This week, classmates created fictitious company, Game-Based Learning International. Please click here to check out their informative, and interactive website that will try to convince you of the merits of GBL!
Perhaps it is my age? Perhaps it is my subject areas of high school mathematics and physics? Perhaps it is because I do not spend time gaming and thus, do not see GBL for all of its potential. Regardless of the reason, I simply do not see GBL as more than a reward or review activity, to spend class time with.
Granted, saying that all GBL platforms are ineffective is like saying you don’t like soup. There are simply too many out there, to be able to generalize to that extent.
The best GBL software that I have used in my physics classroom is produced by The Universe and More. They produce new material every year or two and the developer is an actual high school physics teacher. That makes a huge difference in the quality of the game. This teacher knows students, he knows curriculum, and he knows how to program. It is the trifecta of attributes for an edu-venturer, in my opinion!
Prior to this week’s reading, I was under the impression that the gamification of learning was more about capturing student engagement and making learning “fun”, similar to that of playing video games. Now, I realize it is much more than making learning fun—in fact, “fun” may not be a component to the learning process, at all!
Being a visual learner myself, I created this in cycle in my notebook to describe the Video Game Model.
The Behaviourists out there would be definitely ramping up the all parts of this cyclic model. Both positive and negative reinforcements could be peppered throughout the model. Feedback and cueing is continual throughout gaming processes, and rewards and punishments are distributed to keep gamers interested in coming back for more.
Information Processing fans may also chime into this discussion. Eventually, with repeated play, processes will be stored in the LTM, and automaticity will allow gamers to achieve higher, more challenging levels due to a more refined ability to multi-task.
What particularly grabbed me this week was the notion of “Incremental Progress Recognition”. Having watched David Suzuki’s Surviving 😉 the Teenage Brain, I already knew that teenagers’ pre-frontal cortex (PFC) made them more inclined to act impulsively. What I did not know until now, was that the immature PFC makes it very difficult for students to establish long term goals, as they much prefer immediate gratification. Thinking of ways to employ strategies that allow students to individually track their progress more often, hence in smaller increments, is officially on my radar.
The Effort Goal Graphs, are an interesting technique– I think that I will adapt that idea into a BINGO card format (and digitally formatted, but of course!)