Full Resume for KATRIN BECKER, M.Sc., Ph.D., CAID member.

Mink Hollow, RR #2, Cochrane, Alberta, T4C 1A2
(403) 932-6322
becker [at] minkhollow [dot] ca,

A long and varied career can lead to a long and varied resume. I make no apologies for having such a long resume - it indicates I have done a lot of things. To make navigation a little easier, you can skip to any specific section that interests you by using the links in the table of contents (right → ). There is a partial list of my non-academic publications on this page, but my academic publications are on their own page. Feel free to contact me about any of it.

I taught my first course in 1982 while I was still a graduate student and I have been a Computer Science Instructor since 1983. I resigned from the University of Calgary in July 2006. My main research interests are instructional and software ethology, educational game design & analysis, digital game-based learning (DGBL), interdisciplinary communication, and sometimes Computer Science Education (CSE). I have been using classic arcade games as both programming and algorithmic examples and also as assignments in computer science since 1998. I've been using digital games as instructional technologies as long as I've been teaching.

I hold a BSc and an MSc in Computer Science and a PhD in Educational Technology; am a systems analyst, interactive media designer, and instructional designer with 30 years’ teaching and course design experience. I have designed curricula in information technology; designed, developed, and taught courses in computer science, education, engineering, fine art, and general science at the post-secondary level. I have used leading edge technology, developed award-winning, internationally recognized innovative approaches to teaching and learning, and have developed several design and analysis models for instructional design generally and serious games in particular. I have consulted as a systems analyst, programmer, web designer, and instructional designer. I have published widely in education, computer science education, games studies and serious games, including a book on computer simulations and games for non-technical people, and another due out in 2016 on using and choosing games for the classroom. I have been a guest lecturer at all levels of formal education and have developed and maintained extensive resource and educational websites as well as installing and managing my own Moodle courses.

Perhaps as counterbalance to my digital life, I have also raised various kinds of small livestock and I designed and developed the internationally known school duck hatching program for elementary schools.

Current Positions, Roles, and Affiliations

*CAID = Canadian Association of Instructional Designers

For a list of my Professional Affiliations, see this page.


Graduate Certificate in Serious Game Design and Research, Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media, Michigan State University 2012-2013, completed.

Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Technology, University of Calgary Thesis:The Invention of Good Games: Understanding Learning Design in Commercial Video Games” 2003-2008, Supervisor: D.M.Jacobsen

Master of Science in Computer Science, University of Calgary Thesis: “Topics and Tools in the Undergraduate Computer Science Curriculum”, 1981-1983, Supervisor: A.W.Colijn

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, University of Calgary, 1977-1981

Research Interests

Professional Experience / Activities

  • I have given invited presentations for a variety of corporations, including media and energy companies.
  • Science Alberta Foundation Senior Manager, Programs - Term Contract
  • Science Alberta Foundation Consultant - Design and Evaluation of Various Educational Games for Wonderville.ca
  • Concord Well Servicing Consultant - Evaluation of Training Program Assessment and Trainer Training Evaluation
  • Nexus Media Inc. Consultant – Educational Materials Production and Evaluation Pillars of Freedom A transmedia production (in association with TVO Kids to help young children understand democracy and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
  • Coole Immersive Consultant – Instructional Design Analysis & Educational Evaluation) SimuLynx Rig Skills; Focusing on front line work roles for the service rig sector of the oil & gas industry, SimuLynx Rig Skills uses a first person perspective 3D environment to give the user an immersive “hands-on, off-site” learning experience.

Academic Experience / Activities

Note that I have not listed any of my departmental or university level committee work, as they are too numerous. My committee involvement over the years has largely had to do with strategic planning, curriculum, student advocacy, and outreach (both institutionally and community-wide).

  • GAFE CoP Mount Royal University Community of Practice: Google Apps for Education
  • Serious Games Canada (Collaborator) Serious Games Canada concerns itself with the use of Computer/Video games for non-entertainment purposes.
  • Canadian Game Studies Association [CGSA], Founding member.
  • BOKIA, Body of Knowledge in Interdisciplinary Applications (Investigator) To what extent do we need to understand the “culture” of another discipline in order to make effective use of its body of knowledge in ours?
  • General Education Research Group This group is looking into teaching Science and Math to non-majors generally, and The Cluster 1 collection of courses at Mount Royal University specifically.
  • The Co-operative Learning Object Exchange (CLOE) is a collaboration between Ontario universities and colleges for the development, sharing, and reuse of multimedia-rich learning resources. This occurs through the CLOE Learning Object repository. [http://cloe.on.ca/]
  • IMAGINE Network (Collaborator) The SSHRC-funded IMAGINE Network (Interactive Media, Applied Games, and Implicit Networked Environment) consists of a pan-Canadian network of diverse researchers who are interested in exploring the use of interactive media and computer games for human communication. The purpose of the network is to actively experiment with media and games in many aspects of life, by creating inclusive games, animations, and virtual and networked environments. Partners: U. of Calgary (lead), Concordia, University of Alberta, Ryerson University
  • iMatter (Collaborator) SSHRC Strategic Cluster focuses on the rapidly evolving relations between the creation, consumption (or interpretation) and dissemination of interactive digital content, including: electronic texts, interactive games and new media art.
  • RACOL: Rural Advanced Community of Learners The RACOL project, is a collaborative initiative to develop an advanced broadband asynchronous/synchronous distance education system. http://www.racol.ualberta.ca/ (See also: Collaborative Science Toys)
  • EduSource: The eduSource project will create a testbed of linked and interoperable learning object repositories across Canada and provide leadership in the ongoing development of the associated tools, systems, protocols and practices that will support such an infrastructure. http://edusource.netera.ca/
  • 2008-present: Mount Royal University
    • Taught courses and labs in Computer Science, Engineering (technical writing), General Education (science), & Continuing Education
  • 1983-2013: (intermittent from 2006-2013) University of Calgary
    • 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013: Sessional Instructor
    • 2000-2006: Senior Instructor, granted tenure in 2003
    • 1998-2000: Instructor II
    • 1982-1998: Sessional Instructor, part and full-time,
    • Designed and taught various courses with class enrollments ranging from 3 - 250 students; coordinated multi-section courses of up to 1200 students, 4 instructors, 22 teaching assistants.
    • Taught courses in computer science, digital game-based learning, game design, technical writing, general science and math.

Continuing Education

  • XCSP 10042 (MRU) Introduction to Gaming and Gamification for Learners (new course, designed and implemented)
    • Explore the role of digital games in formal education and professional development. Look at the current state of games for learning, how they can be useful and how to assess them. Examine what gamification is and is not, and how you might integrate some of the best aspects of gamification into learning design.

Fine Art

  • FINA 507 - Game Design (UofC) Topics in Interdisciplinary Multi-Media Research: Game Design
    • The design process, and documents. History of video games; play, storyboards, treatments.

Computer Science

  • COMP 4555 (MRU) Games Development
    • This course focuses on the design and implementation of interactive computer games.
  • COMP 1001 (MRU) Introduction to Computer-Based Problem Solving
    • A foundation in algorithmic thinking as well as exposure to a graphical programming environment. Students also receive significant practice in scientific problem-solving and modeling using common desktop productivity tools.
  • COMP 1103 (MRU) Introduction to Computers
    • A non-technical introduction to microcomputers and their use for word processing, spreadsheet analysis, database management and communications.
  • COMP 1501 (MRU) Programming I: Introduction to Problem Solving and Programming
    • This course provides an introduction to problem solving in the context of computer programming.
  • CPSC 201/203 (UofC): Introduction to Computers
    • General literacy with use of various Applications Packages: First Choice, Clarisworks, MSOffice, Hypercard; taught on both Macs and IBM
  • CPSC 213 (UofC): Introduction to Computer Architecture (including assembler programming)
    • Continuation of Computer Science 211. Required of Computer Science majors. Assembly programming and machine architecture; data representation.
  • CPSC 215 (UofC): Introduction to Programming (Pascal)
    • Use of a common programming language, and some use of standard programming packages for Non-Majors.
  • CPSC 231 (UofC): Introduction to Computer Science I (C++, Pascal)
    • Problem solving and programming in a structured language. Data representation, program control, basic file handling, the use of simple data structures and their implementation.
  • CPSC 233 (UofC): Introduction to Computer Science II (C++, Java & OOP)
    • Continuation of Computer Science I. The implementation of abstract data structures using pointers and objects, with emphasis on modularity and software design.
  • CPSC 235 (UofC): Inquiry-Based Introduction to Computer Science (Java, C)
    • An accelerated introduction to problem solving, the analysis and design of small-scale computational systems and implementation using both procedural and object oriented programming languages. Issues of design, modularization, and programming style will be emphasized.
  • CPSC 255 (UofC): Modern Programming for Social Sciences (Fortran, Pascal, BLSS, SPSS)
    • Use of a common programming language, and some use of standard programming packages for the Social Sciences.
  • CPSC 257 (UofC): Modern Programming for NaturalSciences (Fortran, Pascal, BLSS, SPSS)
    • Use of a common programming language, and some use of standard programming packages for the Natural Sciences.
  • CPSC 300 (UofC): Machine Architecture and Assembler Programming
    • The principal first course in assembly language programming. Machine architecture, assembly language, and elements of operating systems for two machines. : Coordinated labs
  • CPSC 301 (UofC): Programming Techniques (2nd yr. Required Major's course on Programming using Modula-2)
    • Programming in a high level procedural language. Program structures and facilities for constructing modern programs.
  • CPSC 302: (UofC) Procedure Language Programming (Pascal, PL/1, APL)
    • The principal first course in high level language programming. Several languages are to be used, including Pascal and APL. : Coordinated Labs
  • CPSC 461 (UofC): Information Structures III (File & Data Architecture, Processing, Mass Storage Management)
    • File architecture and manipulation techniques for various file types. Physical characteristics of current mass storage devices. Advanced data structures and algorithms for implementing various sequential and hierarchical file structures. File organization and design for various applications, file systems and other storage management techniques including web site design.
  • CPSC 502/503 (UofC): Research Project
    • A substantial project under the guidance of a faculty member. A report must be presented on completion of the course.
  • CPSC 599.23 (UofC): Topics in Technology Assisted Education (primarily tools for teaching CS concepts)
    • A substantial project under the guidance of a faculty member. A report must be presented on completion of the course.

Educational Research

  • EDER 679.02 (UofC) Computer Based Learning I (labs)
    • An examination of computer-based learning methodologies and designs.
  • EDER 679.17 (UofC) Digital Game-Based Learning (new course, designed and implemented)
    • An introduction to the use of digital games and gaming for instruction and learning. In it, students explore the theories; possibilities, considerations and constraints related to the design of instructional games, and the use of learning and commercial entertainment games in classroom and out-of-class settings.


  • ENGR 1271 (MRU) Engineering Design and Communication I
    • Introduces the principles of engineering design, visual communication and written communication.
    • This is a team-taught course. I taught the Technical Communication part.
  • ENGR 1273 (MRU) Engineering Design and Communication II
    • Continuation of ENGR 1271

General Education

  • GNED 1101 (MRU) Scientific and Mathematical Literacy
    • An understanding of the intersections of mathematics, science and technology with daily life. The course will develop and apply critical thinking and scientific reasoning skills through the examination of issues drawn from the real world and current events.
  • breeding & exhibiting domestic animals:
    • dogs (Rottweilers, Great Pyrenees, Sarplaninac)
    • rabbits (Standard Rex)
    • waterfowl (African Geese, Pilgrim Geese, Khaki Campbell Ducks, Silver Appleyard Ducks, Saxony Ducks)
  • breed development:
    • Chinook Ancona Ducks
  • science education outreach:
    • designed, developed and implemented a K-12 school duck hatching program, including resource material, reference material, activities
    • designed, developed and implemented a duck egg candling & embryology unit available on the web, used world-wide

Awards & Honors

  • 2014 Excellence and Innovation in the Integration of Technology in Instructional Design/Teaching and Learning for Katrin's gamified Introduction to Computers course at MRU. This award recognizes excellence and innovation in instructional design, teaching and learning. Technology (i.e. video, audio, podcast, graphics or animation) must play a key role in the practice, system tool, course, etc.
  • 2013 IAP-DDL-AECT Crystal Award for innovative and outstanding multimedia-based distance learning courses and distance learning projects.
  • J. B. Hyne Innovation Award, recognize graduate excellence research, 2006
  • EduNET Choice Award Mink Hollow Farm Hatching Program Website
  • AMTEC Excellence Farm Candling Tutorial (student category), AMTec 32nd 25 2005
Year/ DurationGrant/Award AgencyRole
2017 MRU Travel Grant Mount Royal
2015 MRU Travel Grant Mount Royal
2013 MRU Travel Grant Mount Royal
2008 MRU PD Funding Mount Royal
2006 J. B. Hyne Research Innovation Award Grad Studies, U of C
2006 Graduate Teaching Fellowship Grad Studies, U of C
2003 Graduate Assistantship (Teaching) EducationGDER, U of C
Course Development Grant Fac.Science/CPSCPI
URGC Travel Grant U of C
2002 Learning Commons Fellowship U of CPI
2001 U of C Travel Grant U of C
SCP Grant U of CPI
Departmental Travel Grant U of C
2000-2004Equity-Research Grant U of CPI
1999 Professional Development Award U of C
1983 Graduate Assistantship (Research) CPSC U of C
1982 Swan Memorial Book Prize U of C
1982 Graduate Assistantship (Teaching) CPSC U of C


  • Complete gamification (all assessed components) of 1st year introduction to computers course.
  • Implemented a collaborative, action based approach to the design and delivery of a graduate level Education course.
  • Gamification of a graduate level Education course.
  • Used cloud computing to facilitate collaborative editing and student group work in an engineering class.
  • Created course design that allows for flexible deadlines, open-ended assignments, and incorporation of current news and developments into CS102.
  • Designed program to incorporate leading edge research into junior undergraduate year course.
  • Designed alternate assessment mechanism for programming assignments using rubrics (general & specific grading rubrics).
  • Designed multi-level performance measures for programming assignments (A, B, C level specifications).
  • Designed novel reward system for student contributions and work (bonus point system).
  • Designed, Developed and Implemented novel design for an Inquiry-Based Introduction to Computer Science.
  • Complete curriculum design for 1st year CS program, including lectures, assignments, solutions, labs, software support, and supplementary material.
  • Created consistency for all sections of first year introductory programming courses (enrollments 1200+).
  • Coordinated labs with up to 750 students, 30 labs and 22 teaching assistants and tutors.
  • Incorporated Games Design into 1st year assignments as a motivator (first done in 1998).
  • Founded 1st year tutors group to provide students in large classes with additional help.
  • Developed 1st year programming assignments as coherent set (CS101 & 102).
  • Addressed the problem of meeting needs of students with dramatically different backgrounds. Resulted in students who continue to work on assignment projects months after an assignment has been submitted.
  • Designed, built, and maintain extensive course websites (total: 100,000+ files).
  • Consistently ranked by department heads as one of the top teachers in the department.


[documents, papers, manuals, departmental documents; refereed and not]

  1. Course Website for UofCalgary Course: FINA 507 (Game Design)
  2. Course Websites for MRU course: ENGR 1271 [2009] and ENGR1273 [2010]
  3. Course Websites for MRU course: GNED 1101 [2008] and COMP 1001 [2008]
  4. Serious Games Pathfinder – used by other scholars and researchers in the field.
  5. Mink Hollow Farm School Hatching Program [2002-present] Used throughout the world.
  6. Duck Anatomy (outside) A picture of a duck with various parts labeled. Pass the mouse over the picture to find closeups! [2005]
  7. Incubation Temperatures A list of incubation temperatures for different birds and at different stages of incubation [2005]
  8. Stages of Development (Embryology) Chart describing the developmental stages of an embryo. Some of it even looks like English. [2005]
  9. Embryology Glossary Definitions and descriptions of words used when describing the development of a duckling in its egg.[2005]
  10. What is Inquiry-Based Learning, [August 2005], notes from the talk delivered to CPSC in 2004.
  11. 1999 – 2002 Annually: Summarize & Produce Summary Document of Cpsc Degree Programs
  12. Information on Advanced Placement/ Advanced Credit/ Special Assessment/ Challenge Exams in Cpsc 231 and Cpsc 233 [2000]
  13. Justification for Language Change to Pascal/Java in CS101-102 [2000]
  14. Duties of Coordinator in Multiple Section Courses [1999]
  15. Duties of Teaching Assistants [1999]

Reviewing, Refereeing, Program Committees

  • Edugaming 2014, conference advisor 2014
  • IASTED International Conference on Modelling and Simulation (MS 2013), which is to take place in Banff, Canada from July 17, 2013 to July 19, 2013 International Program Committee (IPC)
  • IEEE Games Innovation Conference 2010 (GIC 2010), program committee (PC) member
  • Serious Games Canada symposium, held in Montreal in conjunction with the Montreal International Games Summit in November, 2007, program committee (PC) member, Coordinator, Student Program
  • Future Play, The International Conference on the Future of Game Design and Technology, (IPC) member (2006 - present)
  • 2006 SCS International Conference on Modeling and Simulation – Methodology, Tools, Software Applications (M&S-MTSA’06); Organizing Committee Member: Spouses Program; International program committee (IPC) member
  • The IASTED International Conference on Education and Technology ~ICET 2006~ Calgary, Canada, July 4-6, 2006; International program committee (IPC) member
  • The IASTED International Conference on Education and Technology ~ICET 2005~ Calgary, Canada, July 4-6, 2005; Co-Chair, Special Session on Special Session: Computer Games for Learning and Teaching; Session Chair
  • Session Moderator/Chair:
    • SITE Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education
    • IASTED International Conference on Education and Technology
    • CNIE Canadian Network for Innovation in Education
    • DiGRA Digital Games Research Association
    • CCSC-NW Consortium for Computing Science in Colleges Northwest Conference
  • Journals:
  • Conferences:
    • Serious Games Canada
    • Futureplay
    • Consortium for Computing Science in Colleges (CCSC, reviewed for several regional chapters)
    • The IASTED International Conference on Education and Technology ~ICET 2006~ Calgary, Canada, July 4-6, 2006
    • World Congress in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, and Applied Computing, Sessions on Internet Computing, Networking and CS/CompE Education
    • WCCCE 2006 - The Western Canadian Conference on Computing Education, Calgary, Alberta, May 4-6, 2006
    • The IASTED International Conference on Education and Technology ~ICET 2005~ Calgary, Canada, July 4-6, 2005
  • Books (pre-publication):
    • Introduction to Game Development by Steve Rabin, Charles River Media/Thomson Learning (book), Java 5 Illuminated, 2nd Edition, Jones and Bartlett
    • It Sounded Good When We Started by Dwayne Phillips with Roy O’Bryan, for IEEE, An Introduction to Computer Science Using Java by John Carter for McGraw-Hill
  • Book Chapters:
    • Richard Van Eck (Ed.), Interdisciplinary Models and Tools for Serious Games: Emerging Concepts and Future Directions. Hershey, PA: IGI Global Publishing, 2010
    • Richard Van Eck (Ed.), Gaming & Cognition: Theories and Perspectives From the Learning Sciences. Hershey, PA: IGI Global Publishing, 2010
    • Digital Simulations to Improve Education Edited by David Gibson and Young Kyun Baek, 2009
    • Handbook of Research on Effective Electronic Gaming in Education, edited by Richard Ferdig, 2008
    • Games and Simulations in Online Learning: Research and Development Frameworks, Idea Group Inc edited by David Gibson, 2008
  • Other:
    • Learning Objects: The Co-operative Learning Object Exchange (Reviewer) (CLOE) is a collaboration between Ontario universities and colleges for the development, sharing, and reuse of multimedia-rich learning resources. This occurs through the CLOE Learning Object repository.
  • cv.txt
  • Last modified: 2023/04/04 21:09
  • by becker