Game Based Learning


Why using computer based techniques in higher education?

According to Michael and Chen (Michael & Chen, op. 2006), "Serious Games offer a new mechanism for teaching and training by combining video games with education. Serious Games can extend the value of training films and books by allowing the player to not only learn, but also to demonstrate and apply what he or she has learned"

When talking about learning paradigm we talk about lots of sources that "require (and foster) a level of cognitive application from the user that far exceeds reading text and then regurgitating facts.

Gamers analyse huge quantities of information from a variety of sources. Games encourage, for example, problem solving, creative thinking, lateral thinking, investigation and trial and error, all of which are valuable in the workplace. ", as Corti wrote in (Corti, 2006).

In the blog "Ten reasons why game based learning works in education" at (Connected – Fluent in Multimedia learning, 2012) the author reports that "Students are already familiar with many of the devices" used to deliver games like "iPads, iPhones, PSPs" and so on.

According to a Nielsen survey in January 2012 among U.S. citizens (n=20.000) (Nilsonwire, 2012) 80% of the 18-34 aged subjects which buy a mobile device in the last 3 months, did buy a smartphone – 64% of all subjects do have smart phones at all. This is exactly the age-group which is relevant for higher education.

The most important reason for using computer based techniques in education is that there is a huge amount of already available (and free of charge) content stored in the world wide web:

"Educational apps abound and it's now really easy to create your own multimedia educational content for use on everything from language labs to macs, pcs and ipads. The internet is stuffed full of free resources to help bring content to life", (Connected – Fluent in Multimedia learning, 2012)

They also write that "Game based learning techniques are not just restricted to inside the classroom. Teachers report bringing class sets of PlayStation Portables out on field trips to make video diaries. Robust and durable these new technologies mean educational content can still be accessed on the move."
Game based Learning and Serious Games
According to Corti (Corti, 2006) some of the key potential benefits of Game based learning are performance improvement, competency testing and best practice.

He also pointed out in (Corti, 2006) that "it is important to remember that games need not be a solitary, i.e. ‘singleplayer', experience! Some of the world's most popular entertainment games are multiplayer games where players team up to work together. This brings about interesting opportunities for providing social learning environments such as, for example, around team dynamics."