Game Based Learning vs Gamification (Video Transcript)

It’s important to distinguish between Game Based Learning and Gamification

Game Based Learning is a branch of serious games that deals with defined learning outcomes. They’re called Serious Games because instead of providing only entertainment, they have an educational goal to provide retention of a skill or concept that can be applied in the real world.

Gamification on the other hand, is the application of Game principals to non-game situations, to promote desired behaviors. The basis of these game principles are persuasive technologies.  Typically, these are referred to as “PBL” or points badges & leaderboards…otherwise known as reward, recognition and motivation.

BOTH seek to increase engagement, reduce negative and undesireable behaviors and create a positive emotional response: FUN   In a later video I’ll go more indepth with Gamification.

Here now, I’d like to get a little clearer on 5 points that distinguish Game Based Learning

  1. I believe games are attractive in education because a game is something that students can fail at. The traditional classroom doesn’t provide many opportunities where failure is a valid option without dire consequences and few students enjoy failing in these instructional situations, which can lead to unproductive behaviors to avoid failing. Things like cheating, apathy, or lack of motivation. And when this heppens, there’s little exploration, no depth of understanding, nor insight into the real consequences of different approaches to obtaining an answer or even incorrect decisions. In most classrooms it’s a right or wrong answer.
    Games, by their very nature however, encourage failure as a way to learn in a low-threat and low-risk way. Failing is allowed and it’s part of the game as players usually have multiple lives, second chances, quite often the reset button. In games, there are alternative methods of success and games by their design allow multiple opportunities to perform a task until mastery. And most often when you are successful, your reward is an even MORE difficult level, task or mission.
  2. They require concentrated attention
  3. Feedback is constant and in real-time, and a critical element in learning. The more frequent and targeted the feedback, the more effective the learning can be.
  4. Most games involve a context specific story. Stories are powerful mediums that draw-in the users.
  5. Games are Immersive. They should be fun and captivating in providing an experience to increase student engagement for learning specific standards, objectives, skills, and/or concepts.

Game Based Learning provides another promising strategy–a tool if you will, to connect students with learning and each other.

In later videos I will discuss game design, cost-benefit analysis and don’t miss my video on NON-Digital Game Based Learning!

Thank you for watching

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