John Andrews
Cindy Davis


| Instructional Objectives | Learners & Context | Object of Game | Game Materials |

| Time Required | Rules | Design Process | References |


Instructional Objectives


Learners & Context of Use

iGame is designed for K-6 Elementary School teachers. This population ranges in age from 22 - 65. All have a minimum of four-year degrees, and would have an affiliation for the types of questions being asked of them.

All teachers within the Del Mar Union School District have been given an iBook computer to use both at home and school. The district's goal is for teachers to integrate technology into their teaching by using the iBook for productivity, personal growth, and teaching.

Although many of these teachers have used the Internet, the district has only just begun extensive technology inservices. For the first time, teachers are required to access e-mail, connect to a network, communicate with parents, and keep records using a computer.

The instructional product, iGame, is designed to be used anywhere that teachers have Internet access. It can be played on a desk, dining room table, or table of any kind. Since it utilizes the iBook computer with wireless Internet access, it is truly portable in nature.

iGame is infinitely expandable and has been designed to be played more than once. It is limited only by the number of questions that have been developed at the time. Set up is minimal; although users must start up their iBooks prior to the game, connect to the Internet, and shut them down after playing.


Object of the Game

You have been given an iBook. To win, you must integrate technology throughout your teaching and your personal life.

The goal of the game is the move around the board from home to school, and again back to home. As the player does so, he answers questions to collect points. The end state is to successfully answer a certain number of questions, go home and successfully answer a question from the home square.


Game Materials

  1. iGame board
  2. Four colored pieces representing four different teachers
  3. 1 die
  4. Tally Sheets
  5. Pencil
  6. iBook with Internet connection and Internet Explorer(not included)

Time Required

iGame can be set up in 5 minutes. The length of play varies widely as to how involved players become with web surfing. The suggested time of play is 60 minutes. If players leave the game board intact, play could be broken up into multiple sessions.




  1. Place all needed playing pieces on the home space
  2. Turn on your iBook and launch Internet Explorer
  3. Open to the designated game web site:
  4. Write player names on a blank tally sheet
  5. Determine who moves first by rolling the die. Highest number moves first. Play continues in a clockwise direction.

Game Play

Moving Your Token
On each turn, try to reach a different room and answer a question. To start your turn, roll the die.


  1. Roll the die and move your token the designated number of spaces
  2. You may move in one direction per turn

Entering and Leaving a Room
You may enter or leave a room by rolling the die and moving through the spaces marked with a diamond.

  • You may only enter a room by rolling the exact number of spaces


  • You may not stop on the same space or room as another player, although you may pass over another token.
  • If your path is blocked in one direction, you must move in the other direction, or move through an empty classroom to go around the person blocking your path.

Special Squares
There are four squares with special instructions on the board. If you land by exact roll on one of these squares, follow the directions. If the square takes you to a room, answer a question.

Answering Questions
Once you have entered a room you must answer a question.

  • Click on the corresponding room on the webpage and answer the question by clicking on the correct response.
  • If you answer the question correctly a page with the words "yes" will appear. Mark a check in the corresponding box of the tally sheet, click the close link at the bottom of the window and take another turn.
  • If you answer incorrectly, your turn ends. Click the close link at the bottom of the window. You must try a question in a different classroom before you can return and answer a question in the room you missed
  • While a player is considering the answer to a question, they may surf the webor discuss the answer with other players.
  • Some cards have a "Try it" buttons. Click on these buttons to launch a new window containing the corresponding website. Close this window when done by clicking on the close box in the upper left corner of the window.


  • When you have answered all required school questions, travel to the home area and answer the final question.
  • If you answer the final question incorrectly, you lose your turn. You may stay home however, and answer another question again on your next turn.

    Regular Play
    You must correctly answer one question from each of the following categories:

    • Lounge
    • Lab
    • Work Room
    • Library


You must also correctly answer a question from each of the four different subject areas.

Expert Play
You must correctly answer one question from each of the following categories:

    • Lounge
    • Lab
    • Work Room
    • Library

You must also correctly answer a question from all nine subject areas.

Suggestions for Play

  • This game can be played with two to four players. If there are four players, it is recommended that you play in teams of two.
  • Players may want to agree to spend no more than five minutes per question.


Design Process

The design process incorporated both design and development processes. The game developed out of a true instructional need. One author had the idea for the game because his school district gave all the teachers iBooks. The authors brainstormed extensively throughout the process and recorded their ideas on paper.

The initial idea for the game involved moving tokens around the picture of an iBook. This board however, seemed incompatible with any known game board strategies. Also,the game was too focussed on the mechanics of computer use. It did not map onto the instructional goals.

The authors continued brainstorming until they arrived at a board design that closely mirrored real life use of technology. In order to add realism and flexibility to the game, the authors decided to incorporate the actual iBook into game play, by offereing questions on a companion website. Game participants would then have opportunities to use their iBooks within the learning context and environment.

The authors analyzed the subject matter and decided on required question categories. They began to develop questions and define game rules. They created prototypes of the game and received feed back from teachers. The authors created a framework for delivering randomized questions via the web.

In designing the rules of the game they wresteled with the idea of imposing time limits on the game. During these discussions they decided to eliminate time limits and to increase the social nature of the game by allowing players to partner and to discuss the questions while surfing the web or looking through iBook documentation.

Users tested the game and the authors incorporated their feedback into a final prototype.



Cotton, E.G. (1997). The online classroom. El Segundo, CA: Classroom Connect, Inc.

Ellington, H., Addinall, E., & Percival, F. (1982). A handbook of game design. London: Kogan Page.

Polly, J.(1997). The internet kids & family yellow pages. Berkeley, CA: Osborne/McGraw Hill.

Progue, D. (2000). The iBook for dummies. Foster City, CA: IDG Books Worldwide, Inc.