive workshop for designing and producing educational games, and as a special topics seminar for students interested in the advanced study of games through theory and hands-on practice. Focus is placed on games and play as opportunities for learning -- something which can happen in or out of the classroom. As part of the course, students work in groups to produce a fully playable, finished game, in either digital, non-digital or hybrid form. Students also explore how to find, interpret and use current research on games;  analyze the educational success or failure of a variety of existing educational games; and consider new and emerging uses for games.


MSTU 5003 - Introduction to Flash-Based Interactive Media: Theory and Programming

Developing multimedia that is educationally sound requires a well-rounded designer versed in the latest theories of learning and interface design. This course explores aspects of learning theory and design. Students produce Flash-based media that represent the latest research in education and human-computer interaction. An equivalent focus is made on three aspects of multimedia design: the development of technical skills, the application of learning theory, and the implementation of design principles. This multi-disciplinary approach will ensure that students leave the course with the ability, background, and confidence to pursue complex multimedia development in the Flash environment.