Improving Education Through Game-Based Learning

Image: Unsplash/Element5 Digital

The learning process can be difficult and tedious. But despite the complexity of the process, it holds considerable importance to personal development.

Education can help individuals to achieve prosperity financially, improved health and wellness, a great feeling of self-accomplishment, an enlightened outlook of the world, and feelings of empathy towards the less fortunate.

Despite all these benefits that education potentially offers, the vast majority of the population dreads the education and learning process as they consider it to be a lot of work. Because of people’s perception of education as boring and tedious, it is helpful to use learning techniques such as game-based learning.

Advertisement

Incorporation of games in the learning process

The incorporation of games in the learning process is crucial in engaging learners with the nitty-gritty of the education process. Learners get fully engaged in the mechanics of the process through the game’s story. Impeccably designed educational games provide a continual learning process without tediousness that is commonly cited by learners using traditional learning techniques. Through game-based learning, it becomes easier for learners to improve their skills and pick new ones along the learning process without feeling that it is boring.

With game-based learning, it is guaranteed that students will have fun learning new competencies and knowledge. This makes the process of handling assignments and other school tasks much more enjoyable. Adopting games as a technique of learning in schools generally results in a decrease in students stressing over handling their school work. Instances of students seeking online assignment help with requests such as “how do I find someone to write my paper for me?” will become almost non-existent.

Even though using the game technique of teaching and learning might make the learning process simpler and more enjoyable, designing, creating, and implementing these gaming tools for learning is not as simple. Below par gaming-educational tools might be enjoyable to use by students, but will have little efficiency in ensuring that students actually learn through them.

The flip side of this is that the game-based educational tools might be effective in teaching but lacking in being engaging and fun. Therefore, educators and other key stakeholders in the education system need to strike a perfect balance between designing fun games and the effectiveness of the games as tools of learning.

Gamification of the learning process

The commonly used procedure of designing educational games – whether tabletop or digital – is through the techniques of gamification. This technique entails the presentation of a specific goal to be achieved by the end of the learning session. For instance, the instructor may try to incentivise learning spelling or basic maths by giving students rewards when they achieve some level of competency in that particular subject.

The instructors could increase the complexity and difficulty of the learning challenges gradually as the students advance. The advanced levels of the gamified challenges will require the students to demonstrate more mastery of the subject.

The educational games’ success largely depends on how perfectly the elements of education, and the gamified learning tools are incorporated into the entire process. For instance, if the gamified learning technique used asks students to do as many multiplication problems and compare their answers with their colleagues, they will quickly get bored, and engaging in the game would be just similar to doing assignments the traditional way.

That said, if educators design a better way of incorporating the goals of the learning process into a more stimulating premise and bettering the learners’ skills, students will be more engaged in the process.

Increasing the level of complexity of problems as the learners advance is a rather blunt teaching tool. Therefore, it is not necessarily the most effective strategy for all learning processes. Nevertheless, when learning basic processes such as typing, spelling and arithmetic, and learning foreign languages where repetitiveness is critical, this is the best strategy.

If educators can manage to engage their learners by using a games’ characters, settings, and storylines, then they can get the students to easily participate in more redundant tasks that need memorisation without getting bored.

Just like how educators can prepare recreations and reenactments of historical events to teach history, they can as well use controlled environments to teach learners critical concepts in science. Conducting experiments in controlled environments is a great and effective way to get learners to learn some concepts that would otherwise be boring to learn by reading textbooks.

It is irrefutable that games are incredibly beneficial in improving students’ learning processes, and one of the biggest reasons is because games provide virtual or physical learning environments that are low risk to experiment novel things.