TEACHER CONCERNS ABOUT GAMING IN THE CLASSROOM
TeacherConcerns about Gaming in the Classroom
TeacherConcerns about Gaming in the Classroom
Gamificationcan be referred to as the inclusion of game design elements,mechanics and thinking in non-game activities with the intendedpurpose of motivating those involved. Game based learning involvesenhancing the learning experience through the use of games. Bothgamification and game-based learning use gaming elements, thinking,and mechanics. There exist differences between these two gamingcomponents. In game-based learning, the learning objectives arealready defined while gamification involves a combination ofdifferent tasks that are inclusive of some rewards. Game basedlearning are usually costly and difficult to build as compared togamification which is less expensive and easier to make. Game basedlearning may at times associate with intrinsic rewards whereas forgamification such rewards are optional. Two categories ofGamification exist these include extrinsic and intrinsicgamification. Game elements are usually added to a system in externalgamification while behavioral design and motivation are used toengage users in intrinsic gamification. Examples such as progressbars, badges and points are examples of extrinsic gamification(Information Resources Management Association, 2015). Some of thestrategies used to design successful gamification strategy includethe primary focus on goal achievement and the intrinsic option forrewards. Game based learning strategies include interactivity onlearning and also focusing on the objectives of education.
Gamificationhas various meaningful goals with regards to the expectation in whatthe students are to achieve. These include achieving a significantlevel of engagement, behavioral change and stimulate innovation. In ascenario where the teacher uses gamification in students` homework,with either badges, leaderboard or points, the intention would bemainly to increase the number of students who submit homework in duetime (Fishman et, al., 2013). Other target goals may include improvedacademic performance, retention of subject knowledge as taught by theteachers, and finally, increase the collaborative skills in studentsthrough solving challenges and achieving missions as a team.
Theintended goals of game-based learning are to motivate students andhelp them develop their problem-solving capabilities. Teachers shouldbe able to integrate pedagogic skills when integrating game-basedlearning as their teaching tool. Teachers maintain a balance betweenfun and learning, integrate academic content into the game,differentiate roles for students and the teacher in the game andfinally incorporate both decontextualized components such as scores,leaderboards into fictional contexts and rules of the game such asmechanics.
Gamificationand game-based learning can also be used to engage diversity ofstudents in learning. Gaming designs might increase studentengagement hence leading to improved learning outcomes. Video gamesoffer powerful learning environments that keep players engagedthroughout the stages. Game design principles are useful in thecreation of a gaming framework essential for learning and teaching.An example is English Language Learners, practical strategies thatfacilitate speaking and writing tasks which are incorporated duringteaching. Such teaching practices will support not only the languagelearners but also students with special needs, gifted talentedstudents, and finally, students from divergent backgrounds made up ofdifferent cultural and linguistic norms.
Student-centeredlearning is where students have an influence on the content,materials, pace, and the activities of learning. In such a scenario,the teacher provides students with learning opportunities that willinstill independent learning. Teachers could use gamification andgame-based learning to move the classroom from teacher-led tostudent-centered learning approach. This transformation followsstages in consideration of casual cooperative learning structuresthat might include think-pair-share, roundtable and minute papers.Strategies to be used to aid in this transformation include book-endlecture where teachers use short interactive sessions and instantfeedback via classroom technology. Students’ presentations andprojects, use of learning cycles to develop classes, peer-led teamlearning, inquiry incorporation into courses, and finallyproblem-based learning through the use of case studies are other usedstrategies (Busch et,al.,2014).
Inthe structuring of a multiplayer classroom and the integration ofgame design principles, various factors have to be taken intoconsideration (Villalta et,al.,2011). In a multiplayer classroom, peers interact in a collaborativemanner within the virtual world and among themselves in a sharedspace. The structuring of such class is a complex process that takesinto consideration varied instruction strategies, methodologies,usability and the ability to translate the impossible (ludicaspects). Integration of game designs should initial evaluation ofimplementing this multiplayer system, finding the associated problemsand providing a definition of the guidelines to solve these issues.It`s followed by redesigning of the game by the instructions whichwill then be supported testing in a real class environment.
Despitethe positive attributes associated with game-based learningapproaches, there exist various limitations with regards to their useof teaching aids. Gamification lacks satisfaction modeled on ascoring system. The association between the curriculum and contentfound in games can either be exogenous or endogenous. Endogenousgames incorporate both domain content and game design through theintegration of relevant practices into the structure of the game.Exogenous games mainly focus on simple interactive strategies. Recallof content is much higher when it is included endogenously in thegame as compared to when it`s incorporated exogenously. Game basedlearning relies to a greater extent on the game mechanics dependingon the structure of the subject. A good example is health-based gameswhereby the main purpose is the preservation of the patients’ life.The function of medical personnel is somewhat intrinsically scorebased which is represented in the game.
Thereexists a lot of misconceptions about games especially with the adultpopulation as they regard games to be childish, time wasting andinauthentic form of learning. This misconception emanates primarilyfrom andragogy which assumes that the mode of learning between adultsand children is distinct. The other major setback occurs whenindividuals overlook game based learning as purely a game and henceoverlook the educative aspect of such games. Addressing thesedrawbacks involve ensuring the game is effective as a tool forlearning through providing relevancy in the target subject and thegame
Inconclusion, game-based learning strategies are useful tools that canbe used in the learning environment so as to encourage interactiveteaching that is student-oriented rather than teacher-oriented.
Busch,C., Claßnitz, S., Selmanagić, A., & Steinicke, M. (2014,October). MoLeGaF: A Mobile Learning Games Framework. InECGBL2014-8thEuropean Conference on Games Based Learning: ECGBL2014(p. 41). Academic Conferences and Publishing International.
InformationResources Management Association. (2015). Gamification:Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications.IGI Global.
Fishman,B. J., Deterding, S., Vattel, L., Higgen, T., Schenke, K., Sheldon,L., and Aguilar, S. (2013). Beyond badges & points: Gamefulassessment systems for engagement in formal education. Universityof Wisconsin, Wisconsin, Madison.
Villalta,M., Gajardo, I., Nussbaum, M., Andreu, J. J., Echeverría, A., &Plass, J. L. (2011). Design guidelines for classroom multiplayerpresential games (CMPG). Computers& Education,57(3),2039-2053.