Principles of Educational Digital Game Structure for Classroom Settings

Principles of Educational Digital Game Structure for Classroom Settings

Youngkyun Baek (Korea National University of Education, Korea)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-195-9.ch113
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The scope of learning with games is determined by their genre, characteristics and scenarios, or content. Therefore, the frame of a game containing its type and content somewhat confines the activities of players to learn and to play. Game-based learning adopts much of the same interactional techniques that have been used in traditional instruction. Learning with games includes activities such as ‘learning by practice and feedback’, ‘learning by doing’, ‘learning by making mistakes’, ‘learning by discovery’, and ‘learning by role playing’. Games are adopted for classroom based learning to motivate students, to support main curricular activities, to strengthen what is learned, and to summarize and evaluate what is learned. There is no straightforward guideline on how to use a game effectively in classroom settings. However, the instruction for teaching and learning with games needs to be designed before any other actions are taken.
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In order to use games for learning, the game structure and activities of players need to be given careful consideration. Among many characteristics of gaming, context, immersion, and interaction are the main factors which educators must focus on when using games in classrooms.

The situation or context in which a game resides is an environment in which learning and gaming happens simultaneously. It provides players with a sense of reality for their activities. Immersion leads players to experience “flow” in gaming. Thus it contributes toward a player’s active learning. Also, it empowers learners by motivating them to learn. Interaction is an important factor because it is fundamental to gaming as well as to learning. Meaningful learning with a game is possible based on interactions just as learning in general is made possible through effective interactions. Learning with games, which is characterized by combining fun and learning, thus tries to achieve given objectives based on immersion, interaction, and context.

Games are not a shortcut for inducing effective learning. Rather, games require the creativity of teachers and learners to find the best usage for their current situation. To find out what kinds of application types and game activities are meaningful in classroom settings, the internal structures of games and the activities of players learning with games must be explored as those are what affect the learning processes of game based activities.

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