Game-Based Learning Experiences | Discovery Education Blog

1. They’re motivating.

A new report from Pew Research Center suggests that 47% of teachers think students show little or no interest in learning (and 58% in high school). The top reason teachers say students are struggling to stay engaged is lack of intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is what drives each of us to explore, ask questions, and succeed simply for the satisfaction and self-affirmation that it brings – and not because of the proverbial carrot and stick. While many gamification techniques rely on external motivators such as rewards and badges, true game-based learning is able to immerse students so deeply into an experience that their internal desire for accomplishment takes over, and they learn along the way.

2. They’re up-to-date. 

While textbooks remain a popular teaching resource, they don’t change with the times very often – games (especially web-based ones) are quick to update as new information is discovered, as trends develop, or as new practices are favored.

3. They’re familiar. 

Some educators may feel more at home with digital games than others, but students have shown a 38% increase in game playing outside of school since Oct 2020. The rules, features and interfaces present in educational games are almost always grounded in classic gaming styles, and students take to them like ducks to water.

4. They’re experiential.

With game-based learning, students are learning to problem-solve, make decisions and think critically at the same time as absorbing the topical content. Consider a game which asks students to build the best habitat for an endangered creature. Not only are they analyzing the adaptations and needs of the animal, but they may also be: learning to use trial and error to achieve success; improving their computing skills; creating fair tests by controlling variables; taking on the role of a real career professional and developing an ambition for the future… the list goes on.

5. They’re personal.

Teacher workload and shortages is a constant concern. Games can differentiate content for the learner and allow the student to carve their own memorable journey through the learning. They can also provide real-time, personalized, visually engaging feedback to students immediately and suggest next steps. Inside the game, students have the safety to fail and try again, learning from their mistakes and testing their skills.

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