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Public Defence: Filipa de Sousa

Master Filipa de Sousa at the Department of Education will defend her dissertation "A Dialogic Approach to Game-Based Learning - The Role of the Teacher in Students’ Engagement with Ethics and Morality in Citizenship Education Using a Commercial Off-the-Shelf Videogame." for the degree of PhD.

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Photo: Shane Colvin


Click here to attend the public defence via Zoom

Trial lecture - time and place

"Game based  learning  and engagement in productive disciplinary work: Opportunities and challenges in translating gaming experiences into learning experiences"


Adjudication committee

  • 1. opponent Professor Annika Lantz-Andersson, University of Gothenburg
  • 2. opponent Adjunct Professor Anu Kajamaa, University of Helsinki (on leave)
  • 2. opponent Professor Anders Mørch, University of Oslo 
  • Committee Chair Professor Emeritus Per Hetland, University of Oslo 

Chair of defence

Professor Line Wittek, Universitetet i Oslo



This thesis is in the subject area of the educational sciences and research on the inclusion of new technologies in classroom teaching. Specifically, this study is situated in the research field of game-based learning (GBL) and investigates the ways in which videogames are used in formal education.

The aim is to contribute to knowledge about the design and implementation of dialogic teaching practices using commercial videogames to learn about citizenship, ethics and morals. This aim relates to the need to gain knowledge about designing new educational learning experiences that will align with 21st-century students’ interests.

The research design involved following two upper secondary school classrooms during citizenship education lessons in Portugal and in religion and ethics lessons in Norway. The classes in the two countries were followed during a similar educational activity: using the videogame The Walking Dead to learn a content unit about morals and ethics. Data collection methods in the classrooms included naturalistic observations, video recordings of activities, extended field notes and post-activity interviews with the participants.

The study adopts a sociocultural and dialogical approach to learning, drawing on concepts of mediation, appropriation and positionality to analyze how a commercial out-of-shelf (COTS) roleplay videogame was integrated into teaching practices and used as a mediational tool for learning. Findings from the empirical studies show and explain how the learning trajectory and processes of subject meaning-making depended on students’ collaborative reasoning and the teachers’ enacted pedagogical designs. The study concludes that the teaching approaches using COTS in GBL may support student learning and engagement by facilitating different types of positioning work, as described in theories of transformational play and productive disciplinary engagement.

Published May 26, 2021 12:22 AM - Last modified June 4, 2021 1:45 PM