Matthew Farber, Ed.D. profile

Matthew Farber

Assistant Professor of Technology, Innovation and Pedagogy; Game-Based Learning Author

Matthew Farber, Ed.D., is an assistant professor in the Technology, Innovation, and Pedagogy program at the University of Northern Colorado. His research is at the intersection of teacher education, learning technologies, and game-based learning.

Dr. Farber is a former classroom teacher who led the way in bringing games to the classroom, as an academic on the topic and as an author about the implementation of games in the classroom. He has been invited to the White House and to keynote for UNESCO, and he has been interviewed about games and learning by NPR, Fox News Radio, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal.

With Karen Schrier, Ed.D., he co-authored the UNESCO MGIEP working paper, The Limits and Strengths of Using Digital Games as “Empathy Machines.” Dr. Farber’s book, Gamify Your Classroom: A Field Guide to Game-Based Learning — Revised Edition (Peter Lang, 2017) features a foreword from USA Today’s Greg Toppo. Dr. Farber is also the co-editor of Game Jam Guide (Carnegie Mellon University: ETC Press, 2017). His latest book, Game-Based Learning in Action: How an Expert Affinity Group Teaches with Games (Peter Lang, 2018), has a foreword from James Paul Gee.

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  • Assessment

    A Look at Playful Assessment

    Borrowing ideas from game construction can help teachers with both assessing student projects and constructing rubrics.
  • Game-Based Learning

    Teaching Empathy With Video Games

    Some video games can be used in the classroom to help children develop an awareness of both their own and their peers’ emotions.
  • Game-Based Learning

    Reading Digital Games as Texts

    Story-driven digital games can drive students to explore concepts like linear and nonlinear narrative, the unreliable narrator, and more.
  • Game-Based Learning

    Using Quests in Project-Based Learning

    Questlines—learning pathways that are both personalized and differentiated—build choice into any lesson.
  • Game-Based Learning

    Learning by Tinkering

    Minecraft and other open-world games are being harnessed to teach course content by taking advantage of students’ creativity.
  • Game-Based Learning

    Taking Advantage of the Power of Play

    Game jams—game creation sessions—can be used in any class to spark learning. Bonus: There’s a free lesson plan to help you get started.
  • Interest-Based Learning

    Standards-Aligned Genius Hour

    Give your students a chance to follow their own interests with projects that meet state standards.
  • Game-Based Learning

    Exploring the World in Your Class

    A collection of games that teachers can use in class to explore issues around immigrants and refugees.
  • Literacy

    Inspiring Young Writers With Minecraft

    Using a topic of great interest to students, like a popular video game, is a handy way to get them writing.
  • Game-Based Learning

    Using Games for Serious Learning in High School

    Video games can function as class texts in much the same way that books or movies do. Here are five recent games that are well worth your attention.