Does Game-Based Learning/Gamification Work in Higher Ed?

Does Game Based Learning Work in Higher Ed

Games play a crucial role in the mental development of students. People who are in the favor of this idea usually motivate student to play more games.

Because of the fact that playing games motivate and generate ability to face real world challenges; the learners can carefully explore these difficult situations without jeopardizing themselves.

Although, contradicting this, there are a number of people who think that games and gamification in education are just fad and there is no actual relation between what is learnt in the games and real world problems.

This article is for those who believe that games in higher education have no genuine role to play. Here are four reasons why gaming is good for higher education i.e higher Ed.

Social Engagement

Games give material, structure, content and a great medium to generate focused social engagement that is aimed towards solving problems. In the classroom or anywhere, the game-based environment offers students a reason to interact, learn and work in a team; all such activities help them to acquire a certain set of skills, whereas, in traditional settings, it is rare that students generate such kind of skills.

Urgent Optimism

Inclusion of games precisely designed to support and help students to learn about actual life problems. Game centered learning provides students a sense of determination and optimism to solve various problems they encounter in their real life. They develop sense of optimism and confidence in terms of understanding and solving different types of problems.

Hands-on Experience  

Theory is of less use until it has a practical place in the real world. Games and Gamification provides real world hands-on experience that develops creative thinking which help students in interacting with the world. Gamification in higher education bonds two parts by offering students with the knowledge and skills that is required to impact the changes they wish to see around.

Blissful Productivity

People are cheeriest when they know that they are working hard to attain a certain set of goals. Gamification assists students to happily focus on computer-generated problems by requesting intuitive queries and finding answers to real problems.

These are immense motives to incorporate games in the higher Ed, but above mentioned are not just the only reasons. Keeping oneself engaged and having fun are the two tempting side effects of gamification. Now the question is– where to start?

When you are looking to start gamification in higher Ed, go with slow pace; going slowly is the key. Trying to go straight into game-based learning will be not a good idea. Announcing game-based learning system in the classroom would require a sensible plan and a slow implementation of that plan in the initial phases of course. Here are some steps to go.

  • First decide the curriculum objective and do research to check if other people are meeting alike purposes with game-based learning. Look out if there are games that can be utilized to meet specific learning objective. Try to connect with the community that supports and encourage game-based learning.
  • Secondly, you can sit and play various games. It will help you to determine if certain games meet the course objective or not. Also keep in mind that, playing and completing games takes many hours. No doubt there are also games that are of short duration and are useful for classroom. Angry bird is an example of game that could give best introduction of physics.
  • Thirdly while playing game always thinks about the logistics of utilizing the games for learning. There are some other aspects that you need to think, like: will students need to buy the game? Does the learning room have enough system? Will college IT department support installation of game-based learning? Or if there are options available online?
  • Lastly, ponder where and which game fits best in the course. Will games introduce a term, an exercise or a transitional activity? Also, it is very important to remember that you have to give time to either learning or teaching of a particular game to the students. Some games are little difficult to learn so get ready to help your students first.

Gaming is the latest way to learn things differently and easily. It always offers a refreshing spark to learners. Once game-based curriculum in introduced in higher education, it is will give new meaning to education.

How do games help you learn? Let us know in the comment box.

About the Author
Author: Prasanna Bharti
Prasanna is a blogger by profession, and loves to write about education technology. Her write-ups intend to provide a deep insight about enormous resources and ideas available to make learning better and effective with the use of technology.

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