What is it that makes games so addictive? Does game-design theory have any lessons for making learning activities more engaging? Can games be used as tools for learning skills, competencies and dispositions, especially those that are more relevant in the 21st century, like creative thinking, problem solving, decision making and empathetic collaboration?
I have created a three-part presentation on how games, specifically electronic games, can be used to enrich the learning experience, be it memorization, knowledge acquisition, synthesis or creativity.
I traverse from ‘absorb-type activities’ (lean-back mode of engagement) that includes listening to a story and telling a story, to ‘do-type activities’ (lean-forward mode of engagement) that include playing a game, building a game and collaborative game-play and how these different forms of activities can be used to create more effective and engaging learning experiences.
I look at how games help in learning by adding the element of ‘contextualization’ and ‘challenge’ that fits well with skill level of the learner and how assessment becomes embedded in a game, unlike the phobia of exams in formal educational environment. I also consider how games can provide a ‘call to action’ and beckon a learner, especially one who does not find traditional learning engaging enough, to go on a learning adventure.
The three-part presentation on game-based learning includes,
1. Let the Learning Games Begin
2. Learning (to the power of) Story-Telling
3. The Way Homo Ludens Learn