Background: Computer games can become powerful learning environments for the learning
of a plethora of learning subjects. Computer Card Games (CCGs) are the modern expression of
Card games (CGs) that is a large genre of games which have been around since the 10th century. CGs
have been also used for educational purposes since the time of Piaget. Despite the above, a methodology
for the design of Educational CCGs (ECCGs) that takes into account modern social and constructivist
views of learning, and which has been tested through empirical research, has not yet been proposed.
This is the contribution of this paper.
Methods: This paper presents a specific 7-step modeling methodology for the creation of ECCGs. These steps are: (1)
Definition of the subject matter model (including all aspects of the learning subject in question) and of the student model
(including learners’ non-scientific conceptions about the aforementioned learning subject), (2) Definition of the aims of
the CCG-play, (3) Definition of appropriate card game-play learning activities taking into account basic social and constructivist
views of learning as well as key structural characteristics of games which can contribute to player engagement,
(4) Definition of specific CG-play activities to help students overcome their difficulties, (5) Definition of the kind of motivation
that should be provided for the students during CG-play, (6) Definition of the kind of scaffolding used during CGplay,
(7) Definition of the rules of the CG-play. Based on the aforementioned methodology, the design of various types of
cards is proposed. To illustrate the aforementioned design methodology, one example of using it in ECCG-design is demonstrated,
as described in recent patents.
Results: An empirical study of the use of the aforementioned 7-step design methodology by university students (39 students)
acting as designers of ECCGs is presented. Results of the use of the ECCGs constructed in real classrooms are also
reported. The analysis of the data arising from the aforementioned empirical studies shows that all University students
found the said methodology appropriate and interesting and they easily managed to construct at least one complete and
appealing ECCG, and also tested these ECCGs in real classrooms with encouraging results.
Conclusion: The 7-step constructivist modeling methodology for the creation of ECCGs that is presented in this paper
could be successfully used in the design of ECCGs which could also become effective learning tools in real classrooms
for various learning subjects.