Effects of Computer Games to the Academic Performance of the Students

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 785
  • Published : September 3, 2012
Open Document
Text Preview
LITERATURE REVIEW: EFFECTIVENESS OF GAMING IN THE CLASSROOM

11

Running head: LITERATURE REVIEW: EFFECTIVENESS OF GAMING IN THE CLASSROOM

Literature Review: Effectiveness of Gaming in the Classroom Karen A. Milczynski Michigan State University

LITERATURE REVIEW: EFFECTIVENESS OF GAMING IN THE CLASSROOM

11

Introduction The idea of using games to engage students in the process of active learning is not new. Over the past several years, educators have been increasingly incorporating various games into their teaching curriculum in an effort to create a fun and engaging learning environment for students. Although this can be very challenging and time consuming, interactive, collaborative and competitive games tend to motivate and encourage student participation in the learning process. Over the years, the format for classroom games has changed drastically. There are many more options that incorporate the use of technology and interactivity. Quinn and Iverson argued that students “need to be engaged more and to be put at the centre of the learning experience to change from ‘passive vessel’ to ‘active participant’” (as cited in Pannesse & Carlesi, 2007). In my classroom, I have conducted several games with my students as a means to review previously taught material and to prepare for tests. I have noticed that most of my students tend to enjoy hands-on activities in my courses; however, I wonder sometimes when we play games or do activities if they are grasping the content of the material in the process. Some students appear to learn more when they are competing in a game or activity while others seem like they are bored or possibly distracted. As a whole, the feedback I have received from students regarding the benefits of the review games we play has been positive and many students suggest that we play them more often. Although I try to listen to my students’ feedback, I am reluctant to play review games more often because I have yet to document quantitative evidence that supports the effectiveness of the review games we play. For my research, I am seeking learn more about the effectiveness of the different test review methods I employ in my 12th grade Independent Living classes. Additionally, in a

LITERATURE REVIEW: EFFECTIVENESS OF GAMING IN THE CLASSROOM

11

more general approach I am seeking information that supports the question: What makes an educational game effective in the classroom? “Nearly seventy percent of students learn best actively and visually” (McLester, 2005). Because of this, I feel that there are many potential benefits of active learning through games in the classroom. Perspectives There are many explanations as to what defines an “educational game” nowadays. While some games are competitive in nature, others may simply allow students to work together as a class to solve a general problem where no one “wins” or “loses.” In “All Play and No Work,” MacKenty (2006) states that, “it’s the act of problem solving that makes games so engaging… devoid of challenge or risk of failure, games really aren’t all that much fun” (p. 46). On the contrary, Tom Schrand (2008) discusses the powerful capabilities of interactive multimedia games (or activities) where students work together as a class to categorize information in charts by moving facts so they rest in the appropriate labeled columns (p.81). Revisiting these types of games and activities can help with reiterating important information for students. Schaller (2006) states that iteration, or repetition of the process, is critical to “support the learning process by encouraging experimentation, hypothesis testing and synthesis” which are all higher level thinking skills. Both formats of gaming activities tend to show learning benefits because of the active learning components that are present in each (MacKenty, 2006, Schrand, 2008). Games that bring out these higher level thinking skills are becoming more popular, although more research...
tracking img