Designing for learning and play: The smiley model as a framework

Charlotte Lærke Weitze*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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This paper presents the Smiley Model as a framework for designing engaging learning experiences in games. In a design-based research project, student game designers learned inside a gamified learning design while designing and implementing learning goals from curriculum into small digital games. Project participants were adult students in an upper secondary general education program. The Smiley Model inspired and provided a scaffold or a heuristic for the overall gamified learning design and for the students' learning game design processes, turning the learning situation into an engaging experience while integrating learning and play.1 The student game designers reached cognitively complex levels of understanding by designing learning situations into the digital learning games. They experienced motivating learning situations, and the social and collaborative learning processes in the class increased.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInteraction Design and Architecture(s)
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)52-75
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Engaging learning experiences
  • Game design model
  • Learning game design
  • Playful education
  • Students as learning game designers

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