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Playing to See: A Research and Development Digital Game Based Learning Project

PLEASE NOTE: PIs and Co-PIs are listed alphabetically.


Playing to See: A Research and Development Digital Game Based Learning Project


Aroutis Foster, Ph.D. (PI)
Assistant Professor

Jennifer Katz-Buonincontro, Ph.D. (PI)
Assistant Professor


The Barnes Foundation logo The Barnes Foundation


This project proposes to research and develop a game-based learning platform to engage children ages 7-14 in online art education to support the Barnes Foundation family program, ArtSee Artists. The digital game-based learning (DGBL) system will utilize works of art from the ensembles in the Barnes Foundation based on John Dewey’s art and educational philosophies.

An elementary school girl doing crafts with a teacher nearby.The learning objectives of this digital-game based learning system are to help museum visitors 1) learn the aesthetic principles of art and design, 2) increase their creative self-efficacy and 3) develop personally relevant artistic experiences. In doing so, the researchers will design a platform around the natural curiosities of people for inquiry, communication, construction, and expression through play, curricular activities, reflection and discussion–the Game Network Analysis for designers (GaNA).

The complete project will last for one-year using a design-based research approach involving the design, development, and assessment of a mobile system. Development will proceed iteratively with alpha testing providing feedback in the development phase and assessment of users art education, creativity, and appreciation of the platform in the final month.

The research and development of the system will have a broader impact on museum education for learners aged 7–14 and the design of game-based learning environments to facilitate creativity and transformative learning experiences using systematic models. Because this innovative, cutting-edge project is digital and will engage users on a mobile platform, it holds the potential to reach learners from diverse socio-economic backgrounds. Ultimately, the DGBL system will help to broaden participation in the museum experience and can be integrated into the onsite family program curriculum of the Barnes Foundation, as well as K-12 schools serving Philadelphia, and beyond.