Submitting Campus

Daytona Beach


Humanities & Communication

International Education Topic

Education Abroad

Document Type


Publication/Presentation Date



This study examined a cohort of 12 study abroad participants taking a course on video game topography and narrative in Salamanca, Spain, to determine how inhabiting and co-creating narrative worlds as part of the coursework might impact the experiences of the students inside and outside of the classroom as they engaged in mandated and optional cultural engagement activities, such as museum tours and excursions to historical sites. Students completed two gameful learning activities: 1) they co-created their own narrative game world in a group game proposal assignment drawing upon research from storytelling through game environments, and 2) they created independent digital journals of their experiences through the perspective of a gaming avatar chosen at the beginning of the course. Results from pre- and post-self-report surveys indicate that the game proposal assignment allowed students to develop stronger connections with one another while conducting research that gave them additional context for their cultural surroundings. However, those same students criticized participation in pre-defined environments or activities within the photo journal assignment that they perceived to lack authenticity. Future iterations of similar course designs should establish the course content and context as a foundation before enabling students to co-author the course’s game narrative. Assessment of learning outcomes beyond self-reports is also recommended.

Publication Title

Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad



The Forum on Education Abroad