Educational Opportunities of Virtual Game-Based Initiatives for Students With Disabilities

Educational Opportunities of Virtual Game-Based Initiatives for Students With Disabilities

Adrián Martín-Gutiérrez, Luis Leal-Vega, Irene Alcoceba-Herrero, Joaquín Herrera-Medina, Juan Francisco Arenillas-Lara, María Begoña Coco-Martín
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-4287-6.ch021
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Abstract

Digital game-based learning (DGBL) is a novel methodology implemented in many educational virtual settings to improve students´ attention, motivation, and engagement while learning. This chapter aims to provide insight into how game-based methods can enhance students' learning process with sensory, intellectual, and learning disabilities. Specifically, the key of this chapter is to assess the possibilities offered by the introduction of DGBL in educational contexts from a theoretical perspective to understand better the range of opportunities that it can mean for learning and, therefore, for the personal and professional development of people with sensory, intellectual, and learning disabilities.
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Background

Traditional games focus solely on entertainment, whereas gamified education serves to achieve objectives and provide values beyond leisure. In this sense, the incorporation of game elements has the potential to enhance the experience of the individuals participating in this educational methodology (Patrício et al., 2018). Currently, DGBL is performed through digital media such as computers or mobile phones in different areas (education, health, business, etc.) to meet the learning demands of a target population by simulating real-world situations and training a wide range of skills while promoting entertainment, motivation, satisfaction, ideation, and so forth (Agogué et al., 2015; Kultima et al., 2008).

The methodological foundations of DGBL applied in educational settings are based on a number of key aspects (Huang et al., 2019). First, the sharing of future goals or objectives allows for the establishment and maintenance of social relationships with others. Next, the concession of merits or rewards provides strong and positive feedback that motivates continuous learning. In addition, the comparison of merits achieved among students increases competitiveness and encourages their involvement in improving their learning outcomes. It is therefore essential that game-based educational interventions provide appropriate feedback to users through positive reinforcement such as notifications, badges, points, and medals to let them know they are on the right track in their academic journey.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): Is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorder that affects three main areas: communication, social interaction, and impulse control.

Sensory Disabilities: Refer to visual, hearing, or both, that face a number of barriers to achieving the academic goals of these students, using handheld devices, completing timed tasks, obtaining appropriate feedback, and adopting teamwork mechanisms.

Game-Based Education: Game-based mechanics in the educational context that provide appropriate feedback to users through positive reinforcement such as notifications, badges, points, and medals to let them know that they are on the right track in their academic journey.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Is a prevalent learning disability defined as a prevalent neurobehavioral disorder commonly diagnosed in a large number of children and adolescents under the age of 18.

Digital Game-Based Learning (DGBL): Consists of the introduction of game-based mechanics performed through digital media such as computers or mobile phones in different areas (education, health, business, etc.) to meet the learning demands of a target population by training a wide range of skills while promoting entertainment, motivation, satisfaction, ideation, etc.

Educational Game Skills: The games force to make decisions on their own, allowing the idea of complying with the rules and requirements with confidence and independence, which is fundamental for the student's development in the real context of society.

Dyslexia: Is considered a prevalent learning condition that affects an individual's ability to read, spell, and comprehend language when reading or writing, having a negative impact on both self-esteem and academic aspirations of the students.

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