Challenge: Design an educational board game that represents one of the major learning theories





Educational game design

Research & Inspiration

Cognitive Load Theory


Schemas are cognitive structures that store related or domain-specific knowledge, information or content in our working and long-term memory. “Schemas” is a card game based on this concept and helps learners exercise Cognitive Load Theory (CLT) through an interactive activity. Based off the popular game called Rummy, "Schemas" uses key concepts from CLT as part of its gameplay, design, and terminology. Learners practice different aspects of working memory or awareness through how they manage their hand of cards.

By understanding how this theory’s learning process works, learners can find ways to optimize their own encoding, retrieval, and schema building of knowledge for school, work, or their daily lives. Beyond helping learners understand CLT, “Schemas” facilitates practice of basic strategy with how players use their load cards, creativity for their schema topics, and collaboration as they learn through a social activity.


What I learned:

  1. How some aspects of game design is linked to psychology. For example, Miller's Law, which states that working memory has a limited capacity of seven +/- two items, can directly relate to how many cards players are allowed to manage and hold in their hands.

  2. How to write and synthesize instructional content. This was key for this project since nobody wants to read long instructions to play a game.

  3. When user testing, limit as much speaking as possible and only observe. This will give you insight on which parts of the game are intuitive, not working, and people's natural tendencies in playing the game.

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