It has been quite a journey over the past 3 months both with this subject and personally. I started this journey with GBL in March very excitedly, ready to engage with the subject. I started participating in the forums, wrote a few blog posts, sent a few tweets, stayed on top of modules and readings. My first assessment I managed to deliver a very good critique and I was all set for the second half of the unit.
As Term 2 started at school I, unfortunately, became extremely ill, and it would seriously affect my ability to function and stay on top of any of my work. To date, I have missed about 12 full school days and had at least 6 half-days, all a result of a blood condition that still has no resolution. This has meant that my blogging, reading, contributing effectively disappeared and I have been just trying to stay afloat. Even though I’m disappointed that I could not engage with the subject as I wanted to, I know that I plan on pursuing GBL with great excitement in the near future. So for my own journey on with this course, I will definitely say that I am intrigued and fascinated by how GBL actually works. This course has opened my eyes and my mind to the complexity of GBL, and the various pedagogical concerns that need to be addressed and how ineffectively it has been integrated into curriculum over the years.
My initial Blogpost at the start of the course said: “My own personal belief is that Game Based Learning (GBL) should be part of the whole digital education reform, and that it deserves a place alongside introducing ‘digital literacy’ skills and embedding it in all aspects of the curriculum.” (du Toit, 2017). This course has further solidified this belief for me. Starting out with Gee (2005) and his ideas that good games incorporate ‘good learning principles’ (p.34), and that “challenge and learning are a large part of what makes video games motivating and entertaining”. Then a series of fascinating examples and exploration of games. The composition of games, how they are structured, created and the complex balance of designing them, was fascinating. The information and cognitive theories that underpin the pedagogical considerations made me realise how much there is to GBL.
Although I was hampered by my health, I managed to have regular discussions with Jordan Grant on Google Hangouts, discussing ideas raised in the modules and readings; including interactions on Twitter and playing around with various games. Here’s a screenshot from one of our more recent discussions on the final assessment.
My final assessment gave me an opportunity to explore Breakout EDU and how I could use it with my students. Doing the research for that showed me the possibilities in GBL with History classrooms and the potential for rethinking a lot of the content delivery. Revisiting some earlier thoughts and discovering new trains of thought about information fluency has piqued my interest in the pedagogical frameworks required for successful GBL implementation.
I was never really a gamer, but I have started to explore it over the past few years since delving into the Playstation world. Overall the course has been extremely interesting and allowed me to start to grapple with the intricacies of GBL. I look forward to seeing how the technology will continue to evolve and be used in education more effectively.
Du Toit, J. (2017, March 6). INF541 Module 1.1 Online Reflective Journal Blog Task 1 [Blog Post]. Retrieved from http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/riverflows/2017/03/06/assessment-1-inf541-online-reflective-journal-blog-task-1/
Gee, J.P. (2005). Good video games and good learning. Phi Kappa Phi Forum, 85(2), 33-37.http://dmlcentral.net/sites/dmlcentral/files/resource_files/GoodVideoGamesLearning.pdf