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Learn through gaming
Game-based learning is the new trend that is not only helping the students acquire the desired knowledge and life skills but also helping the teachers make learning more fun. Gurbani Singh reports
Leave smart-classes behind. Game-based learning is the new trend that is making waves in education. The global game-based learning market was valued at $3.487 billion in 2017 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 19.60 per cent to reach a market size of $8.532 billion by 2022.
Academic education, in several aspects, is no longer relevant due to the lack of upgradation in the syllabus and teaching methodology. Hence, the need of the hour is to adapt innovative learning models like game-based learning emphasising on life skills.
Gaming is an active way of learning. With the advancement in technology, it’s able to target all the needs of learning. “The aim is to make learning just as addictive as gaming. This has the potential to change the landscape of education. Even though it is still under process, it’s a risk worth taking as without risks, one can never learn,” Dr Anantha K Duraiappah, director, UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development, says.
A way to improve efficiency by millions, gaming as a platform for learning teaches more than what can be learnt in a classroom, to a larger audience at one go. This method will help retain the skills being taught.
Education is no more about just learning fractions and the timelines through history. It is all about moving towards helping people grow as smarter individuals with better developed soft skills.
LEARN WITH GAMING
Gaming will work on helping the gamer acquire the desired knowledge, acquire actionable know-hows, useful soft skills and at the same time have fun. It helps provide meaning to action. Theories that are taught in the classrooms are understood by many until it is applied. With gaming, one can have a practical approach to the academic theories.
The tasks and missions in the game will help develop problem-solving skills — a method of project-based learning. It also inculcates a difficulty curve for flow that will help move forward.
Gaming being an interactive platform encourages errors. This will help the gamers learn from their mistakes, which they would’ve acquired through application and thus, will be embedded into their memory.
WHAT’S THE SCIENCE BEHIND IT?
It is a well-known fact that one has higher brain activity and retention when information is given at intervals. This is known as spaced learning. With the help of retrieval, the learner is more likely to remember and understand in comparison to when the information is given in one go.
Gaming also makes use of a model called Interleaved learning where students mix multiple subjects or topics while they study in order to improve their learning. Thus, not only can they relate better but can also handle complexity with ease. With this, there is a combination of retrieval and repetition in gaming which results in consolidation, making gaming an effective way of learning.
The process of learnification in gaming revolves around using the game mechanism in which the pedagogical content is injected.
With gaming, one also gets immediate feedback which increases effectiveness as the value of that information remains.
The four pillars of education in order to grow holistically are mindfulness, critical inquiry, empathy and compassion. These go beyond classroom learning and are all concepts that need to be taught through gaming.
Gaming, under the umbrella of education, will not be able to replace what schools are teaching. However, it will catalyse the process of learning and will make it fun so the addiction of gaming gets transferred into learning as well. The idea is to be part of the curriculum and not about replacing the current methods. The games are going to be designed to help teach concepts.
In a long run, it’ll be great to have games which teachers can inculcate in their teaching methodology and use them in their classrooms. The learning outcomes are to be achieved ultimately, gaming will just be a catalyst in the process.
According to UNESCO, assessments can also happen through games in the future. Each level can be an exam of sorts that shows the advancement in learning and each child can move at their own pace. It can also be a potential solution to exam stress as well.
Teachers can never be replaced, they do more than just provide information in lectures. They act as guides in a students’ life and will continue to do so. It will be the role of schools to introduce technology to the students as one can’t avoid it anymore.
But there are some health concerns related to gaming. The drawbacks can be from staring at the screens. Therefore, the important thing is to maintain an overall balance and monitoring a child’s activity. Spending time outside is equally important and will probably be more so since we’re taking to technology faster than before.
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