Thursday, October 03, 2019

Game-based learning is gaining traction especially with the advancement of education technology. Contrary to popular belief, game-based learning is more than a way of making learning enriching and informative yet fun even for a mature demographic like working adults. When designed with a purpose, it can provide crucial support to the learning process of students.

There are several benefits of game-based learning that educators and instructors should consider applying in their schools or training courses:

  • It encourages scientific thinking
  • It is based on interactive learning models
  • It takes on a non-authoritative approach to learning
  • It makes it easier to introduce new topics

With the advancement of game-based learning, it is now easier than ever to integrate it into the normal classroom curriculum. Here is how to go about it!

Use What Learners Are Familiar With

For a longest time, conservative educators have tried to discourage the use of games in the school in the school environment, but it is undeniable that video games are able to sustain an individual’s attention for a considerable amount of time.

For example, games such as Minecraft: Education Edition and even World of Warcraft can come in handy.

Find the Right Technology

Aside from Minecraft and World of Warcraft, there are hundreds of education technology companies developing new technologies for game-based learning designed specifically for working adults. For example, BrainPOP, Second Avenue, and Breakout EDU are offering engaging educational games that prove to be effective in the classroom environment.

However, there is no one size fits all and given the diverse student body in majority of educational institutions in Singapore, it is thus, essential for teachers to take time to find a proper medium of education for their students.

Ensure Access for All Students

Education technology has opened new possibilities to how game-based learning can be utilised in schools. For this very reason, schools are gradually enrolling a higher number of students with diverse abilities and personalities.

For example, working adults with learning disabilities are able to perform better in a learning environment based on educational games. Furthermore, game-based learning provides students with a safe environment to learn from their mistakes, try new ideas, and to get better at the subject matter.

Make Game-Based Learning Collaborative

One of the reasons why some people of object to the idea of game-based learning, is that this mode of learning may potentially be too isolating, especially when applied in a classroom setting. However, as education technology continues to advance, modern games can be designed and engaged as a group activity.

For example, while students can work on the games individually, and compare the outcomes with their classmates. Teachers can also opt for games that encourage students to compete against each other individually or in teams so as to create an immersive and collaborative learning experience.

Measure Results

The primary objective of game-based learning is to educate students in a captivating and interactive manner, and thus is by no means restricted only to playing games. It would be a grave mistake to think that we can only enjoy learning via gamification. For this reason, it is essential for teachers to measure the effectiveness of their game-based learning approach.

They can do this by assessing how well their students are developing, as well as identifying individual students who require additional help. With that said, a majority of educational games have in-game reports that provide a comprehensive breakdown of the academic progress of a student.

If the chosen game does not offer in-game reports, teachers can hold class or group discussions to address the challenges the students are facing, as well as to identify the game’s accomplishments.

While teachers are the sole authority in a classroom, they should provide students space to express their views on the games. In a situation where teachers find students struggling with the chosen format, they should request for feedback from the students to ensure that the format and games are working as intended.

If certain students are found to be constantly underperforming according to the results, the best cause of action would be for the teacher to split the class into tiered groups, with each tier being allocated activities and challenges that reflect their level of proficiency.

What If Digital Games Do Not Work

Contrary to popular perception, game-based learning is not centred around video games. However, if digital games fail to produce the desired results, it is highly advisable to incorporate other types of games during class time. The goal is to create a captivating and enriching learning environment whereby students actively participate in the games, such as in-class presentation, group labs, and more.

Teachers will have to devise a plan for students to work either as individuals or within groups. The result will be that the students will be vocal while participating in group work and this will in turn, help to equip them with social and interpersonal skills.

Conclusion

As new gaming technology emerges, the value of game-based learning will continue to rise. It is already a common practice in the military, healthcare, aviation among other industries. Educators that incorporate game-based learning will be in a better position to prepare their students and the workforce of the future.