Game approach to learning and teaching

People attending the first day of Connect More: Learning and Teaching Week 2015 would be wise to bring along their laptop, iPad and pen and join in Robert Parker’s A Game Design Approach to Learning and Teaching workshop.

Participants will be involved in gameplay to highlight the power of games to engage learners and master challenges..

“Most people like games and play them from childhood throughout life,” said Robert.

“From board and dice games to card PlayStation and Xbox game consoles, video games like World of WarcraftBubble Witch Saga, and Minecraft, many of these games have the ability to immerse players into the gaming world, engage their attention into what the learning literature calls a flow, that subordinates the player’s awareness to achieving the challenges provided by the game.”

“The challenges are not too easy nor too hard that might induce boredom or discouragement, but keeps players at the growing edge of their competence, so the experience is enjoyable and pleasantly frustrating but achievable.”

Robert said game mechanics motivate students in a similar way to games played purely for fun.

“The difference is that when students play a serious game, the inclusion of game design elements is part of a deliberate strategy to encourage students to connect with the course’s knowledge and achieve desirable learning outcomes.”

“The key to this level of engagement is that game play promotes active learning. In going beyond the traditional ideas such as setting tasks to test comprehension and competency, a game creates quests for players that are completely under their control.”

Through his research Robert has found a number of benefits from using gaming as a learning tool:

  • It lowers the cost of failure so that players can explore, take risks, seek alternative solutions, and try new styles of learning;
  • Games put performance before competence, i.e. practice makes perfect and progress towards mastery;
  • It allows each player to create their version of how they understand the content of the course through the consequential choices they make in the gameplay and as a preparation for future learning;
  • Everyone is held to the same standard but the game also allows each player to reach these standards in different ways and in different amounts of time; and
  • It helps each player think like a designer to play, since they have to discover how the “rule system” works and how it can be used to accomplish their quests and goals.

What you need to know:

Robert Parker’s workshop, A Game Design Approach to Learning and Teaching is on Monday 14 September at 3.15 – 4.15pm .

Register your attendance by clicking here