Game Based Learning in Kindergarten Classrooms

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A Mini-proposal

Game based learning in Kindergarten classrooms

1. Research Goal:

Research goal is to identify key learning domains that can be thought in kindergarten classrooms using game-based learning and to examine available educational games that can support those learning domains. For example, the card game Quiddler may suitable to master in spelling and language skills. Similarly, the console game JumpStart Pet Rescue is more appropriate to build critical thinking skills. We will further analyze the impact of game-based learning on the learning domains. In addition, this paper will investigate practitioners’ (kindergarten teachers) view of game-based learning on the identified learning domains.

The main aim of this research is to promote game-based learning as a viable option for kindergarten classrooms. Therefore, we will also analyze the challenges associated in applying game-based learning in classrooms and the strategies to overcome those challenges.

In a nutshell, the research goal is to provide:
• Category summarization of game-based learning approaches in the latest five years, including game genres, learning topics, platforms, targets. • Relationship between Learning Domain, Learning Platform and game-based learning systems. • Practitioner’s view of game-based learning on the learning domain • The impacts that game-based learning approach can have toward different learning domain • The challenges of applying game-based learning approach to different learning domain • The strategies of applying game-based learning approach to different learning domain

2. Short Abstract

The interest in game-based learning is rapidly becoming a norm in the classrooms. Ontario school board of education is changing the Junior/Senior Kindergarten Curriculum this fall (Sep 2011) to more play-based learning than the traditional learning style. Play-based learning has been employed to teach math, art, history, science or language in the classrooms. However, game-based learning in kindergarten curriculum is just a start.

Research has revealed a fundamental mismatch between the goal of educational games and the objective of classroom curriculum [8]. As a result, the aim of implementing digital games in classrooms has failed repeatedly regardless of the best interest of practitioners and the gaming industry [8]. According to author Karl Royle this failure is due to either the failure of games to engage the audience, or the failure of games to provide better educational experience.

This research will enable to identify a mapping between existing game-based learning systems and curriculum based learning domains which hasn’t been used by practitioners and researchers. This will provide a helpful staring guide for practitioners who want to change the current learning system to provide more technology based practical learning atmosphere.

Schools were slow to adopt new learning technologies and to make the necessary instructional changes to optimize the use of latest innovations [6]. There are many challenges and barriers faced by the schools on the application of games within the existing educational system. These barriers include, curriculum requirements, attitudes, social and cultural structures and support for teachers [6]. As there are barriers to incorporate games into curriculum, there are also barriers to develop quality educational games. These obstacles include, but not limited to: high development costs, limited sources of funding and playtesting in schools [6].

This paper will analyze the challenges and obstacles associated with integrating game-based learning in the classrooms and provide strategies to overcome those challenges. This paper will also focus on identifying the relation between learning domains and game-based learning systems and to explore...
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