A fun game for educators to learn

about the (PEN) principles

The PEN in PENopoly stands for Psychology, Education and Neuroscience.

PEN Principles

There are #12 PEN principles. Each has its own placeholder on the board. They are as follows:

PEN #1 Written text and spoken word don’t mix

PEN #2 Visual images and spoken word mix well

PEN #3 Spatial predictability guides attention

PEN #4 Spacing-out practice enhances memory

PEN #5 Leverage content according to outcome

PEN #6 Multitasking impairs memory & learning

PEN #7 Mix-up practice tasks to boost performance

PEN #8 Embrace error to improve learning

PEN #9 Active recall trumps passive review

PEN #10 First impressions colour future judgement

PEN #11 Find the story behind the facts

PEN #12 Pre-activate strategies to guide learning

What is PENopoly?

PENopoly is a fun game for educators to learn about the Psychology, Education and Neuroscience (PEN) principles.

The idea for the game came about while completing my Master’s degree. As through this study I focused on mind, brain and education, aka the Science of Learning (#SoL). I gained an appreciation for the complementary disciplines that informed my teaching practice, these included cognitive psychology and neuroscience.

In an attempt to bring the #12 PEN principles to educators in an engaging way the game was born!

How PENopoly differs from Monopoly?

The power of play. Have you played Monopoly?

The underlying game design was adapted from one that many of us played as children Monopoly as my intention was to recreate a sensory experience that

would assist with awakening “episodic memory” (Matlin & Farmer, 2016) this

episodic memory would be one of happy times when you played Monopoly with friends or family. Next “procedural memory” would be activated as the game is played in a similar way to Monopoly with some simple alterations to the format of the game (Matlin & Farmer, 2016) and finally as Monopoly has monetary rewards this can excite the reward system of the brain and allow for the happy chemical

“dopamine” to be released into the system thus creating an enjoyable experience

(Howard‐Jones et al., 2011). Monopoly is about building a real estate portfolio and hotel empire. However, PENopoly is about building knowledge to improve teaching practice.

Disclaimer: The game is a parody and is not associated with the original Monopoly game by Parker Brothers. Written consent was obtained from the Science of Learning Research Centre (SLRS) to use the PEN principles available on their website, for the game. University names have been used for educational purposes only. This game will/can not be used for financial gain. Anyone seeking more information on the Psychology, Education, Neuroscience (PEN) principles are encouraged to visit:

PENopoly Game 1
Jamie Fulcher with PENopoly Board
PENopoly Game
PENopoly Board

Ready to play?

Download and print the PENopoly game and get ready to host a fun event.

Download the PENopoly game. The zip file includes PENopoly board, all cards and the bank notes.

Not sure how to play PENopoly game? Download the game rules and instructions.


2019 ASCILITE Conference, Singapore

Jamie Fulcher


Jamie is an experienced and passionate educator, innovator and project manager with more than fifteen years’ experience in adult education settings. She has an excellent track record in enhancing staff capabilities and using digital technology to improve learning outcomes.

Working as senior educational designer she is passionate about ‘how we learn’ and how we can design learning experiences that are easy for learners to encode, store and retrieve.

Jamie Fulcher

 Jamie is an experienced and passionate educator, innovator and project manager with more than fifteen years’ experience in adult education settings. 

Jamie Fulcher


A brain using learning science strategies