How Can Games Be Bridges Among Formal, Non-Formal And Informal Learning? What Can Policies Do To Make It Effective?

Enrique Hinostroza
November 24, 2015
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Well designed games for education (serious games?) can engage players (students) in activities carried out outside the school context and time. Therefore they can be used to extend learning beyond the formal settings. Also, there are many games traditional played in different cultures that can be used as learning opportunities in the classroom, forming bridges between informal and formal learning contexts.

Although to play some games sophisticated maths, biology, chemistry or other knowledge (usually part of the curriculum) can be very useful, to be a successful player it is not necessary to master the concepts, just to use the mechanics. Therefore, simply playing the game is not enough to learn, formal guidance is necessary.

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Enrique Hinostroza
Dec 01, 2015 07:07 pm
I see the connection between the use of games and the "formal" curriculum and assessment, in this sense, Games could be acting as bridges between... More formal and informal learning, but in order to do so, both types of "learning" should be recognized (formal & informal). Is this happening? Also, curriculums could incorporate these bridges, encouraging informal learning and recognizing non formal learning opportunities. However, the quality and certification of what students are learning in these contexts is still an issue. Or not? Less
Martina Roth
Nov 26, 2015 06:48 pm
Great examples from Queensland and Victorian shools, that it can work, when driven by responsible taechers, assisted by univs/Researchers and suppo... Morerted by governments: Dr Catherine Beavis, is a professor of education at Griffith University. Her research expertise centres on literacy, digital culture, young people and computer games. One of the areas she is looking at is what happens to curriculum and assessment when digital games are introduced into schools. So I was wondering, particularly focusing on the assessment part of it, what happens to assessment when digital games are introduced? What they wanted to do was see what other elements people would want to add in to their assessment that would recognise what games achieve. It’s pretty widely recognised that games do all sorts of things like foster collaboration and problem solving, those kinds of things. And so they set out with the teachers [in their research] to try to look at how to develop an assessment framework that would recognise all these kinds of other learning that games make possible. But when they spoke with their teachers ... they said ‘we don’t want to do this’. They said ‘we can already see the kinds of assessment we’re meant to be doing as far as the Australian Curriculum goes. We can already see how to achieve this using games, the last thing we want to do is add more items to tick a box for’. So the univ come up with a terrific scheme about assessment but our teachers said ‘there’s enough going on, leave the kids alone’ ... so that was a surprise for us. ... So, one more proof: it's MOST about teachers... And policy can help to enable and empower teachers with innovative methods, incl gaming One of the things I think is really crucial in all of this is to actually listen to teachers and to work within what teachers’ perceptions and values are. The teachers we work with are very open and keen to explore things. Some of the kids in our project had done a lot of games-based work before, particularly the Victorian schools had been part of previous research projects. Up in Queensland, we had a more mixed bag, some kids had worked with games before and some hadn’t at all. One of the areas you’re looking at is what happens to curriculum and assessment when digital games are introduced into schools. So I was wondering, particularly focusing on the assessment part of it, what happens to assessment when digital games are introduced? What we wanted to do was see what other elements people would want to add in to their assessment that would recognise what games achieve. It’s pretty widely recognised that games do all sorts of things like foster collaboration and problem solving, those kinds of things. And so we set out with the teachers [in our research] to try to look at how you might develop an assessment framework that would recognise all these kinds of other learning that games make possible. But when we spoke with our teachers ... they said ‘we don’t want to do this’. They said ‘we can already see the kinds of assessment we’re meant to be doing as far as the Australian Curriculum goes. We can already see how to achieve this using games, the last thing we want to do is add more items to tick a box for’. So we thought we’d come up with a terrific scheme about assessment but our teachers said ‘there’s enough going on, leave the kids alone’ ... so that was a surprise for us. Less
Benjamin Vergel...
Nov 26, 2015 02:45 pm
The level of awareness on the use of games in education is still low. This is true in many Asian countries, from policymakers down to the schools. ... MoreUNESCO and INTEL can help provide answers to these basic questions: -- Are games built on sound learning principles? -- Do games really provide personalized learning opportunities? -- Do games really provide more engagement for the learner? -- Do games really teach 21st century skills? -- Do games really provide an environment for authentic and relevant assessment? Games in education will become part of the education agenda/policy discussion when policymakers: 1) understand the answers to the above questions; 2) see actual advantage of 'games in education' over the current model. Less
Jonathas Mello
Nov 24, 2015 08:06 pm
The gaming industry had revealed some compelling facts about who were the gamers in the US in 2014 (http://venturebeat.com/2014/04/29/gaming-advoca... Morecy-group-the-average-gamer-is-31-and-most-play-on-a-console/). 59% of Americans play games, from which 52% are men - quite balanced gender! The average age is 31 years old. These data reveals a large potential group of users that are used to the gaming logic and would tend to try educational video games IF educational games are engaging and well-developed. Video games could be a way to learn about specialized topics or subjects of interest for young adults. The challenge would be to design engaging games with educational purposes, after all these games would compete with the commercial industry, which counts with huge budget to develop its games. In that sense, policies to incentive the development of educational games could have a beneficial effect, similarly to the policies to support electric car production and purchase. Less