Game-Based Teaching with Technology Certificate


  • The Game-Based Teaching with Technology certificate is not accepting applications at this time.

Students | Expectations | Licensure | Timeline | Admissions Requirements | Faculty | Quotes | Want to find out more?

This five course online certificate teaches people how to create learning games.  

Video transcript*

Students [Back to Top]

While this five-course online graduate certificate is geared towards Pre-K-12 teachers who want an additional Massachusetts license in instructional technology, anyone who works in a learning setting and wants to expand their pedagogy by converting their curriculum into a curricular game and meets the program requirements is welcome in the program.

Expectations [Back to Top]

The initial courses in this certificate program introduce students to game-based classes by being students in courses designed as games. The first two courses allow students to explore accessibility, diversity, and usability issues in technology (EDC G 633 “Includification”) as well as expand upon their current technological skills by designing a series of curricular products that use technology to make student thinking visible and student choice an integral part of learning (EDC G 648 New Literacies). After experiencing game-based courses as a student, students will design, playtest, revise, and implement their own unit-long curricular games (EDC G 634 Introduction to Game-Based Teaching; EDC G 635 Advanced Game-Based Teaching; and EDC G 690 Teacher Research).

Licensure [Back to Top]

The six coverage areas required by DESE for an additional license in Instructional Technology are embedded into the coursework. Students who already have an initial license in Massachusetts in another subject area can apply directly to DESE for an additional license in Instructional Technology after earning the certificate. Because Instructional Technology is a license for all grade levels, if a student did not take a course that covers K-12 development previously, an additional class, EDC G 644 Developmental Stages: Childhood through Adolescence, can be taken to satisfy that requirement for the additional license. 

Timeline [Back to Top]

All coursework is online, however, students may seek additional face-to-face support with the instructor and/or with peers.

Admissions Requirements[Back to Top]

While technology skills will be learned in the program, no prior technological experience is required. However, applicants are expected to be teaching in a learning setting where they can implement their curricular game. In addition, applicants are expected to meet the admissions requirements of the university for graduate work such as having a minimum undergrad 3.0 GPA and to submit the required application materials (undergraduate transcript, résumé, statement of purpose, at least two letters of recommendation). The statement of purpose should describe the applicant's interest in the program. The letters of recommendation should speak to the applicant’s teaching abilities. At least one should be from a supervisor and at least one should be from a student of the applicant.

*Current graduate students and recent graduates can fill out an "Add a Certificate" form and email it to instead of applying through Graduate Admissions.

Faculty [Back to Top]

Janna Jackson Kellinger

A former high school English teacher, Janna Jackson Kellinger received her PhD in curriculum and instruction from Boston College in 2004. She has been the Graduate Program Director of the Middle/Secondary Education program at UMass Boston since 2007. She won the Innovative Face-to-Face Teaching Award at UMass Boston in 2014. Her latest book, A Guide to Designing Curricular Games: How to “Game” the System, is forthcoming from Springer.

Mish McIntyre

Mish McIntyre is a learning designer, artist, and educator with 10 years of experience working in higher education. Gameful play remains the core of her everyday work. She is also an avid gamer and has worked as a game writer and designer including on a massive multiplayer online game Glympse by Sojourn. She also creates games for the classroom which promote Design Thinking and research methodology. Her research includes using Minecraft to facilitate the development of creative thinking in higher education. McIntyre received a MFA from Massachusetts College of Art & Design and an MEd from Suffolk University. For eight years, McIntyre was the Foundation Studies Program Coordinator at the New England School of Art & Design (NESAD) at Suffolk University. Currently, she is an instructional designer for eLearning and Instructional Design at UMass Boston.

Marcia Kessler

Marcia Kessler is a former public school teacher and administrator who received her EdM in Instructional Technology from Harvard University. She received the Faculty Member of the Year Award from Lesley University Graduate School of Education, where she has taught for 27 years. In addition to working with hundreds of students over 40 years in public education, one of her proudest accomplishments is the authoring of the Instructors Manuals for the four-course CISCO CCNA Discovery Academy.  

*Transcript of Video [Back to Top]: "Hello. My name is Professor Kellinger. Most teachers only dream of their students spending the amount of motivation, attention, passion, and critical thinking on their classes that some students do playing videogames. Many teachers have thought “How can I compete with that?” as they confiscate a hand-held gaming device from a student. The good news is now they can! The Game-Based Teaching with Technology Certificate walks students through the process of turning a class into a curricular game so teachers can co-opt the pedagogical techniques of games instead of competing with them. The coursework provides a step-by-step process that guides students through designing their own curricular game at their level of technological expertise whether it be by doing so without any technology or by repurposing technology tools familiar to most, thus allowing all students—including their students—to get their game on!"

Student Quotes [Back to Top]

“This class was such an amazing experience for me! I never thought I would have the creativity to create my own video game, and understand the time, effort and process that goes into creating video game. I’m just used to grabbing a controller and playing, that’s it.”

-Chris Johnson

“By generating a no-technology version of my game, I realized that all teachers can use game-based teaching strategies to create a completely technology-free version of an educational game. Even simple technology, such as PowerPoint, can be used to transform a no-tech version of game into a low-tech version . . . When students feel like they are in control, and that they can explore a game space without fear of failing, they will actively participate. I also . . . realized that game-based learning greatly benefits those individuals that have some academic deficiencies. . . Many of my students that are on IEPs require accommodations that break up large tasks into smaller, more manageable tasks. Well planned curricular games do just that; they break up large tasks into smaller quests that students must accomplish as they progress towards the final goal, winning the game.”

-Jenna Roncarati

“My thoughts on Game-Based Teaching: I absolutely love it! I love any opportunity to let my students experience the content I am trying to teach them . . . and Game-Based Teaching is a fantastic strategy for that.”

-Jon Mael

Want to Find Out More? [Back to Top]

Contact us:

Janna Kellinger


Office of Student Services