There's a never-ending argument about what a new generation needs and what techniques and resources schools should give to meet those requirements.
Teachers are regularly confronted with new concepts, ideas, and technology that seem like the single and final solution to all educational challenges. The fact is that education is not a problem to be solved, and no one or single solution will ultimately improve the teaching-learning process. Diversification, trying out alternative options, and analysing the results are the keys to success. The number of choices available to address these concerns has expanded as many schools consider switching to a digital curriculum. Game-based learning is one of the alternatives. This teaching method is well-suited to maximise the advantages of a digital curriculum.
What is game-based learning?
According to a report by Global Market Insights, the Game-Based Learning market size surpassed $15 billion in 2021 and is projected to expand at a 15% CAGR from 2022 to 2028. Game-based learning is built on the idea of teaching through repetition, failure, and goal achievement. Game-based education entails creating learning activities that incorporate game features and concepts into the learning activities themselves. Students learning Economics, for example, can compete in a virtual stock-trading competition; students learning Political Science might role-play while they engage in fake labour negotiations. Complex science concepts can also be made easier to understand using several games.
Game-based Learning Vs Textbook Learning
Change has always been extremely slow in the educational system. The only option to boost that response rate is to modify the systemic approach to education, which is not easy. Textbooks are one of the main reasons for the long time it takes for change to occur. Because books are designed to be used for years, it takes a long time for the curriculum to be revised and the content to be updated. Game-based learning is designed to be adaptable from the start. The game is tested and updated during the creation process to make it a more efficient learning tool. The game may be modified to suit them when new facts or teaching methodologies become available in the field. After the game is launched and more data comes in, we can add other features. Student-monitoring analytic tools are included in certain games, allowing teachers to watch their students so that the game may be updated in future versions, which is not possible in textbook learning.
Benefits of Game-Based Learning
- Motivation: We all agree that half of the teachers' issues would be resolved if students were constantly motivated. In a classroom, motivation is essential for effective teaching and learning. GBL works well in this case because games are naturally challenging and entertaining. Also, games give something that might be far from a regular lecture, and they frequently incorporate student competitiveness, which can boost classroom motivation.
- Critical Thinking & Decision Making: These are two abilities that may be learned and practised, especially during game playing. Students may utilise game-based learning to solve issues by developing skills such as comprehending cause, reasoning, and decision-making that they can apply outside of school.
- Team building: It is easy to see why a game is ideal for team building and group work. Everyone either loses or wins while playing a game together, which allows them to work together and learn essential life skills.
- Creative Thinking: GBL is a valuable instrument for encouraging creativity, mainly when students participate in the game's development. The imagination knows no bounds. Within a game, teachers might provide an opportunity for students to incorporate their ideas.
- Cater to people with Disability: GBL has a favourable influence on special education classes. It can be an essential tool to assist direct instruction, establish a good environment, and promote academic achievement for students with personalised education plans. Also, when digital games are used, children with autism learn with more ease and stay motivated.
Drawbacks of Game-Based Learning
- Increased Screen Time: Despite several benefits of game-based learning, increased screen time is a significant concern that worries parents. Several hours before the screen can cause headaches, strain in the eyes, and other diseases.
- Causes Addiction: Games can be very addictive because they are designed to engage users. The fundamental nature of game-based learning is to hold to users for a long time so they don't get bored and come back later, which can be addictive to many students and may deviate them from other learning activities.
- Need technical know-how: Implementing game-based learning effectively requires a technological learning curve. Teachers must be adapted and made used to technological advancement. However, it may not completely replace the traditional learning methods.
Revolutionalising the Education system
Game-based Learning is more than just offering students instructional games. It's about influencing students' attitudes toward learning. The idea is for students to appreciate the learning experience as a whole. When students learn through games, they have a greater sense of ownership over the content, promoting retention. Also, combining multiple techniques and goal-based learning covers all learning styles. A game can be tailored to a student's primary, secondary, and even higher education. Games may even incorporate numerous disciplines within a single game, making them a flexible learning tool. Game-Based Learning can provide a safe atmosphere for students to lose or fail. Whereas in a classroom, this can be extremely difficult for students. Games provide children with the opportunity to try new things. They may try again and learn from their mistakes if they fail in the game's learning technique. Students learn via trial and error rather than by remote memorisation.