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Game-Centred Approaches in PHE

Course Code: SPSC 5395
Faculty: Science & Technology
Department: Sport Science
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 10 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture, Lab, Seminar, Partially Online
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

In this course, students investigate how game-centred approaches (GCAs) place the learner and their development at the centre of the learning process. Modification and progression are covered in relation to students' socio-emotional developmental level, cognitive structures, and physical capacity. GCA-based pedagogies highlight the intellectual dimensions of games, which can contribute to critical thinking, autonomy and classroom skills as well as better understanding of physical activity and its importance for physical and health literacy.

Course Content

1. Game-centred approaches - literacy definitions

                1.1. Physical Literacy

                1.2. Health Literacy

                1.3. Games Literacy

                1.4. Sport Literacy

2. Game-centred approaches

2.1. Traditional Models (TM)

2.2. Teaching Games for Understanding 

2.3. Tactical Games Model 

2.4. Games Sense 

2.5. Games Education Model 

2.6. Play Practice 

2.7. Constraints-led Approaches 

2.8. Sport Education

3. Modifying games

                3.1. Developmentally appropriate

                                3.1.1. Formative games

                                3.1.2. Innovative games

                                3.1.3. Inclusion games

                3.2. Games structure

                                3.2.1. Purposes

                                3.2.2. Players

                                3.2.3. Movement

                                3.2.4. Objects

                                3.2.5. Organization

                                3.2.6. Limits

                3.3. Games degree of difficulty

                3.4. Optimal inclusion / challenge

4. Common elements of games

                4.1. Locomotion

                4.2. Movement

                4.3. Manipulative

                4.4. Cognitive

                4.5. Social

                4.6. Teamwork

5. Games progressions

                5.1. Foundational / developmental games

                5.2. Low level games

                5.3. Cooperative games

                5.4. Competitive games

                5.5. Scoring games

                5.6. Minor games

                5.7. Modified games

                5.8. Small sided games

                5.9. Lead up games

                5.10. Target games

                5.11. Net / wall games

                5.12. Striking / fielding games

                5.13. Invasion / territorial / go-to, go-through games

                5.14. Inventing / creating games

6. Games assessment

                6.1. Learning domains

                                6.1.1. Cognitive

                                6.1.2. Motor

                                6.1.3. Affective

                6.2. Formative

                6.3. Summative

7. Planning for instruction

7.1. Sampling
7.2. Representation
7.3. Exaggeration
7.4. Tactical complexity
7.5. Transfer
7.6. Unit plan

 7.6.1. Developmentally appropriate


                7.6.2. Learning domains and objectives

                7.6.3. Task analysis and content progression

                7.6.4. Assessment

7.7. Lesson plan

7.7.1. Time and class management

7.7.2. Task presentation and structure

7.7.3. Communication

7.7.4. Instructional information

7.7.5. Use of questions

7.7.6. Review and closure

7.7.7. Assessment

Methods of Instruction


Discussion Groups

Practical Applications

Field Observation



Guest Speakers



Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College policy. The instructor will present a written course outline with specific evaluation criteria at the beginning of the semester. Evaluation may include the following:

Participation 0-25%
Microteaching lessons 0-25%
Journal 0-25%
Class observations 0-25%
Unit plan 0-25%
Article Reviews 0-25%

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Analyze various game-centred approaches (GCAs): E.g. Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) approach and its derivatives, sport education, inventing games to determine elementary and/or secondary relevance,
  2. Apply various GCAs to education settings: E.g. TGfU approach and its derivatives, sport education, inventing games,
  3. Create cognitive, affective, and psychomotor assessments that align with different GCAs,
  4. Adapt GCAs to be inclusive of students within elementary and/or secondary settings,
  5. Summarize the components of physical and health literacy as they apply to GCAs, and
  6. Create GCA resources – lesson plans, unit plans, concept and/or mind maps, task cards, etc.

course prerequisites

Enrolment in the Graduate Diploma in Physical and Health Education.

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.