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Matthew Farber, ED.D.

Matthew Farber, ED.D.

Assistant Professor

School of Teacher Education
College of Education and Behavioral Sciences

Contact Information

McKee 259
Mailing Address
University of Northern Colorado
School of Teacher Education
Campus Box 124
Greeley, CO 80639


Professional/Academic Experience

Research/Areas of Interest

Dr. Farber's research is at the intersection of game-based learning (GBL) and social and emotional learning (SEL). He studies affinity spaces of educators who use games in classrooms and how they afford student agency while also teaching skills of empathy, design thinking, and systems thinking. He also works in youth initiatives around game design as a form of self-expression.

Publications/Creative Works


Farber, M. (2021). Gaming SEL: Games as Transformational to Social and Emotional Learning. Peter Lang.
Farber, M. (Ed.) (2020). Global Perspectives on Gameful and Playful Teaching and LearningIGI Global.
Farber, M. (2018). Game-Based Learning in Action: How an Expert Affinity Group Teaches with GamesPeter Lang.
Farber, M., Cornish, S., Miklasz, K, & Fleming, A. (Eds.). (2017). Game Jam Guide. Carnegie Mellon ETC Press.
Farber, M. (2017). Gamify your classroom: A field guide to game-based learning – Revised. Peter Lang.
Farber, M. (2015). Gamify your classroom: A field guide to game-based learning. Peter Lang.

Book Chapters  

Farber, M. (in review/2021). Gaming Literacy and Its Potential for Teaching Social and Emotional Learning to Adolescent Children. In Haas, L., & Tussey, J. (Eds.), Supporting Social and Emotional Development Through Literacy Education. IGI Global. 
Farber, M. (in production/2021). Designing, Playing, and learning. In Ferdig, R., Gandolfi, E., & Baumgartner, B. (Eds.), Teaching the Game: An Interdisciplinary Collection of Game Course Syllabi. Carnegie Mellon ETC Press.
Farber, M., & Rutter, A. (2021). Navigating the Social and Emotional Needs of Preservice Teachers During the Anxious Uncertainties of 2020. In Ferdig, R., & Pytash, K. (Eds.). What Teacher Educators Should Have Learned From 2020. Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
Betts, A. L., Fabienke, N., & Farber, M. (2020). The Quest for Learning: Promoting Engagement and Disciplinary Literacy Through Game-Based Quests. In Haas, L., & Tussey, J. (Eds.), Disciplinary Literacy Connections to Popular Culture in K-12 Settings (pp. 203-230). IGI Global.  
Farber, M., & Rivers, S. (2020). Leveraging Technology for SEL Programmes. In Chatterjee, N., Duraiappah, A., & Ramaswamy, R. (Eds.), Rethinking Learning: A Review of Social and Emotional Learning for Education Systems. UNESCO MGIEP.
Farber, M. (2019). In Mochizuki, Y. & Bruillard, É. (Eds.), Rethinking Pedagogy: Exploring the Potential of Digital Technology in Achieving Quality Education. UNESCO MGIEP.
Farber, M. (2019). The Migrant Trail. In Schrier, K. (Ed.) Learning, education & games vol. 3: 100 games to use in the classroom and beyond. Carnegie Mellon ETC Press.

Selected Peer-Reviewed Articles

Farber, M., Williams, M. K., Mellman, L., & Yu, X. (2020). Systems at Play: Game Design as an Approach for Teen Self-ExpressionJournal of Games, Self & Society. Carnegie Mellon University: ETC Press. 2(1), 40-84.
Farber, M., & Schrier, K. (2017). The strengths and limitations of using digital games as “empathy” machines. UNESCO MGIEP. https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000261993
Farber, M., & Zieger, L. (2012). Civic Participation Among Seventh-Grade Social Studies Students in Multi-User Virtual Environments. Journal of Interactive Learning Research (JILR), 23(4), 393-410. Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).

Encyclopedia Entries

Farber M. (2019). Game-Based Learning as Innovative Pedagogy. In: M. Peters & R. Heraud (Eds.) Encyclopedia of Educational Innovation. Springer.

Refereed Conference Proceedings 

Farber, M., & Williams, M.K. (2020). Full paper: Interests, Relationships, and Opportunities Within the 2018 Global Minecraft Mentor Program.Connected Learning Summit 2019 Conference Proceedings. Carnegie Mellon ETC Press.
Williams, M. K. & Farber, M. (2020). Gaming Pedagogy and Connected Learning: Perspectives from the Global Minecraft Mentoring Program. In D. Schmidt-Crawford (Ed.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education (SITE) International Conference (pp. 1894-1899). Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).  
Farber, M. (2020). Video Games Are Not Educational Technology. In Akriti Mehra (Ed.), UNESCO MGIEP Blue Dot TECH 2019 Special Issue (12th ed.). New Delhi: UNESCO MGIEP.  
Schrier, K., & Farber, M. (2019). Full paper: Open questions for games and empathyConnected Learning Summit 2018 Conference Proceedings. Carnegie Mellon: ETC Press.

Honors and Awards


Matthew Farber, Ed.D. is an Assistant Professor of Technology, Innovation and Pedagogy (TIP) at the University of Northern Colorado, and founder of the Gaming SEL LabDr. Farber has been invited to the White House, to keynote for UNESCO, and he has been interviewed about games and learning by NPR, Fox News Radio, APA Monitor on Psychology, EdSurge, The Denver Post, USA TODAY, and The Wall Street Journal. He is a frequentUNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP) and Games for Change collaborator, a regular contribute to the Edutopia community, and he is a Certified BrainPOP Educator, a Classcraft Ambassador, and a member of the iCivics Educator Network. For more, please visit http://matthewfarber.com/.