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Significance for Education

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Saved by Tahani
on November 14, 2011 at 12:41:51 pm

The potential of game-based learning


From students’ perspective:

  • Learning and having fun at the same time is the idea behind game-based learning.  People, especially kids, tend to have fun and enjoy their time when playing games.  Facing different challenges, living in different worlds, playing different roles, solving problems, working together toward one aim, and trying for higher scores can be motivating factors for students to play and learn at the same time.
  • Students will be more content while spending time playing rather than in straightforward learning, so learners will not notice the time when they are playing.  “In the form of an exciting, alternate reality, or, in the case of Immune Attack, an alien world. These types of games make successful learning aids because students are willing to play them more frequently and for longer periods of time than they would otherwise study the material in question” (Horizon report, 2011). 


From teachers’ perspective:

  • To gain 21st century learning skills, we need to try and find new ways of teaching and learning.  Game-based learning offers complex learning environments, problems to solve, collaborative tasks, and more control for students over what they learn.
  • Games can also provide new and easy ways of assessment.  According to the Horizon report (2011),In the National Education Technology Plan, U.S. Secretary of Education Anne Duncan named gaming as an ideal method of assessing student knowledge comprehension, citing the ability of games to provide immediate performance feedback to the players.”
  •  Games can also be used for personal development and to improve the self-esteem of the player, i.e., the learner (Pivec, Dziabenko & Kearney, 2005).
  • Game-based learning could improve learning outcomes.  Loyalist College in Canada recently published test score improvements for its border officer training via simulation in the virtual world of Second Life.  According to the report,“The amazing results of the training and simulation program have led to significantly improved grades on students’ critical skills tests, taking scores from a 56% success in 2007, to 95% at the end of 2008 after the simulation was instituted” (Loyalist College, 2009)
  •  Recently, games in learning have gotten more interest because of the spread of smartphones, iPods, and iPads among learners.
  •  According to Mark Griffiths (2002), video or digital games provide a great tool for conducting educational research.  Griffiths claimed that digital games have “great diversity,” while attracting students of various demographic backgrounds.

  • Computer games have the potential as tools for language learning. Games can provide engaging, motivating environment for learners to practice and build language skills. 
  • Immersive DGBL learning environments, with their contextual, persuasive, and student-centered instruction, could possibly help to revise the manner in which foreign languages are taught at the college and university levels.
  • DGBL may be especially useful in demonstrating that learning a second language can be both fun and challenging, current with the times and technology, and adaptable to student input.



 Limitations of game-based learning:


  • There is no doubt that games in education are gaining more interest; however, there has been a lack of acceptance of games in classrooms among many teachers, parents, and principals. 
  • According to Egenfeldt-Nielsen (2005) and Squire (2002), players must develop a number of skills and acquire certain knowledge in order to achieve the game’s objectives.  Therefore, teachers must ensure that their students are already achieving certain academic levels prior to offering them the chance to play. 
  • Because we want all learners to have an equal chance of learning through games, a big budget will be required.  
  • While games and game-based learning continue to generate interest and relevancy in the K-12 sector, the scarcity of quality educational games is impeding more rapid adoption (Horizon report 2011). 


Where it is going?


  • We think that digital games have the potential to make a change in the learning process, from the traditional system to a new model of learning, through the variety of learning experiences that games would offer.
  • Magerko (2009) suggested that there is a rich future in exploring how we can take advantage of adapting both the declarative and procedural content of games in order to provide a game experience that is tailored to an individual’s needs along a series of dimensions, not just the typical ITS adaptation of declarative content.




Egenfeldt-Nielsen, S. (2005). Beyond edutainment: exploring the educational potential of

       computer games. PhD thesis, University of Copenhagen

Griffiths, M. (2002). The educational benefits of videogames. Education and Health. 20 (3), pp.


Magerko, B (2009). The Future of Digital Game-Based Learning. Retrieved from:


Pivec M., Dziabenko 0., & Kearney P. (2005). Game-based learning for E-Inclusion.

        Proceedings of E-Learn 2005 Conference. Vancouver, Canada: AACE 2005.

Squire, K (2002).  Cultural framing of computer/video games. Retrieved from:


Neville, D., Shelton, B., & McInnis, B. (2009). Cybertext redux: Using digital game-based learning toteach L2 vocabulary, reading, and culture. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 22(5), 409-424.


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