Creating Computer Games for Class Instruction

Creating Computer Games for Class Instruction

Chien Yu (Mississippi State University, USA) and Anthony Olinzock (Mississippi State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-569-8.ch010
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The purpose of this chapter is to provide the classroom teachers with the basic tools and fundamentals necessary to create instructional games targeted to specific courses and/or instructional objectives. By discussing the trends and issues related to today’s teaching and learning environment, the authors review the benefits of using educational games in classrooms, and provide some strategies and guidelines for creating computer games for classroom instruction. Along with discussing the fundamental issues and considerations, the authors discuss some of the challenges and impact of computer games in classrooms. Additional examples drawn from literature are also included to illustrate the use of games in education and the strategies of effective instruction.
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Advantages And Limitations

The inclusion of educational gaming has become an important component of instructional methodology, and a plethora of computer games are available to complement a variety of instructional areas. Educational games can be used in variety of instructional modes, from whole class to individual activities, and are an effective way to gain student attention to learn a specific topic or skill (Gredler, 2004). Well-designed games are quite challenging for the players while, at the same time, requiring the application of particular knowledge or skills (Smaldino, Lowther, & Russell, 2008).

There are many advantages of using educational games. According to Gredler (2004), educational games may fulfill any of the following purposes: 1) to practice and/or refine already acquired knowledge and skills, 2) to identify gaps or weaknesses in knowledge or skills, 3) to serve as a summation or review, and 4) to develop new relationships among concepts and principles. Games with the effective use of pedagogical design principles allow the teacher to address various learning styles. Therefore, students are quickly engaged in learning, and teachers address the learning needs of various age groups, cultures, learners, and learners with disabilities.

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