Survey: Teachers’ opinions and the use of GBL in their School

Recently, I was able to survey a number of teachers at a secondary school in regional Victoria. The result generally indicated that teachers viewed games as an acceptable learning platform but also raised many concerns about adopting the practice.

Here are the results. 


I thought I’d explore the responses to the two questions which required written answers. On the first, I tried to identify common themes within the responses. I’ve deconstructed it below. On the second, I grouped the games identified in terms of their pedagogical underpinnings.

List your concerns about increasing the use of Game Based Learning in your classroom.


-Finding games that specifically target skill areas in course.

-Issues centred around the monitoring and appropriate selection use of games

-Finding appropriate games to use

-It is important to keep the games used relevant and useful. I have been winess to some games that do not benefit the students using them.

-Suitable games often don’t exist for my classes.


-Ensure strong links to curriculum, not just a fun activity.

-It is important that the learning within the game is identifiable. Not all games achieve this and therefore, whilst engaging are not useful.

 –Needs to be closely tied in with clearly prescribed learning outcomes. Needs to have relevancy.

 –The only concern would be related to time. Is there time within the topic plan/curriculum to allow for games to be played and can the games be adapted to the topic being learned.



-distractions of non-educational games.

-Students not understanding the purpose of learning through games, misusing resources, time wasting

-students may not take them seriously, or play other games.

-Students becoming off task

-Game playing can become an expectation, too immersed, (1) not being able to stop and listen or (2) going off track.

-That it would distract them from the actual topic or task at hand.

-Miss use of devices in class. Will expect that it will happen most lessons.


Negative Impact

-That students do not get enough time off computers and are spending less time talking to people face-to-face

-Students will only want to do that

-That the game over-rides the learning- needs to be very purposeful

-taking time away from developing skills with traditional materials

-students spend too much time on laptops

-My only concern would be around inappropriate violence or content.

-There is room for some game based learning in the classroom. I have seen some positive games used in both Literacy and Maths, however, too much screen time and other games that are not really related can be more of a distraction. I feel that games should be used appropriately or as a reward or recap.

– Students are concerned with finishing the game with the highest score or the fastest and aren’t concerned with the actual learning. I have used some simulation games in classes and have noticed some students just remembering where they clicked not the actual answer to the question.

– increased screen time for students, not focussing on other important areas and ways of learning


Lack of Teacher PD

-My main concern is that I don’t feel I know enough about how to run them effectively nor I am aware of what is available

-Time to develop

-I would need PD!


How to Monitor/assess

-Monitoring appropriate use



Limited Application to ‘Real World’

-Linking back to the real world

-Difficulty young people may have transferring learning from game context to application of learnt skills/knowledge.


-none, i use them regularly

-welcome it

-I fully support the use of any teaching strategies that engage the learner and encourages higher order thinking skills. I believe that any Learning stratgey needs to balanced, and care taken to ensure that we address the learning styles of all.

-Lack of use of learning intentions and success criteria.

-There is room for some game based learning in the classroom. I have seen some positive games used in both Literacy and Maths, however, too much screen time and other games that are not really related can be more of a distraction. I feel that games should be used appropriately or as a reward or recap.

– Computer games are ‘individual’. Unless they involve interaction with peers and older positive influences, they contribute to intra personal communication skills.



Q2-Explain where you’ve used Games or Game-Based Learning at SJE (Year Level, Game, Unit)


Pragmatic (simulations)

-Gambling unit in maths

-9 Hums – Industrial Revolution – Create your village 9 Hums – Industrial Revolution

-Colorado simulations in chemistry

-8RE social justice unit – they do a simulation activity (not an actual game) on what it’s like to be a refugee


-Careers with year 9

-Legal Studies unit 1: CSI

-Shogun 2 (8 Hums)

-Year 8 Humanities, Mind Craft in order to show how a castle is built.

Skill and Drill

-VCAL – OHS Unit

-Year 7 Maths- Hotmaths,

-To teach about Italian contents and vocabulary (clothes, days and months, numbers, verbs, etc…)

-year 7 maths: maths quest (jacplus), hotmaths

-year 7/8 English: knowledge quest (jacplus)

-Installed a game onto everyones computer in the school where students had to build molecules. Use pHet

-Hotmaths and sumdog games in maths

-Similar – Year 7, 8 ,9 online piano tutorials with scrolling graphics that kind of represent a game.

-Yr 11 PE Whack a bone and poke a muscle (learning bones and muscles)

-Year 7 Spelling

-Year 10 MLO Money and WBU Supply & Demand

-I am not sure of your definition of a game – the only thing that I can think of that I am using right now is Duolingo and I am not sure that I would call it a game. I also use languages online which plays interactive games to reinforce content related to Italian Grammar.

-Unit 3 Biology – Immune system attack game

-Maths – games on HotMaths to develop number skills, spatial awareness, consolidate classroom practice


-Year 7 Kahoot- Woodwork

-To date I have really just used quiz type competitions

-Kahoots across various subjects

-HUMS- revision of Greek gods quiz on… kahootz

-Class Dojo

-Does a Kahoot count?

-Students have designed their own Kahoots to consolidate knowledge.

I have used “Sing Star” in the past for singing classes. Students have competitive fun while needing to focus on pitch and duration accuracy.


-Year 9 Game design, Year 7 and 8 ICT

Multipop (word game)

ICT – Scratch





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