“In every job to be done, there is an element of FUN.
You find the fun, and snap! -the job’s a game!” – Mary Poppins
Game-based learning (GBL) uses games of all types as tools to encourage students’ creativity, innovation and problem-solving abilities.
In this approach, the teacher shifts away from the traditional knowledge source role, and allows students to practice learning through a higher degree of self-direction and discovery.
In short, game-based learning is useful in promoting higher-order thinking and conceptual learning – and since it’s done through games, students hardly notice the learning happening!
This evolving tool is not new to educators, it has been used variously in classrooms since the 1970s. From board games to role-playing (RPG) and even digital-based games. One digital example is The Oregon Trail, the well-regarded historical series of educational computer games that began in 1971. It was followed by the ever-immersive SimCity, developed in 1989.
While some educators feel game-based learning is fruitless, or too time-consuming to integrate into their curriculum, it’s important to realize how beneficial GBL can be and how successful, especially for today’s learners. In addition to making learning more fun, game-based learning:
Creativity, tenacity and problem-solving are all essential to success in “the gaming world.” Well-crafted learning games promote a deeper understanding of targeted concepts, while strategic games build the students’ patience, forward-thinking and design-thinking skills.
In most digital games the player must solve mysteries and overcome roadblocks, but the ability to replay the difficult parts over and over makes it possible to persevere, to re-strategize, and to pass through the challenges and obstacles.
Like the world of games, real life, real learning and real success require things like flexible thinking, deep pattern recognition, and winning persistence.
According to a study conducted by Columbia, NYU and City University of New York, 99% of boys and 94% of girls (ages 12-17) play between 7 to 10 hours of digital games per week.
Given this number and the benefits of GBL to modern learners, it’s no surprise that games of all kinds have been established as powerful teaching and learning tools, worthy of consideration by all educators.
Introducing ideas to students through a game is only half the battle. Following up on their progress and understanding is the more difficult part of the process.
Happily, your Aimee page allows you to:
Got a few minutes to spare? Here is an easy slideshare explaining the difference between GBL and “Gamification.”
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