So this is new. I have read every word in Module One. Every single reading, every word in every reading and watched every minute of every video. I even watched all 33 minutes of the Connect recording. I suggest this is a testament to both the interesting content of the unit and my own passion for game based learning and gamification.
During this module many new terms and acronyms were revealed for me (Wall, 2019) including the importance of teachers needing to “address the challenges, opportunities and potential of game based learning” (pg. 1.1). Jesse Schell (Big Think, 2011) highlighted the difficulty of using games in our existing educational system mostly because the length required to complete a game cannot be quantified easily or fit neatly into regimented timetables and bell times.
The challenges for myself as a VET educator to playing games in the classroom are slightly different for both of my teaching situations, one of foundational studies with learners who are starting their vocational journey and the other training teachers to infuse technology into their lessons. The three failures discussed by Paul Anderon during his Biohazardfive game (Tedx, 2012) are relevant for my foundational studies students, many of whom have low literacy levels, low confidence and little experience learning independently. The range of age, skill levels and life experiences are amplified in a vocational classroom as well thus adding to the challenge of introducing a games based learning approach.
The use of games in capability development for VET teachers is also high risk as many are used to a more conventional approach of educational delivery (Becker, 2011) and are yet to embrace games as a valid form of learning. There is still conflicting research on the success of games in educational outcomes and game based learning is a new and complex concept for many teachers (Wall, 2019).
The behaviours I would like to encourage through game based learning for all cohorts and students include engagement, curiosity, deep learning and of course, enjoyment. Learning should and can be fun!
- Becker, K. (2011). Distinctions between games and learning: a review of current literature on games in education. In Gaming and Simulations: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools and Applications, (pp. 75-107). Hershey, PA: . doi:10.4018/978-1-60960-195-9.ch105.
- Big Think. (2011, July 5). Playing Games in the Classroom [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bA7KuOyH3PQ
- Tedx. (2012, April 24). Classroom Game Design: Paul Andersen at TEDxBozeman [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qlYGX0H6Ec
- Wall, J. (2019). Game Based Learning [INF541 Introduction]. Retrieved March 15, 2019, from Charles Sturt University website: https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/blackboard/execute/displayLearningUnit?course_id=_39861_1&content_id=_2638556_1