How to Spark It

Sat, 15 Apr, 2017

What is Game Based Learning and how can it benefit your child?

What is Game-Based Learning?

Game-based learning (GBL) is an approach to teaching that is designed to help students learn and explore certain subjects and acquire skills during the process of playing the game. This type of game has defined learning outcomes and is created to help the student to retain and apply the learnings to the real world. Game-based learning defies the old school method of ‘rote memorization’, where the focus is given on learning through memorization and recall of information.

The core concept behind game-based learning is repetition, failure and the accomplishment of goals. Students work toward a goal. During the process, they choose actions and experience the consequences of those actions. While doing so, they actively learn and practice the right way to do things.

Features of Game-based Learning

Well-Defined Learning Goals

The student plays the game with the objective of acquiring knowledge in a certain area or acquire some practical skills. Students are then expected to practice the acquired skills in the real world.

Interactive Elements

Students play the game in a group, and it’s designed in such a way that passive activities are limited and interactive activities are more.

High Learner Engagement

Games have fantasy elements that engage students in a learning activity through a storyline. While playing, student’s curiosity and imagination are stimulated to the point of doing it without even noticing the learning elements. 

Customized Learning Pace

In passive learning, faster students have an edge as they can grasp the matter quickly. Slower students struggle. In game-based learning, all students have the opportunity to learn at a pace they feel comfortable in. 

Applicability in Real World

Through game-based learning, students acquire skills, behaviours, thought processes and knowledge that can be easily transferred from a simulated environment to real life. 

Immediate Feedback

Game-based learning provides immediate feedback when a student makes a mistake and is ousted from the game. It also provides immediate rewards to the players, keeping them invested and stimulating throughout the learning process. 

Low-Risk and Safety 

It can be hard for students, especially teenagers, to fail in a public setup like a classroom. Game-based learning is virtual and hence offers a safe and low-risk learning environment to acquire skills. 

What Are the Objectives of Game-Based Learning?

Boost self-confidence: Children feel a sense of accomplishment as they advance to the multiple levels of the game. Game-based learning is known to boost the self-confidence of children by 20%. 

Sharpen Memory: Studies suggest that game-based learning sharpens memory by 90%. That’s because the concepts are taught visually, leading to better retention power.

Better Analytical Skills: Game-based learning promotes the use of critical thinking and logical reasoning, enabling students to improve their analytical skills by 4 times more. 

Better Conceptual Knowledge: Game-based learning increases conceptual understanding and knowledge of children by 11%. The interactive elements in the game increase their engagement levels and promote quality learning. 

Motivate towards completing tasks: Game-based learning keeps the children engaged, enabling them to complete 3 times more tasks than what they would do in traditional learning methods. 

Enhance real-world skills: Game-based learning promotes “learning by doing.” Through hands-on experience, the student gets a 20% better understanding of real-world applications. 

Inquiry-based learning: The student plays an active role in acquiring the knowledge by performing certain actions, and subsequently understanding and facing the consequences of those actions.

Provide immediate feedback: Children feel motivated when they get their scores immediately, pushing themselves to play until they get the perfect scores.

Final Thoughts

As parents, we want our children to learn happily. Therefore, be mindful of all the positive benefits of game-based learning and take a judicious decision to include it or not or to what extent to include it in your child’s study curriculum. Be vigilant that the game meets the learning goal. A good game will always make sure that the activities are aligned to the learning outcome to be achieved. Play the game yourself first before you introduce it to your child. Try using games as a supplementary tool for learning till you and your child are comfortable. Schools and educationists are now opening up to new approaches to learning. Therefore, parents too need to be ready to embrace these changes.

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