“Digital Games-based Learning is the integration of gaming into learning experiences to increase engagement and motivation.”(Higher Education Academy Website).
Games based learning can be an effective tool within the classroom as it is relevant to the way modern life is today with technology being used everyday. It allows pupil’s to hone in on different skill sets such as communication, teamwork and problem solving skills. Games based learning also makes pupils feel as though they aren’t learning and is fun and allows pupils to be inventive and challenge themselves. Games based learning was not something that was touched upon too much during my time in school and as a student teacher I am excited to incorporate this learning into my own practice.
According to Bray (2012), ” The use of computer games in the classroom has active learning at it’s core and is one of the main reasons why they are potentially so powerful in education.” There are many benefits to games based learning within the classroom and Bray’s statement is one of them. Other benefits include increased motivation and grabbing attention, which can be extremely useful when it comes to pupil’s with ASN. It is also allows recall of information and is stress free and fun which in turn allows learning to be pleasurable, engaging and helps with pupils deepening their understanding.
Games can be used in a variety of ways within the curriculum, whether the games are being used to teach the content itself or if the game is the starting point for further activities and lessons. As teachers ourselves, we need to ensure that this kind of learning is being used effectively between enhancing and supporting pupils’ learning to providing a positive impact on their social skills.
Whilst most of the ideas are positive, there are a few questions that might put teachers off, including myself, of using games based learning such as what game to choose, how to incorporate it into lesson plans and also their own level of confidence. Whilst I am quietly confident using technology, there are certain elements I am not entirely comfortable with as I have discovered throughout this module.
In today’s session, we were asked to create a mind map of what we thought about games based learning which I have attached a picture of below and to create our own Mario Kart characters. Before this we were looking at the different characters within the game and what kind of features each racer had. We were then going to play Mario Kart, unfortunately the Wii was not available so we weren’t able to experience the game.
https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/knowledge-hub/gamification-and-games-based-learning [Accessed: 10/4/2018]