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Beyond the Board: Using Analogue Games to Develop Abstract Thinking and Soft Skills

This online course explores the potential of analogue games to foster the development of abstract concepts and soft skills.

Registration Process   Navigating Throughout the Course

About This Course

This online course explores the potential of analogue games to foster the development of abstract concepts and soft skills. Through hands-on game design and play, learners will explore how analogue games can support the development of skills such as creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, collaboration, and empathy. In a broader manner, this course aims to be a pedagogical approach to disseminate some of the premises and conclusions of TEGA (2020-1-UK01-KA203-079248) project, namely regarding the potential of analogue games in higher education, and can be adapted to other contexts. The project was funded under the Erasmus + programme of the European Commission.

Please be aware that all subtitles in the videos are in English.

Course Type

Beyond the Board is a self-paced course that comes with a certification upon completion. All course content is currently available for learners to complete at their own pace. In this each theory is accompanied by practical examples from the field of board games. Furthermore, in addition to the online course, learners are encouraged to participate in TEGA's Community of Practice (CoP) to continue their collaborative learning journey even after obtaining their certification. The CoP is designed to provide a space for learners to engage with one another and share insights, experiences, and best practices related to analogue game design and play.


Module 1 - Introduction

  • 1.1. Course Presentation
  • 1.2. TEGA Project (2020-1-UK01-KA203-079248)
  • 1.3. Project Aims
  • 1.4. Inclusion and Diversity as Pillars of TEGA
  • 1.4.1. TEGA accessibility and inclusion conceptual framework
  • 1.5. Assessment (4 Questions)

Module 2 - Games and Learning

  • 2.1. Games and Learning
  • 2.2. Analogue Games and Learning
  • 2.2.1. TEGA article "Playing at the School Table" (Sousa et al., 2023)
  • 2.3. Games as Arenas for Experimentation
  • 2.4. Assessment (3 Questions)

Module 3 - Collaboration in Analogue Gaming

  • 3.1. What is Collaboration?
  • 3.2. Collaboration in Analogue Games
  • 3.3. Case Study - The Mind: Description and How to Play
  • 3.4. Case Study - The Mind: Pedagogical Potential
  • 3.5. Case Study - Team 3: Description and How to Play
  • 3.6. Case Study - Team 3: Pedagogical Potential
  • 3.7. Collaboration Mechanisms in Board Games
  • 3.8. Assessment (4 Questions)

Module 4 - Communication in Analogue Gaming

  • 4.1. What is Communication?
  • 4.2. Communication in Analogue Games
  • 4.3. Case Study - Dixit: Description and How to Play
  • 4.4. Case Study - Dixit: Pedagogical Potential
  • 4.5. Case Study - Codenames: Description and How to Play
  • 4.6. Case Study - Codenames: Pedagogical Potential
  • 4.7. Communication Mechanisms in Board Games
  • 4.8. Assessment (4 Questions)

Module 5 - Creativity in Analogue Gaming

  • 5.1. What is Creativity?
  • 5.2. Creativity in Analogue Games
  • 5.3. Case Study - Telestrations: Description and How to Play
  • 5.4. Case Study - Telestrations: Pedagogical Potential
  • 5.5. Case Study - Junk Art: Description and How to Play
  • 5.6. Case Study - Junk Art: Pedagogical Potential
  • 5.7. Creativity Mechanisms in Board Games
  • 5.8. Assessment (3 Questions)

Module 6 - Finalization and TEGA Community of Practice (CoP)

  • 6.1. Collaboration | Communication | Creativity
  • 6.2. MDA for Learning Purposes
  • 6.3. Collaboration and Sharing
  • 6.4. TEGA Community of Practice (CoP) - Presentation
  • 6.5. TEGA Community of Practice (CoP) - Registration
  • 6.6. TEGA Toolkit App - Presentation
  • 6.7. Final Assessment (10 Questions)

Module 7 - Certificate

  • 7.1. How to get the certificate?


For each assessment, you will have two tries to answer the questions. After two tries, if your answer is still wrong, the right option will be shown to you. Each question is marked with 1 point, in order to pass the course it is necessary to have 90% of correct answer, which is around 26 correct answers.

Learning Outcomes

The learning outcomes of this online course include:

  • Exploring the specific characteristics of analogue games and how they facilitate the teaching-learning process.
  • Understanding the potential of analogue games to foster the development of abstract concepts and soft skills, such as creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, collaboration, and empathy.
  • Understanding basic game design concepts and how they can be used to enhance learning and engagement.
  • Learning how to integrate analogue games into educational settings to enhance teaching and learning outcomes.

Course Staff

Carla Sousa

Carla Sousa

Carla Sousa is a PhD in Communication Sciences from Lusófona University, where she also took her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, her Master's Degree in Clinical and Health Psychology, and a Postgraduate degree in Applied Neuropsychology. Her PhD thesis approached game accessibility as a path to empower and promote well-being in individuals with intellectual disability, which illustrates her main research targets – the different intersections between media, with a particular focus on games, inclusion, behavior, and human diversity. Also in Lusófona University, Carla is part of the Centre for Research in Applied Communication, Culture, and New Technologies (CICANT) and is an assistant professor in the Bachelor's Degrees in Psychology and Videogames. She published several papers as an author and co-author in peer-reviewed journals, and has done communications in national and international conferences in the fields of media studies, media psychology, games, accessibility, disability, social inclusion, learning, and education. Carla has been part of several national and international funded projects, is the grant awarding manager of the COST Action (CA 19104) - advancing Social inclusion through Technology and EmPowerment (a-Step), and is an ambassador for the non-profit Women in Games.
Ciência Vitae

Micael Sousa

Micael Sousa

Graduated in Civil Engineering and History, Master in Energy and Environment, and Heritage Studies. Ph.D. candidate in Spatial Planning (University of Coimbra). Researcher at CITTA, focusing on serious analogue planning games. Member of ISAGA and SPCV. Game design professor, lecturer, and instructor in several institutions, including Lusófona University, Polytechnic of Leiria (Health School) and IADE – Creative University. Serious game developer.
Ciência Vitae

Cátia Casimiro

Cátia Casimiro

Cátia Casimiro has a Bachelor's Degree in Applied Communications, as well as a Master's Degree in Organizational Communications. Her Master's Thesis focused on the equity of organizational communication between hearing people and people with hearing loss. She's currently a Ph.D. candidate in Communication Sciences. Cátia’s research interests include communication, media, and social and organizational inclusion of People with Disabilities. She's also interested in publishing and participating in projects in these areas.
Ciência Vitae