With the rise of gamification in education, you can use the principles of game design to make learning activities more engaging and fun.
Build and Reinforce Knowledge
One of the first reasons to use video games in the classroom is to build and reinforce knowledge. Depending on the type of game and subject matter, you can use video games to give learners hands-on practice with specific terminology and concepts.
In most games, players are given a challenge to solve within a specific context. For example, players might have to navigate their way through a maze, fight an enemy, or land a spacecraft on Mars. To succeed, they need to draw upon both their background knowledge and acquired skills. In this way, video games make learning more accessible and interactive, which can lead to better retention.
Develop Problem-Solving Skills
Another reason to use video games in the classroom is to develop problem-solving skills.
Many games put players in challenging and unfamiliar situations, requiring them to think critically and apply what they’ve learned in order to succeed.
As such, playing video games can help learners practice skills like critical thinking, decision-making, and analytical reasoning. In this way, video games can make learning more engaging by providing learners with the opportunity to apply their knowledge in novel and imaginative ways. And because video games generally provide immediate feedback, learners can quickly identify their strengths and weaknesses, and then adjust their approach accordingly.
Help Learners with Focus and Attention
A related reason to use video games in the classroom is to help learners with focus and attention. And video games can help with this in several ways, including by reducing boredom and increasing motivation. They can also give learners a chance to put their energy towards a constructive and rewarding goal.
Because video games engage players and require their full attention, they can help learners break away from negative or counterproductive distractions, like fidgeting, daydreaming, or having a short attention span. However, it’s important to note that no single game will necessarily provide the same results for every learner, so it’s critical to select games that best meet your learners’ needs.