In the following video, André Thomas, CEO of Triseum, a company which specialises on the development of learning games, summarises the benefits of game-based learning and highlights the risks related to it.
In order to implement a game-based learning approach, it is important for the teacher to be able to evaluate the learning potential of a game, given that the learning potential of commercial games designed for entertainment might not always be immediately clear – nor are all games which have been designed for learning effective. However, you should also consider the following important questions to evaluate a game’s learning potential:
- What is your goal and how does this fit with your curriculum goals? For example, are you aiming to cover content or develop a skill by using the game? Your answers to such questions should direct you in your evaluation.
- What are the game mechanics? Do they promote experimentation? Do they offer progression? How “free” is the player to find different solutions/paths?
- Is the game engaging for students?
- How much time does the game take to play? Does this fit with your lesson or homework time? Does it fit with your curriculum timetable?
- What thematic links can you make to the game’s content?
- What skills do students need to succeed in the game?
- Can students customise the game? Does a possible customisation impede the student from achieving the goals you’ve set? Does the process of customisation develop certain skills?