Friday, February 29, 2008

Do Games Help In Enhancing Learning Experience?

I asked this question myself many times. And the answer is ? you bet they work!Games have a high presence in non-formal and informal segments of learning. Unfortunately, in formal education, games are still too seldom seen just as a serious activity.The big challenge is to make your learning objective integral to game play.Once you've done that, you can use games to:
  • Make learning fun
  • Liven up your classroom
  • Motivate your students to learn outside the classroom
Why Use Games to Teach?
  • Games Engage People Bridging the Digital Generation Divide
  • Learning from mistakes

What are the features of game based learning(GBL)?

Features of game-based learning (GBL):
  • GBL uses competitive exercises, either pitting the students against each other or getting them to challenge themselves in order to motivate them to learn better.
  • Games often have a fantasy element that engages players in a learning activity through a storyline.
  • In order to create a truly educational game, the instructor needs to make sure that learning the material is essential to scoring and winning.
Categories of games that can be adapted for learning include
Digital Game -Based Learning
Board and Card games.

Digital Game-Based Learning (DGBL) is emerging as the next generation of e-learning. Organizations are adopting this approach for many reasons: games provide an immersing and engaging way to learn, provide a safe environment in which to fail, and can give learners incremental challenges and control over their progress.

What makes games such a powerful platform for standards training ?
what makes games such a powerful platform for standard training is that they are structured using proven and effective learning.
Take Monopoly for example - Monopoly is played for fun, but it can also be used to teach economics, accounting, or property management.

The learning that comes from these games is informal or implicit. The players don't think about how they are acquiring knowledge or skills - they simply react to the situation at hand.

What makes DGBL great for learning?
Good games are naturally designed with the principles of adult learning in mind, and DGBL is no exception.
  • Adults need reasons to learn something.
  • Their motivations are personally and practically based.
  • They need to know why they are learning something, how it relates to them personally and what they will get out of it.
  • Adults need to have a sense of autonomy and choice over their learning.
  • They need help and support but they also need to feel respected and valued.

DGBL addresses adult learner needs in several important ways:
The interactive nature of games enables the player to actively engage with the subject matter. How many times have you sat through a video or a lecture and forgotten most of what was taught?most people will absorb less than 5% of information presented to them if they are just passively listening. However, being actively involved in an activity or exercise increases knowledge retention significantly.

Practical examples are situated in a familiar setting
Situating the game in a realistic setting - a workplace - enables us to use practical and meaningful subject matter examples to which the player can relate.

Practice environments support the building of new knowledge
New knowledge needs to be built on previous knowledge and experience in a supported and incremental way.Just like a building needs to be supported until it can stand on its own, learners need support until they have a sufficient understanding of the subject matter.

DGBL provides incrementally increasing challenges
As we learn new skills, we crave new challenges. Once we've learned to break the code of 'tic-tac-toe', it ceases to be interesting for us. Our games are designed to offer incrementally increasing learning challenges that build on previous experience.

Learners are in control
Adult learners should feel that they have control over their choices. They should be able to play the game wherever and whenever they want to and be able to access the same information in several different modes.Careful design of the game ensures that any choice the player makes will lead to a meaningful learning outcome. This also ensures that the players' learning experience is tailored to their learning needs.

Games make learning more fun
People play games because they are fun, and this feature of DGBL is the key to motivating learners. Adding humour and a touch of suspense and drama to serious games is what makes them come to life.

Games provide a safe environment for learning
DGBL transcends e-learning because there is no need to fear failure, which can be very intimidating for many adult learners.

Do users really learn what they are supposed to?
Users are constantly evaluated as they progress through a practice environment, and feedback tells them what they did right and where they need to improve.
By using proven pedagogical principles and making the game content accessible and relevant, DGBL aligns what we learn with how we learn.

I can still vividly remember the way our teacher used to help us learn the subject with the help of games. she was actually making us involve in the subject at a very emotional level.


srinivas said...

Its really nice watching you spend time on blogging. Truly speaking, its you who introduced me to this blogging world. Your creativity is reflected in the topics u r choosing...

Keep sending me the updates about ur blogs so that i can educate myself!

Mini...U simply rock!

Sai Phani said...

hi sowdamini......very active girl ..dint talk 2 her much ven i saw her but still she moves free ....nice job dude..

Peter said...

Hey Mini, "Yes - games enhance the learning experinece". gaming is the alternative way of passing over imaginary thoughts, creativity and mental reflexes, each and every part of our brain stimulates and reacts very well. I hope you are a gaming freak, So keep goin and freak out.

Protussa said...

nice and informative!!!!!