How Game-Based Learning can Return Learners’ Interest to Education

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Many people associate the educational process with tedious lectures and boring books. In such conditions, they have to make great efforts to pass the exams successfully and to meet the deadlines. Would you like to study with pleasure? This is not a fairy tale but a reality that is guaranteed by the gaming methods of training.

Features of game-based learning

Gamification strategies in education refer to active methods of teaching. This is explained by the fact that the productive and transformational work usually prevails in them. There are the following distinctive features:

  • multi-alternative solutions from which it is required to choose the most rational one;
  • the need to make decisions in conditions of uncertainty and conditional practice;
  • a variety of rules which differ from the standard ones; their usage is possible in the future practical activities of the specialist;
  • narrow time frames, the possibility of repeated occurrence of situations;
  • visibility of the consequences of decisions;
  • integration of theoretical knowledge with the professional activity, acquisition of work skills in the specialty;
  • wide opportunities for individualization of learning;
  • interactive school games enhance a creative search thinking of students, not in general but in relation to the performance of future job duties and functions.

Sometimes it is possible to cancel a decision that turned out to be unsuccessful, to go back and make the other choice in order to determine its advantages and disadvantages compared with that point of view which was already tested. In this case, the same game situation can be performed several times. Students may try different roles and offer new solutions.

What skills develop during the educational games?

Educational games develop and reinforce students’ skills of independent work, the ability to think professionally, solve problems and manage a team, make decisions and organize their implementation. Learners practice the implementation of the following tasks:

  • collection and analysis of data;
  • making decisions in conditions of incomplete or insufficiently reliable information;
  • evaluating the effectiveness of decisions taken;
  • analysis of a certain type of assignments;
  • establishing links between various spheres of future professional activity;
  • labor in the team, the development of collegial solutions using the methods of teamwork;
  • using the abstract and figurative thinking as the basis for the creative use of the system approach to study different processes and phenomena.
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Functions of game-based learning

Like any other method, the learning game is multifunctional. It can be used to form and develop various psychological properties of a person: professional orientation, mental independence, knowledge, skills in a particular field of activity, creative solutions to cognitive and professional tasks, organizational and communicative qualities, self-esteem, etc. You can apply this method for business. At the same time, the best game to learn guitar will help you to write quality music paper.

Among the functions of gaming learning can be identified:

  • instrumental – skills accumulation;
  • gnostic – formation of knowledge and thinking;
  • socio-psychological – the development of the communicative qualities of the student.

Along with the above mentioned, diagnostic, motivational, modeling, organizational, creative, control and correction functions are most often realized in the process of game training.

Learning games at the universities

Currently, a significant arsenal of various game teaching methods is accumulated in higher education. The intellectual and mental tension is much greater than in traditional methods.  Didactic game is a rather labor-intensive type of training for a teacher. Preparation for its conduct requires an understanding of the learning process in the new conditions and the large time costs. Experience shows that 1 hour of work over a specific situation of medium complexity in a 15 people group requires 12-15 hours of preparatory activities.

The question arises: are the game methods not too laborious in complexity, time and effort needed for their development? Is not it easier to conduct traditional lecture courses and practical classes? However, if we assess all the advantages of games, it turns out that the benefits from their application significantly cover the difficulties.

Of course, the appropriateness of the game must be put in line with the features of the discipline, the goals and objectives to be solved when studying it, and the contribution to the professional training of students. However, some difficulties may be solved only by a paper writing service.

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Advantages of games in comparison with traditional methods

The high efficiency of gaming learning methods is connected with significant advantages over traditional ones. It is worth highlighting some of them:

  • visibility of the consequences of decisions: you can neglect details, exclude so-called ‘noise’ (properties of real processes that are not relevant) from the information array;
  • variable timescale: it is possible to live ‘faster’ or ‘slower’, speed up and slow down the course of events. In the context of the conditional practice that the game creates, you can overcome several years in a few hours;
  • repetition of experience with changing actions (accumulation of skills during training): you can use the same situation several times approaching its solution in a new way;
  • possibility to change the scope of coverage, which can significantly shorten the timeframe for finding fundamental solutions in different conditions.

One of the most important factors is that students really show interest in learning. They no longer feel detached listeners but influence the development of events. Decision making, active actions make young people feel their importance.

Many teachers of the old pedagogical school are not interested in the opinion of the young people. They just want to show their own knowledge and establish a clear hierarchy where the student is the lowest link. Modern gaming methods categorically deny this approach. A learner should be at the center of training – not an educator. Sufficient freedom and recognition allow students to show all their abilities and talents to the maximum.

The further development of this area of educational activity will help to educate a new generation of people with strong life position. They will be able to make bold decisions and bear responsibility for them.

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