As educators, parents, and teachers, we often wonder why some students are more engaged in school than others. Those students that are engaged are usually much more effective in their learning outcomes as well. If you’re looking for a new approach to help engage your students, why not try game-based learning?
The concept of implementing games into the classroom is a fairly new one. As students become accustomed to their high-graphics world, it is important to engage them with the concept of educational gaming.
Are you interested in learning about game-based learning? This article will highlight the benefits of a working game-based learning environment.
What is Game-Based Learning?
Game-based learning (GBL) is an educational approach to motivate students to learn through video games. It has been used in classroom settings and by teachers to teach students a wide range of subjects, including math, language arts, and social studies. Furthermore, it helps to engage learners and motivate them to learn using a combination of learning theories.
It has also been found to be effective in the development of both cognitive and affective learning. The end-user experience is enhanced by the use of game-based learning in the classroom, but it can also be used in the workplace. The goal of game-based learning is to create experiences that motivate students to learn and use the knowledge they gain in authentic ways.
There are many benefits of game-based learning, and there’s plenty of research to back up their effectiveness. The following are the major benefits of game-based learning.
1. It’s An Engaging Way to Learn
There is no one way to play a game, and that’s what keeps it exciting. When learning is fun, it’s a more engaging experience for both students and teachers. Games are an interactive way to learn and retain information. For many kids, games are way more fun than worksheets, flashcards, and drills.
When you combine that with the interactive way that certain games use to teach and reinforce concepts, it will keep even the most active kid engaged. Instead of listening to lectures or reading about a subject in a textbook, game-based learning can help students absorb the material in a hands-on way.
Not only is game-based learning engaging, but it also helps students learn to manage their emotions and become more self-reflective. These emotional skills help students become more resilient, better able to cope with challenges, and less likely to be impulsive.
2. Increases Students Retention And Comprehension
Game-based learning (GBL) encourages students to play games that teach them about a concept or subject. These activities help to increase their understanding and comprehension of that concept, as well as help the students retain it better.
We all know that students retain new information better when they engage with it, and there’s no better way to do that than with interactive digital learning games. Research shows that engaged students perform better than their disengaged counterparts.
And learning games also lead to a deeper understanding of content, offering another opportunity for students to learn more about a subject and process the information more thoroughly.
3. Collaborative Learning is Fostered
Playing games is fun. But playing educational games with friends can also help build strong bonds. A game that promotes collaborative learning allows students and teams to work together to win by having a shared goal.
This helps students learn and practice vital life-long social skills such as teamwork and cooperation. Using game-based learning tools and platforms can help to foster these skill sets. Thus, the collaboration that takes place in game-based learning not only promotes social skills but also helps students learn more effectively.
Collaborative learning is ubiquitous in the world of work. When students play online games, they engage in a community where they apply and share their knowledge. By cooperating, they focus on how to achieve goals as a team instead of individually.
4. Reinforcement of Decision-Making Skills
Among the most useful benefits of game-based learning is its ability to reinforce decision-making skills. In a study by researchers Mark Griffiths and Dr. David Brown, players scored higher than non-gamers for visual acuity and spatial orientation. This indicates that gaming helps you make faster decisions based on more information.
The study also showed improvements in multitasking, strategy development, reaction time, and leadership. Most of us don’t realize it, but game-based learning reinforces skills that we use even as adults, like decision-making. As we find ways to beat levels or overcome challenges throughout the game, we become better equipped to handle future problems in our own lives.
5. Robust Reflection and Critical Thinking
With the world ever-changing, children need to be provided with environments that foster the skills they need to succeed in the future. One of the most vital skills that game-based learning helps students foster is the ability to engage in robust reflection and critical thinking.
As students are immersed in the gameplay, they encounter different problems that require varying approaches to succeed. This process encourages robust reflection and critical thinking skills because students must think outside the box to come up with a solution.
The immersive environment also teaches students how to break down their overarching goals into smaller, more manageable steps. Experimentation spurs student confidence and engagement as they become more adept at implementing different strategies.
6. Out-of-the-Box Problem Solving
Today’s kids are tomorrow’s leaders. It’s our job to prepare them with the necessary skills and characteristics that will allow them to succeed in our ever-changing world. As technology continues to evolve, so must our schools.
Problem-solving is a critical aspect of learning and life. GBL supports students’ ability to think outside the box and encourages collaboration. The use of games allows students to explore strategies that may not be available in other learning environments.
Children often feel the need to follow the rules when playing games, and this can also contribute to their unique approach when problem-solving. Playing games and implementing real-world scenarios in the classroom encourages students to think outside the box, explore all their options, and provide them with a different approach to problem solving and creativity.
7. Introduces Situational Learning
Situational learning refers to the process of acquiring new skills, knowledge, and attitudes by placing the learner in a real-life or simulated environment. This is why game-based learning is so effective. It places the learner in an interactive environment where they can learn through doing and experimenting.
Whenever we play a game, its rules help create situations that we cannot find in our daily lives. For example, reading comprehension can be made more fun with kid games such as online word searches, fill-in-the-blanks, and even vocabulary bingo.
With such games, learners do not need to visit a library to access books or wait for the teacher to ask them questions. And this helps bring about what we call situational learning: the relationship between form and context.
8. Game-Based Learning is Particularly Beneficial for Students With Attention Disorder
Game-based learning is particularly beneficial for students with attention disorders. One recent study found that kids who used a game-based program improved their social and communication skills in ways that did not diminish over time.
Students with attention disorders perform better at school through game-based learning. Kids with ADHD can have difficulty focusing for long periods, but games offer short, measurable goals, rewards, and recognition, which keep them motivated.
As we all know, video games can keep your kid occupied for hours. In fact, many parents resort to mobile games to distract their children when they urgently need some peace. Games can help us stay focused on a task while keeping track of information and reacting quickly to stimuli.
9. Adaptable to One’s Interests, Personality, and Learning Style
Adapting game-based learning based on an individual’s interests, personality, and learning style is possible. The ability to adapt to each learner’s particular needs is one of the many benefits of using games in education.
Kids love to play games, and games are made to incorporate skills in many different ways. Games are adaptable to each learner’s interests, personality, and learning style. A good game will adapt to a single player at home or a more challenging situation that includes several players at once.
Learning through games can be bespoke to an individual or group of learners. This allows users to never experience the same game twice, which helps maintain excitement and re-engagement. A game can be adapted for any age or learning level.
10. Teamwork and Leadership Training
At its core, game-based learning is all about working together. It forces students to communicate with each other and cooperate as a team to achieve success. This level of collaboration is a lovely byproduct of game-based learning and it is applicable as a teaching opportunity.
Educators can even encourage teamwork between students in the virtual play. As the players choose their avatars, they will take on various roles within a story or mission, which facilitates character development and role-playing.
By playing games, your students are also able to practice teamwork and leadership skills. As each student moves through the game, they will come across opportunities to lead each other and figure out how to accomplish tasks together.
11. Increases conceptual knowledge and understanding
As a learning tool for teachers and students, game-based learning increases conceptual knowledge and increases the retention of information. It has been shown to improve students’ interest levels in the subject matter and their motivation to learn.
Developing a deep conceptual understanding and transferring knowledge is significantly enhanced by game-based learning. It provides learners with fun and engaging techniques that significantly enhance their ability to transfer knowledge. Game-based learning motivates students to learn at a deeper level and transfers the focus from extrinsic motivation to intrinsic motivation.
Game-based learning can be a powerful tool for engaging students. Games and simulations can allow them to practice activities such as managing virtual teams, making decisions, and solving complex problems that they are often unlikely to experience in real life. This type of learning is more relevant and authentic, helping students develop conceptual understanding.
What is the difference between gamification and game-based learning?
Gamification refers to using the principles of games in learning or business. It is about motivating people to learn and strive for growth by using features of games, such as point systems, rewards, and competition.
Game-based learning refers to the use of actual games as part of learning. That is, students, play and interact with meaningful games that support learning objectives.
How does game-based learning work for learning in both digital and physical settings?
Game-based learning works for both digital and physical settings. One can still use old-fashioned board games with students in classrooms to make learning fun. Students can also use tools like interactive whiteboards with these board games. This way, they enjoy learning new things while playing a game.
When is the best time to use game-based learning?
At any time, the decision to incorporate a gaming experience into your curriculum can be challenging. There is no right or wrong time to introduce a game-based learning experience; it all depends on what you’re looking for as an outcome.
Game-based learning can be beneficial if you’re trying to increase student engagement, improve comprehension, and make learners use their skills in a classroom setting.
There are numerous benefits to integrating games into the classroom, which is why there is a lot of growth in the development of game-based learning as a tool. The main benefit is that it stimulates students to think creatively and use their hands-on approach rather than their rote memorization methods.
Additionally, the futuristic world has begun to integrate gaming with learning, which presents students with an opportunity to have an advantage in the real world. Of course, it is up to students and teachers to take advantage of these unique opportunities in a way that fits best into their classrooms.
You can also learn more about virtual learning and understand why it is a game-changer in education.
Thanks for reading.