How far is Game-based Learning Successful in Engaging Students?

Over the past few years, Game based learning (GBL) has reformed learning outcomes in many different ways. Nowadays, various game applications on mobiles and internet are designed to befit the subject matter.

It helps in developing the innate ability in students to grasp the matter in a fun way and apply it in the real world.

The current generation enjoys uninterrupted access to technology- not only computers, but also a host of gizmos including video players, smartphones, video games, etc. They think and process information in a way different manner from their predecessors. Hence, educators also need to adapt their instruction modes to cater to the needs of students. Thus, implementation of computer or digital-based games as learning tools in the classroom has become somewhat obligatory.

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One of the most beneficial contributions of game-based learning is that it helps to foster the ability of identifying deep patterns in contrasting sets of data. It’s a skill which precisely addresses the process of meta cognitive thinking and increases the intelligence quotient of students. Normally, digital game based learning involves a wide range of activities right from completing simple tasks to the development of intricate problem-solving skills. It can be effectively strategized by incorporating adventure and action games, role-playing, solving puzzles, etc. However, an educator must take the following points into account, while selecting any particular game for learners.

  1.  Age differences, gender, competence, and prior gaming experience of students
  2.  Special needs of students, for example, whether, disabled students are allowed to participate or not
  3. Number of students that can play at a time
  4. The role of the teacher- Passive observer or an active participant

So, the thumb rule is that, game-based education should promote intensive learning and engagement at the first place. To be specific, goals and rules should be vital components in such programs. One of the best benefits of game-based learning is that it is highly focused on pedagogical strategies such as peer-learning, implied learning and practice-at-recall, but in a virtual space. Instead of being tedious, as in conventional classrooms, interaction in virtual space becomes far more interesting. The process enables students to garner extensive skills while fidgeting with their gizmos.

Experts believe, digital game-based learning has the potential to engage and motivate students, thus facilitating long-term memory. With hands-on experience students are also becoming adept with practical skills. To ensure a successful implementation of game-based learning, educators must focus on games that facilitate planning and problem-solving skill and can seamlessly fits with the curriculum. Thus, role-playing, simulation and adventure games can be an integral part of game based learning of the 21st century.

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