What is Game-Based Learning?

Game-based learning has gained considerable traction since 2003, when James Gee began to describe the impact of game play on cognitive development. Since then, research, and interest in, the potential of gaming on learning has exploded, as has the diversity of games themselves, with the emergence of serious games as a genre, the proliferation of gaming platforms, and the evolution of games on mobile devices. Developers and researchers are working in every area of game-based learning, including games that are goal-oriented; social game environments; non-digital games that are easy to construct and play; games developed expressly for education; and commercial games that lend themselves to refining team and group skills. Role-playing, collaborative problem solving, and other forms of simulated experiences are recognized for having broad applicability across a wide range of disciplines.

INSTRUCTIONS: Enter your responses to the questions below. This is most easily done by moving your cursor to the end of the last item and pressing RETURN to create a new bullet point. Please include URLs whenever you can (full URLs will automatically be turned into hyperlinks; please type them out rather than using the linking tools in the toolbar).

Please "sign" your contributions by marking with the code of 4 tildes (~) in a row so that we can follow up with you if we need additional information or leads to examples- this produces a signature when the page is updated, like this: - Larry Larry Feb 7, 2012

(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • Game based learning can be a powerful learning experience. Watching someone explore a new video game can be a metaphor for how we want students to approach learning in other arenas - jean.tower jean.tower Feb 23, 2012 - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Mar 3, 2012
  • Motivation, enthusiasm, passion for learning, collaboration, and risk-taking are all qualities of successful gamers - these are all areas we want to see in the classroom as well. Watching students collaborate to build a structure in Minecraft or to challenge each other to solve problems clearly demonstrates the positive effects of a gaming environment within schools. - kim.cofino kim.cofino Feb 28, 2012 - claus.gregersen claus.gregersen Mar 4, 2012- sarietjie.musgrave sarietjie.musgrave Mar 4, 2012
  • Here are a few resources that point to it's relevancehttp://www.joanganzcooneycenter.org/Reports-18.html ,
    http://education.mit.edu/papers/MovingLearningGamesForward_EdArcade.pdf ,
    http://education.mit.edu/papers/GamesSimsSocNets_EdArcade.pdf - kari.stubbs kari.stubbs Feb 29, 2012
  • Connecting formal and informal learning- kari.stubbs kari.stubbs Feb 29, 2012
  • Students don't stop when they get "65%" - they know they only have 35% more to go and will keep trying until they succeed.- holly.jobe holly.jobe Mar 3, 2012
  • Students feel they are in control when playing games, even if educational. As one student mentioned to me: when I play games it feels as I am in control of my learning. Students mentioned that they feel engaged, learning without know and they want to return for more - out of free will. Gaming across continents is something students have been doing for some time. Some games allow students to interact without language being a barrier.- sarietjie.musgrave sarietjie.musgrave Mar 4, 2012
  • Games help students break down their learning into manageable steps, and they can only go on to the next step after they showed they were able to meet all the requirements of the first step. This is a very motivating strategy that allow kids a feeling of accomplishment at each step of the way, with faster feedback until they reach their ultimate goal. These strategies can be used in other activities as well, and they work very well! We use these strategies for developing science fair projects, where kids have to conquer different scientific abilities so they can move on to the next step of building their project. - cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Mar 4, 2012
  • Good computer and video games are learning machines. Despite being long and complex, they get themselves learned and learned well, not just in tutorials, but also as part and parcel of playing the game to the end. Thus, designers face and largely solve an intriguing educational dilemma, one also faced by schools and workplaces, as well: how to get people to learn and master something that is long and challenging - and enjoy it. PBS Interview with Dr. James Gee.
    http://video.pbs.org/video/1767377460 - helen.padgett helen.padgett Mar 4, 2012

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • Cost. Really good video games cost millions to make and they have huge teams working on them, and they don't even have to worry about teaching/learning - they just have to be entertaining and fun. I'd love to see the adoption of game-based learning speed up, but the applications have to be high quality, engaging, provide lots of feedback, and teach a concept, too. This costs lots of money. So, one small way it may grow in K-12 education is to have students think about gaming models and to have them create small games. - jean.tower jean.tower Feb 23, 2012- michael.lambert michael.lambert Feb 25, 2012
  • Assessment: How can use of games improve formative assessment, and in which subjects/disciplines?- oystein.johannessen oystein.johannessen Feb 27, 2012
  • Development of curriculum, classroom management, understanding of how to bring these elements into a potentially more "traditional" learning environment - kim.cofino kim.cofino Feb 28, 2012
  • Games as consumption and creation - kari.stubbs kari.stubbs Feb 29, 2012
  • The idea that "play" is a safe and fun way to learn - failure isn't so drastic- holly.jobe holly.jobe Mar 3, 2012
  • Students developing their own games e.g. using Scratch which is free - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Mar 3, 2012
    Good point. Scratch is very useful. Green Foot (greenfoot)is another similar tool. The use of game generators cans also develop the student’s problem solving and creativity skills. - claus.gregersen claus.gregersen Mar 4, 2012
  • There are games and then there are sound educational games. Teachers need understanding in how to select best games for optimal educational output.- sarietjie.musgrave sarietjie.musgrave Mar 4, 2012
  • Learning Principles. In his book, What Video Games Have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy, James Paul Gee derives a set of learning principles from his study of the complex, self-directed learning each game player undertakes as s/he encounters and masters a new game. He suggests that adherence to these principles could transform learning in schools, colleges and universities, both for teachers and faculty and, most importantly, for students. http://mason.gmu.edu/~lsmithg/jamespaulgee2 - helen.padgett helen.padgett Mar 4, 2012

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, or creative expression?

  • A great post by Larry Ferlazzo with many comments by prolific bloggers all of whom are questioning the merits and reality of gamification in the edtech space. - jack.west jack.west Feb 28, 2012
  • Great tool for reinforcement, introducing a topic, and assessment. The great thing about ed games is that students receive feedback on their learning on a near instant basis. - kari.stubbs kari.stubbs Feb 29, 2012 Exactly! - cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Mar 4, 2012
  • Students love to play and are motivated, know what they need to learn to keep moving forward. Concern that the games aren't engaging and students just click through until they get an answer.- holly.jobe holly.jobe Mar 3, 2012
  • The games give teachers scope to allow a wide variety of learning styles to come to the fore. Potential for younger learners to overcome barriers of literacy and numeracy -
    overcome their early inhibitions inadvertently and so, can learn more readily.- sarietjie.musgrave sarietjie.musgrave Mar 4, 2012
  • Leading publishers with games that could be harnessed for learning could be matched with innovative curriculum and educational companies and leading researchers to marry effective curriculum and school-friendly features to the game content (e.g. teaching management through World of Warcraft, History through Civilization, and math through Madden algorithms). Alan Gershenfeld http://bit.ly/v9qidz - helen.padgett helen.padgett Mar 4, 2012

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

  • Chicago Quest where students “learn by doing” – they build the knowledge and skill sets needed to solve increasingly complex problems in a “game-like” environment that is organized around “missions” and “quests” - bwatwood bwatwood Feb 24, 2012
  • add your response hereLas Vegas Schools seeing improvement in math scores as students play video game.
    http://m.lasvegassun.com/news/2012/feb/08/school-district-seeing-improvement-math-scores-stu/ jan.morrison- jan.morrison jan.morrison Feb 16, 2012
  • www.thecurfewgame.com Try this one! Set in the year 2027 in the heart of an authoritarian security state. The player must navigate this complex political world and engage with the characters they meet along the way to work out who they should trust in order to gain freedom.- michael.lambert michael.lambert Feb 25, 2012
  • Anger Management game from Gamedesk in SoCal. - jack.west jack.west Feb 28, 2012
  • At Yokohama International School, Japan, we have added gaming (specifically the use of Minecraft) to our Humanities and Technology curriculum for next year, with plans to add Minecraft to our image for our 1:1 program, and are running after-school clubs this year. - kim.cofino kim.cofino Feb 28, 2012
  • BrainPOP GameUphttp://www.brainpop.com/games/ BrainPOP is partnering with best of breed game developers to offer free educational games aligned to their digital content. The also provide lesson plans to support each game/content bundle to support teachers new to the integration of games into teaching and learning. Partners include iCivics, Filament Games, eLine Media. - kari.stubbs kari.stubbs Feb 29, 2012
  • National STEM Video Game Challenge http://www.stemchallenge.org/Default.aspx
  • Peggy Sheehy - middle school librarian who works with Minecraft in NY state metaversed@mac.com
  • Massively Minecraft - Dean Groom and global kids - open to any school or individual student.
    http://massivelyproductive.com/2011/06/massivelyminecraft/ and
    http://minecraft.jokaydia.com/ - judy.oconnell judy.oconnell Mar 4, 2012
  • Teachers in Grades 1, 2 and 3 at Lakeside Park Primary School in the village of Vryheid, rural KwaZulu-Natal were the first to experience the excitement of using Xbox Kinect technology in a South African classroom. Contact janet@schoolnet.org.za- sarietjie.musgrave sarietjie.musgrave Mar 4, 2012
  • Simcity is used to teach about urbanization in our school. Another great game is Spore for teaching about evolution, microscopic worlds, adaptation. Another great option for teaching about how our body protects us is Immune Attack.- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Mar 4, 2012
  • Atlantis Remixed (ARX) is an international learning and teaching project that uses a 3D multi-user environments to immerse children, ages 9-16, in educational tasks. ARX combines strategies used in commercial games with lessons from educational research on learning and motivation. Dr. Sasha Barab is a Professor in the Teachers College at Arizona State University. http://atlantisremixed.org/ - helen.padgett helen.padgett Mar 4, 2012

Please share information about related projects in our Horizon K-12 Project form.