Are you interested to know the different practices of game-based learning based on theoretical concepts? Learn the pedagogy of incorporating games in learning, with features and articles from experts in the field.

Concepts on the Pedagogy of Game-Based Learning

Anastasia Salter wrote in her article for the Chronicle of Higher Education that games:

  • can offer great opportunities for experimenting with playful learning in all disciplines
  • are more effective in small doses without major course redesign having to take place
  • are still evolving with meaningfully content-driven education
  • have still a lot to explore about as it becomes part of the pedagogical conversation

So, if you, as a faculty member, attempt to integrate games into your course work, know that you can make use of tools that are already available. Salter refers to Kurt Squire, who is one of the well-known academics and experts in educational gaming, as an example in using the ideas of games to approach the concepts of content in new ways.

City Tech’s Chief Librarian and Professor, Maura Smale, whose professional interests involves the use of games in learning, suggests some of the following game features that may help you facilitate learning:

  • Importance of Interactivity: Learning by Doing

It would help if you allow the students to act for them to receive feedback and be thoroughly competent at a skill.

  • Benefits and Order: Structure Is Important

Learn to structure content into well-ordered problems and know that rewards are most pronounced with digital natives as they are used to receiving info quickly, and they prefer random access and instant gratification.

  • Assessment and Commitment: Making Room for Mistakes

Assessment measures are inherent in games, as students frequently cannot proceed to the next level unless they learn a skill. The author mentions that you should allow students to learn from failure. During this process, your students can take new identities, with an extended commitment to self.

According to the Educause, the use of game mechanics has potential not only as a tool for teaching but it can also provide increased support for a broader range of students. It evaluates the different types of learning, which could include formal or informal, prior, and experience-based learning.

Psychology-Based Pedagogical Model

Russell Francis attempted to abstract a pedagogical model which can apply to the use of games within the post-secondary environment, that is similar to that of David Kolb’s Experiential Learning Model below:

Psychology-Based Pedagogical Model of Game-Based Learning - THESIS.PH

He devised a four-fold model that explains how games, especially role-playing games, can be integrated into the classroom, as follows:

  • Situated Learning in a Virtual Environment
  • Overt Instruction and Reflective Discussion
  • Practical Media Production
  • Critical Framing

Francis formulated the model based on the New London Group’s report and argues that games might provide the situated practice missing from most educational approaches. He emphasizes that the design and development of innovative and imaginative learning environments remain essential.

With the pedagogy of the approach continuously evolving, note that all efforts made are geared toward every student’s own welfare and proper development. No matter what kind of methods you choose, keep in mind that game-based learning is successful if done according to learning objectives.

How does the pedagogy of game-based learning inspire you in your thesis?

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