How can you squeeze creativity, problem-solving, critical thinking, decision-making, and risk-taking into your next course? Play with it! Make your next course game based.
EdTech Magazine reports that sixty percent (60%) of teachers say using digital games helps customize instruction, assess knowledge, and collect helpful information. For the best results, take the time to plan how best to turn your content into a game-based course. If you do, you’ll realize the following five benefits.
Game-based courses make learners think in new ways. Students may have to purchase supplies. They may have to manage a budget. Learners may need to finish a task before the time runs out. Students may have to rank tasks. So much more than timers and badges, game-based courses motivate learners in ways the classroom cannot. Moreover, students gain a sense of mastery with each badge they earn. Students manage the pace of their learning as they play the game.
2. Specific learning objectives achieved
Teachers are able to tailor the game to fit the content. Many successful examples exist. Teachers can pull these samples while building a course for specific objectives. Also, teachers can add course extras. Some learners may use these added pieces; some may not. If a learner meets the objective without extra material, the information is not presented to the learner. If the student does not meet the objective, the game pushes the content to the student until the objective is met. Similarly, in a math class, an advanced student may easily complete 80% of the content in a few hours. Yet, the same student may struggle to master a single objective, such as multiplying fractions, for the same amount of time. To sum up, game-based courses track student progress to ensure specific learning objectives are met.
3. Collaboration and competition
A popular MBA Capstone course pits top university head-to-head in the running of a fictitious company. Classes are able to see their global ranking on a weekly scorecard. Teachers partner high-achieving students to complete accelerated objectives. Students and professors are able to collaborate with experts in the field. Teachers are able to keep pace with breaking research on a global scale. Futhermore, game-based courses allow institutions to partner and compete as they play both together and against each other.
4. Core skill development
Game-based courses easily extend into microlearning moments. During game play, students are given immediate feedback on how they are doing. As a result, if a student struggles to pass a level due to a core skill gap, a game-based course isolates the gap. When they do not meet the minimum requirement, the game is able to route them to skill-development activities. Learners can access drill cards for vocabulary and math facts. Students can review lecture videos. Teachers are able to pinpoint and mentor students struggling with a learning objective. Simultaneously, game-base courses allow those students who do not need additional skill development to move forward at their own pace.
5. A safe place to fail
Game-based courses allow teachers to link learning to real life. Playing a game-based course provides learners a safe environment in which to practice skills needed in the real world. Teachers use simulations, scenarios, and role plays to mirror the real world. In addition, game-based courses allow teachers to convey the nuances needed to succeed outside knowing the content. For example: How do you deliver the bad news to the nervous patient? What is your body language saying to the traumatized child? Many settings need more than a correct answer on an assessment.
In short, game-based learning provides students a safe place to try new skills. Teachers are encouraged to create a world that fits specific learning objectives. Students are motivated to control their learning in new ways. Most impotantly this requires learners to think critically, problem-solve, and take risks they may not have the courage to do in the real world.
A well-designed game-based course includes the nuances needed to succeed in the real world.