Digital Games in Learning infokit launched
By Karla Youngs on Friday 09 May 2014 Tweet this!
Jisc Digital Media’s new Digital Games in Learning infokit provides an up-to-the-minute guide to the topic of game-based learning.
Photo by Javier Dominguez Ferreiro: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Can digital games, and digital gaming technologies and techniques, improve ‘how’ people ‘learn’?
The proliferation of digital devices, such as smart phones and tablets, and social media platforms such as Facebook, continues unabated, increasing the availability of digital gaming opportunities. Popular media pieces on gaming, institutional pressure to obtain better grades and a games industry keen to seek out new markets combine to make the use of this media a tempting proposition for educators.
But ... when it comes to game-based learning, there is much that can go wrong. The history of education is littered with well-meaning failures, with learning being no better (and often worse) than before. For every Flappy Bird or Candy Crush Saga success in the games industry, there is an expensive initiative in the learning sector where a digital game has failed to motivate, increase test scores, or increase the retention of knowledge or acquisition of skills.
However ... digital games, simulations and environments can be, and sometimes are, significantly useful in learning scenarios. From immersive midwifery simulations and historical period re-enactments, to economic and business simulations and virtual terraforming, there are many successful applications of this entertainment-oriented media in the education sector.
The infokit will assist you in making informed decisions about the use of digital games to support learning. Covering both pedological and technical aspects, the infokit highlights the factors, options and people you need to consider before committing what could be considerable time, resource and money to using a digital game in your learning situation. The infokit includes:
- The wrong, and right, reasons to use games in learning.
- Selecting the best game for a specific learning situation.
- The choices involved in obtaining, or creating, a digital game.
- The stakeholders involved in using a digital game in learning.
- Evaluating whether gaming, or a specific game, is useful in a particular context.
Also included is:
- An exploration of 'games' and 'play' and an discussion of the benefits of the latter.
- An exploration of the types of games people play.
- An introduction to the concepts behind ‘Gamification’.
- An introduction to the history and demographics of the gaming industry.
- Some examples of games used for learning.
- For further research and exploration, additional resources on gaming in education.
The infokit is written for people with little, or no, knowledge or experience of digital or video games. While it has been written specifically with the UK Further and Higher Education sector in mind, it is likely to be of interest to anyone considering using games for learning.