Part 1 Gaming in Education: Active Audiences

Welcome to the first blog of a series where using journal articles and existing information I plan to further add to the conversation surrounding the use of gaming as a learning tool in education.

After receiving some feedback from fellow peers I have decided to purely base this series on Minecraft, as by focusing on a singular game I think I will be able to comment on the game which a more analytical based approach.

For decades media theorists have argued that we need to move away from the misconception that media users and audience are “passive” in the way they consume media. Instead we must assume media audiences are active participants. The Uses and Gratification model says “the audience has power over their media consumption and assumes an active role in interpreting and integrating media into their own lives”.  It moves away from questions like “what does media do to people” and instead asks “What do people do with media”.

We can actually apply these media theories to understanding the use of gaming in education. How are kids using Minecraft and making meaning from it which can be applied in other areas of their life? What exactly is it they could possibly learning from playing a game?

The following text exert is taken from Rassens “Computer Games as Participatory  Media Culture (2005), Rassens brings up Stuart Hall’s communication model of “Encoding/decoding”:

“The active role of the audience is worded in an exemplary fashion by Stuart Hall in his article ‘‘Encoding/decoding’’ (1980).

Hall shows that an expression of culture contains not only one opinion, but in the process of communication that stretches from design/production (encoding) to reception/consumption (decoding), the meaning of it is formed by a number of factors.

Not only the design and production of a computer game, but also its reception and consumption has to be considered an active, interpretive, and social event.”

Well, we as active audiences (or children as active participants with Minecraft) use our media to create  meaning. Teachers are actively engaging their students, through Minecraft, they are then able to understand and comprehend valuable lessons whilst playing Minecraft.

Noelene Callaghan in her study 2016 study “Investigating the role of Minecraft in educational learning environments”, identifies the way in which Minecraft Edu can be used to contribute to the teaching and learning of secondary students via a multiple case research study.

“This study has found that the use of edugames, in particular, Minecraft Edu in high school classes will contribute towards students developing their cognitive skills, being more engaged and creating authentic learning tasks.”

In the next blog, I will further discuss Callaghan’s study and analyse some of the information found in her research.
Add to the conversation! Comment below any ideas or relating articles on the use of Minecraft in Education!


Callaghan, N. (2016). Investigating the role of Minecraft in educational learning environments. Educational Media International, 53(4), 244–260. doi:10.1080/09523987.2016.1254877 › uses-and-gratification-theory

5 thoughts on “Part 1 Gaming in Education: Active Audiences

  1. Pitch Video

    Overall the video quality and presentation is rather engaging as well as keeping me informed on the message you are trying to convey. You paced yourself well throughout the video which is effective as I could clearly follow along with what you had to say. It is good to see that you engaged with the feedback given to you on the original pitch video and actively tried to amend your digital artefact so it can be consumed easier. I also like how you use terminology from the subject material which shows you are actively participating in class. As some further advice I can see that you are struggling with finding an audience I would suggest posting a poll on Twitter using the subject hashtag and other hashtags like #gaming or #education. This is what I have done for my own digital artefact and I had great success with feedback from both class peers and random people who were interested in my topic.

    Blog Post

    Your blog post is rather informative however it repeats a lot of information presented in your video. I checked out your first blog post for the digital artefact and it would have been good if you spoke about the research you conducted for your digital artefact in your beta blog post. It is obvious that you have used academic and media sources for your digital artefact so just mentioning how you conducted your research would have been further informative. Overall, you seem to have a clear understanding of your topic and only now need to find ways of engaging with an audience as I suggested earlier Twitter is a good place to start!

    Further Research

    Through doing some research for your topic I noticed there is a whole website dedicated to Minecraft being used in the classroom, it is called the Education Edition. I am not sure if it can be used for your next blog posts however it would be a good site to check out,


  2. Hi Anthea!
    I LOVE this topic.
    As a non-gamer, I found this a breath of fresh air, super clear analytical framework to follow and clearly lots of research that you had done!
    After some research, I noticed that Minecraft actually have and education website!
    (which I’m sure you were aware of but I didn’t know it existed so this was a great place for me to look for the info!)
    The website covers all ways to use Minecraft in the classroom, with support and resources!

    Also on the Reddit note, I had the same dilemma when I used it as a platform for the feedback! Be warned Reddit users in the gaming community I’ve found so far are super honest, and will get straight to the point. A great thing for a time-sensitive assignment such as this one it’s good to not beat around the bush!

    Just like you spoke about engaging your audience in your first blog post of your DA, your beta post was engaging to read! Lots of visuals throughout which is a great way to keep viewer retention!!

    Heres another article I found regarding Minecraft gaming in education;
    Steve Nebel, Sascha Schneider and Günter Daniel Rey
    Journal of Educational Technology & Society
    Vol. 19, No. 2, Intelligent and Affective Learning Environments: New Trends and Challenges (April 2016), pp. 355-366

    Awesome job can’t wait to see how this topic goes.


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