Gaming for Knowledge: Leveraging Video Games to Foster Learning in Education

Gaming laptop

A survey by Pew Research Center revealed that 70% of college students play video, computer, or online games every once in a while. Another 65% of students play games occasionally or regularly.

Survey data indicates the high gaming culture among modern youth, and there are a few reasons for this. First of all, college students have to keep up with an intense academic load. Often, the pressure gets so high that young people just need to take a break. In such cases, students seek professional essay writing services to delegate their assignments and spend time gaming so that they can reduce stress. It is their way to distract from exhausting daily routines and recharge. But it can also be an effective way to study.

Because of the huge popularity of video games among students, educators are embracing gamified learning more and more. Today, it is a major trend in education. And it keeps gaining momentum. In this article, we will tell you more about video games in learning and the benefits they provide.

The Concept of Game-Based Learning

Gamified learning is a unique educational approach that implies using games (including video, computer, and online games) to engage students and deliver better learning experiences. The concept involves both integrating games into formal instruction and integrating different game features into other classroom activities. The purpose is to create a game-like environment in which students actively participate, compete, solve problems, and achieve set goals through play.

The idea of game-based learning (GBL) has been around for many years. It originated in the middle of the 1950s in the course of game research. The research found that gamified learning experiences could be more meaningful and effective than traditional ones. Thus, starting in the 1980s, scholars began actively researching this matter and integrating games into formal instruction.

For over 40 years, the concept of GBL has been expanding and gaining popularity. Today, it became such a hot topic due to several reasons. Most importantly, educators realized that traditional instruction bores students. They don’t enjoy listening to lengthy lectures, reading dozens of pages a day, and writing essays. Instead, they prefer to read paper writing service reviews and delegate their academic matters to professionals. That is, they don’t engage in the process much. Gamified learning, on the contrary, was shown to make learning more exciting, enjoyable, and immersive. As a result, it helps engage students and help them achieve more significant outcomes.

Benefits of Video Games in Education

If used effectively, video games can offer many tangible benefits for students and teachers. Namely, gamified learning offers:

  • Increased student engagement;
  • Higher participation rates and active learning;
  • Enhanced critical thinking;
  • Improved decision-making and problem-solving skills;
  • Personalized experiences;
  • Collaboration;
  • Motivation and persistence;
  • Opportunities for data collection and deeper progress analysis.

4 Ways to Leverage Video Games to Foster Learning

As you can see, using video games in the classroom can have various benefits. However, only if they are incorporated wisely.

In the list below, we’ve gathered the most effective ways of leveraging video games to foster learning and maximize student outcomes.

1.    Think-Through the Game Selection

First of all, the success of gamified learning depends on the quality and selection of video games used in the classroom. Ideally, selected games should align with specific learning objectives and overall lesson plans. If they align, video games will contribute to students’ learning experiences and help them achieve excellent outcomes with less effort.

2.    Effective Integration With Curriculum

Once there is a selection of games that align with learning objectives, it’s crucial to integrate them into the curriculum seamlessly. Ideally, this integration should be done based on careful analysis. It’s crucial to analyze the learning outcomes teachers want to achieve and define which ones can be addressed through gameplay. Then, it’s important to link the content of games to the content taught in the classroom to make them complement each other.

3.    Pre-Game and Post-Game Activities

While playing educational games can help students learn something, all efforts can go in vain if there are no pre-game and post-game activities. Experts highlight the importance of such activities for creating better connections between games and the overall curriculum. Pre-game and post-game activities will help students gain more real-world context from their learning.

What can be done pre-game? The most important thing is to create a proper context for the upcoming activity. For teachers, it’s important to explain to students how the content of the game is related to the subject they are learning. Also, it’s crucial to set specific goals and emphasize the areas students must focus on the most.

What can be done post-game? After students play video games in the classrooms, it’s important to take some time to reflect on their experiences. Encourage discussions and reflections to help learners grasp the studied materials better. Also, give in-class or homework assignments that will help them consolidate new knowledge and skills. However, it’s important to keep assessments engaging as well. If educators use standard, boring essays, students will likely use the best essay editing services to deal with them faster and easier. But if the tasks are more exciting than essay writing, learners will be more motivated to handle them on their own.

4.    Assessment and Feedback

After hosting gaming activities in the classroom and facilitating post-game activities, it’s also crucial to provide timely assessment and feedback. To achieve good results, students need to have a specific goal in mind and be able to see their progress. To make this real, use quizzes, in-game assessments, portfolio-based assessments, and performance evaluations to test students’ progress. After this, provide clear and constructive feedback to help learners see their progress and improve.

Also, it’s important to constantly evaluate the outcomes of game-based learning to find areas for improvement and continuously enhance the teaching strategy. It is the best way to ensure success.

The Bottom Line

As you now know, video games can be a source of not only fun but also learning. When integrated into curriculums, they can offer many positive effects. Namely, they can boost students’ engagement, facilitate active learning, and make students more eager to participate.

But this isn’t a magic pill for all academic challenges. Without careful planning and pedagogical alignment, video games in the classroom might not bring the results you expect. Luckily, there are simple ways to integrate such activities to deliver outstanding learning experiences and help students achieve academic success without a hassle.