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Transcript of Game-based Learning
Adam LeClair Game-based learning includes on-line games that are goal-oriented; have a social game environment, are easy to construct and play; games developed expressly for education; and commercial games that lead themselves to refining team and group skills. Role-playing, collaborative problem solving, and other forms of simulated experiences are also considered game-based learning (Johnson, Smith, Willis, Levine, & Haywood, 2012). What is game-based learning? How does it work? Game-based learning appeals to players of various ages and of both genders, because it engages players in: the feeling of working toward a goal; the possibility of attaining spectacular successes; the ability to problem solve, collaborate with others, and socialize an interesting story line, and other characteristics (Johnson, Smith, Willis, Levine, & Haywood, 2012). Gaming can help education and learning through dopamine motivation (Willis, 2011; Corbett, 2010). The dopamine-reward system works as an intrinsic motivator to encourage gamers to invest and persist to reach a goal (Willis, 2011). Willis (2011) explains that “games insert players at their achievable challenge level and reward player effort and practice with acknowledgement of incremental goal progress, not just final product” (p. 1).
The “video game model” can help educators meet the needs of all their students because students are able to work at the level that they are at and work on their own specific goals (Willis, 2011). Willis (2011) explains that “classroom instruction that provides opportunities for incremental progress feedback at students’ achievable challenge levels pays off with increased focus, resilience, and willingness to revise and persevere toward achievement goals” (p. 3). Foster (2008) points out that games allow for “personal identity, applicability, relevance, and meaningfulness” for students. Through gaming and dopamine motivation educators can have another tool for facilitating learning among their students. Scientists and researchers are still working out the proof and the ins and outs of gaming and how learning can be enhanced, but progress is moving towards a realization that classrooms that incorporate gaming may be more effective learning environments for today’s students. CRITICAL ANALYSIS In 2011, 61.9 million people participated in online social games. Forty percent of these gamers are between the ages of 20 and 34. The three most recent cohorts of children-those born in the early 1980s, the early 1990s, and the early 2000s have hundreds of hours of gaming experience (Johnson, Smith, Willis, Levine, & Haywood, 2012). Other institutions that are using game-based learning include: higher education institutions, militaries world-wide, practicing physicians and nurses, music discipline, online learning discipline, science discipline, and engineering discipline. is doing it? Why is it significant? In the most recent National Education Technology Plan, gaming was named as an ideal method of assessing student knowledge comprehension, with the ability to provide immediate performance feedback to players (Johnson, Smith, Willis, Levine, & Haywood, 2012). Also significant, is that these games spark interest in students to expand their learning outside of the game. Research has found that the average gamer spends 10-15 hours per week conducting online research related to the game (Johnson, Smith, Willis, Levine, & Haywood, 2012). Gaming also contributes to the development of a particular disposition well-suited to an information-based culture and rapid change (Johnson, Smith, Willis, Levine, & Haywood, 2011). Foster (2008) suggests that by connecting to a student’s interests “especially by connecting to students’ experiences and making them value science experiences through gaming affordance for shaping their personal identity, making the activity relevant and meaningful, and showing the applicability of science activity beyond school settings and for personal agendas” (p. 604). Through relevance and meaningfulness students become aware of science learning and experiences as being a real world aspect not some abstract factor that does not relate to them (Foster, 2008). It is important that science learning is applicable and transferable for students.
Through games students can explore concepts in real world scenarios which will help them to see how the abstract concepts can be applied and transferred to their world outside the classroom (Foster, 2008). Participants are able to explore their personal identity and possible identities through gaming (Foster, 2008). It is possible to experiment with different careers and roles through games which further the participant’s ability to apply and transfer knowledge to the real world. The ability to use games to make learning relevant and meaningful, as well as, the realization that learning is transferable and applicable will help today’s students construct knowledge in new and more effective ways! Game-based learning can be difficult to design well (Johnson, Smith, Willis, Levine, & Haywood, 2012). Game-based learning can be challenging to use when trying to embed traditional educational content so that it looks and feels like a natural part of playing the game (Johnson, Smith, Willis, Levine, & Haywood, 2012). What are the downsides? Universities, like Purdue, are dedicated to conducting research and finding new means of collaboration with games in virtual environments (Johnson, Smith, Willis, Levine, & Haywood, 2012). Some higher education institutions are taking the incorporation of socially aware games a step further and designing entire courses around them (Johnson, Smith, Willis, Levine, & Haywood, 2012). The 2012 Horizon Report predicts that game-based learning will be implemented in many disciplines in the next two to three years (Johnson, Smith, Willis, Levine, & Haywood, 2012). Where is it going? Young, Slota, Cutter, Jalette, Mullin, Lai, Simeoni, Tran, and Yukhymenko (2012) conducted a very indepth review of literature looking trends in serious gaming use in education. They found an abundance of useful and interesting information on the topic but urge more research to be conducted. The following is their recommendations for where the research needs to go:
Construct working definitions that will facilitate the separation of video games and simulations.
Create an educational video game repository.
Research educational video games already in use.
Conduct longitudinal studies that examine the impact of educational video games.
Encourage collaborative partnerships among commercial game companies, educational researchers, teachers, administrators, policymakers, and parents.
Include the metagame.
Work toward assessments that make it possible to understand the relationships among players, their social interactions with one another, their games, and their metacognitive reflections.
Ensure that game objectives and learning objectives correspond.
Stop seeking simple answers that address the wrong question. (Young et al., 2012, pp. 81-84
What are the implications for teaching and learning? Game-based learning is a great instructional strategy for students, because students are engaged and motivated to do better, get to the next level, and succeed (Johnson, Smith, Willis, Levine, & Haywood, 2012). Games are an excellent way to assess all along the way to ensure that the player is always well prepared for what comes next (Gee, 2011). This means that learning can be more individualized and students must master steps before going to the next level. Games also hold everyone to the same high standard, but allow players to reach these standards through different ways (Gee, 2011). Research and experience have already shown that games can be applied very effectively in many learning contexts and that games can engage learners in ways other tools and approaches cannot (Johnson, Smith, Willis, Levine, & Haywood, 2011). GAME-BASED LEARNING EXAMPLES:
Emergency Room: Code Red, Minecraft, World of Warcraft, EVOKE, Septris, Ikariam, Open Orchestra, Adult Educator Weekly, MicroExplorer 3D, 3D GameLab, Lord of the Rings Online, America’s Army, Everquest, Cycles of Your Cognitive Learning, Expectations, and Schema, GAMeS Lab, Meet the Earthwork Builders, The Tower of Babel, Ghosts of a Chance, Global Conflicts, Mass Extinction, PeaceMaker Game, Madden NFL, Superstruct, World Without Oil, SciEthics Interactive, and simSchool (Johnson, Smith, Willis, Levine, & Haywood, 2011 & 2012) COHORT CHALLENGE Cohort Interaction Challenge: Go to http://luminosity.com. There you will see a variety of game types: brain exercises games, increase brain memory, brain games for seniors, memory games, brain exercise games, improve brain memory, mental exercises, brain food supplements, math games, and brain learning. Click on play free games. Click on one of the ten areas and select button about skills you need to improve on to be better in your profession. Then set up an account using your gmail and select a user id and password (anything will work).
The computer will generate a training program for your brain and will also show a projected improvement in a Brain Performance Index. The program will take you through two games for free, and then ask you to unlock the Training Program to play the next two games and to fully personalize your program. If you do this, you may have to pay so much a month for it, so don’t feel obligated to do this. On the left hand side, you will see 5 games listed, simply click on the last one (unlocked) to play the 3rd game for free. I am a super fan of the game Eagle Eye Attention, as I get to put collect birds for my bird journal.
Have fun with this, and may your brain become smarter with each training that you do. The games are fun, challenging, and it does not seem like you are learning….but you are! This is the beauty of game-based learning. Corbett, S. (2010). Learning by playing: Video games in the classroom. The New York
Times. Retrieved from www.nytimes.com/2010/09/19/magazine/19video-t.html
Foster, A. (2008). Games and motivation to learn science: Personal identiy, applicability,
relevance and meaningfulness. Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 19(4),
Gee, J. (2011). Games and learning: Teaching as designing. The Huffington Post, p. 1-2.
Johnson, L., Smith, R., Willis, H., Levine, A., and Haywood, K., (2011). The 2011
Horizon Report. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium.
Johnson, L., Smith, R., Willis, H., Levine, A., and Haywood, K., (2012). The 2012
Horizon Report. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium.
Willis, J. (2012). A neurologist makes the case for the video game model as a learning
tool. Edutopia: What works in education. Retrieved from
Young, M.F., Slota, S., Cutter, A.B., Jalette, G., Mullin, G., Lai, B., Simeoni, Z., Tran,
M., & Yukhymenko, M. (2012). Our princess is in another castle: A review of
trends in serious gaming for education. Review of Educational Research, 82(1),
REFERENCES THANK YOU!