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Game-Based Learning Explained (with Examples)

Updated: Feb 28, 2023

Game-based learning is a teaching method that uses games and other interactive, playful activities to engage students and help them learn. This approach is based on the idea that students are more likely to be motivated and engaged in their learning when it is presented in the form of a game or other interactive activity.

There are several reasons why game-based learning can be effective. For one, it can make learning more enjoyable and engaging for students. It can also provide a sense of accomplishment and success, which can help boost students' confidence and motivation. Additionally, game-based learning can help students develop important skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and collaboration.

Game-based learning can also be a useful tool for teaching complex or abstract concepts, as it can provide a concrete and interactive way for students to explore and understand these ideas. It can be tailored to different learning styles and abilities, making it a versatile and inclusive teaching method.

Here are some examples of game-based learning activities:

1. Educational video games

These are games that are specifically designed to teach certain concepts or skills. They may be used in the classroom or as homework assignments.

Research has shown that playing video games can have a positive impact on learning and cognitive development. Studies have found that playing educational video games can improve students' performance in a variety of subjects, such as math and reading, as well as enhance their problem-solving and decision-making skills. Additionally, video games can also improve spatial reasoning, attention, and working memory.

Through video games, the learning experience for students becomes more engaging and interactive, which can increase motivation and participation in the classroom. This can also help to improve the retention of information, as students are more likely to remember something that they have actively participated in and engaged with.

Want to learn how to use educational video games and digital solutions in your classroom? Have a look at this teacher training course on ICT in modern classrooms.

2. Board games

Board games can be a fun and engaging way to get students interested in learning, as they provide an interactive and hands-on experience that can be more engaging than traditional lectures or readings.

Board games can be used as a learning tool in the classroom to develop a variety of skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, strategy, and decision-making. They can also be used to teach specific subjects and if you let your students create their own board games to play, they become great revision tools and your students can practice their creativity and collaboration skills.

Additionally, board games can serve as a form of assessment, as they can provide a way to evaluate student understanding and progress in a subject in a more dynamic and interactive way.

3. Escape rooms/treasure or scavenger hunt activities

Escape rooms, which are interactive and immersive games where players are locked in a room and must solve puzzles and clues to escape, can be a fun and engaging way to incorporate game-based learning in the classroom.

They can help students develop a variety of skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, teamwork, and time management. Additionally, escape rooms can also be used to teach specific subject matter, from STEM subjects to languages, by incorporating relevant themes and content into the puzzles and clues.

The use of escape rooms in the classroom can make learning more interactive and enjoyable for students, while also helping them develop important skills that will serve them well in their future studies and careers. Want to use amazing escape room activities in your classroom? Check out our teacher training course on this topic and become a master of game-based learning.

4. Role-playing games

These games involve students taking on different roles and acting out scenarios, often guided by a game master. They can be used as a learning tool in the classroom to develop a variety of skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, and communication. They work especially well for empathy work and soft skills.

RPGs can also be used to teach specific subjects such as history, literature, or social studies by allowing students to take on the roles of historical figures or characters from literature. It can help students understand and empathize with different perspectives, and also allows for a more interactive and engaging way to learn.

Role-playing games can also help students to develop social and entrepreneurial skills, such as collaboration and negotiation, as they work together to solve problems and make decisions within the game.

5. Outdoor games

Using outdoor games as a teaching tool can provide a variety of benefits for students and their learning. Outdoor games can be a fun and engaging way to incorporate physical activity into the classroom, which can help to improve focus and concentration, as well as overall health and well-being. In addition, outdoor games can also help to develop teamwork and communication skills, as well as problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

Outdoor games can also be used to teach specific subjects such as science, math, or history by incorporating relevant themes and content into the game. For example, a game that simulates the water cycle can be used to teach about the water cycle in science class, or a game that simulates a historical event can be used to teach history.

Furthermore, outdoor games can create a more engaging and interactive learning experience for students, which can increase motivation and participation in the classroom, and being outside in the fresh air can work wonders on their brains.

These are just a few examples of game-based learning activities, but if you want to go into more detail and learn the specifics about successful gamification implementation, you should apply for our course on gamification that takes place in a few exciting European locations and is eligible for Erasmus+ funding. Check it out here.

What kind of games do you use in your classrooms? Share some ideas in the comments!

1 Comment

Completely agree !! Incorporating games into teaching offers numerous benefits, such as boosting student engagement and participation, leading to better retention and performance. Games foster active learning, critical thinking, and immersive and interactive educational experiences, allowing students to learn at their own pace and style. For professors, games serve as tools for enhanced teaching effectiveness, providing valuable feedback on student progress and enabling tailored instruction. Overall, game-based learning promotes a more dynamic and impactful educational environment.

Here's a link that captures the use of such games in classroom as well as corporate settings:

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