Each week we meet via Twitter for #IOLchat to discuss current issues related to online learning. Participants include students, instructors, administrators, eLearning companies, schools, publishers, and instructional designers.
By now you’ve probably heard about some of the benefits of game-based learning. This approach is taking off in higher education as a way to engage students in problem-solving tasks that are often collaborative in nature.
Earlier this year we discussed the characteristics of learning games, and this week we extended the conversation to address how games can be implemented in online learning environments. Here’s what our participants had to say:
- Games can be “addicting and engaging.” Applying games to educational environments could lead to more engaging lessons, online and offline.
- There’s potential for use in a wide variety of courses, subjects, topics, etc. Math may be particularly well suited for game implementation – you can build on prior learning, increasing difficulty through levels/stages of the game.
- There’s potential for a range of interactions – students with content, students with each other and the content in collaborative tasks.
- Identify your goals – what do you want to accomplish? “How would a game improve a particular aspect of a topic?”
- Planning is important – review learning objectives, design specific interactions.
- Too much structure can be problematic: “students need games that are facilitated well, not overly planned.” What skills and resources are required to facilitate online learning games?
- “Don’t think that you have to go full-scale” right off the bat. “Start small with a little game for engagement.” Get feedback from your students.
- Be aware that robust games are designed and developed by robust teams that include programmers, instructional designers, etc. with resources – find out what kinds of support may be available from your school.
Try it out!
- First-hand experience, from the perspective of the learner, can inform how you implement games in your courses. Look for examples of techniques and strategies that work well.
- Join a discussion group (check out GamesForChange.org) in which educators are sharing their experiences and lessons learned, and find opportunities to play/participate in online learning games.
- Games aren’t just for online learning – one participant shared that Professor Kevin Werbach‘s gamification class challenges students to solve puzzles in a “video background puzzle/game” that is effective in “pulling students into lectures” and is “no-cost, low-tech.”
- Game-based corporate training is another learning environment that is benefiting from these techniques for increased engagement.
Thanks to @drjwmarquis, @NikkiPerala, @daverage, @martarauch, @Akeroyd, @SuperBad_, and @rosslaird for participating in the live event. Follow these hashtags for more conversations about learning games: #GBL, #Gamification, #SeriousGames, #edugames.
For more from the most recent live session, review the chat feed below. Our past chats can be found on the archives page.
This week’s read-aheads:
This week’s chat feed:
Image credit: stock.xchng