I am basically researching on the motivational factor of games for learning. If possible, could you share with me, the feedback you received from the students on the use of games and the results after the use of games? Any supporting material will be of great help in my research. I appreciate your help...Gauri has indicated willingness to share final research. So, I'll put this up for others who may want to join in for what is a very worthwhile focus question.
Do you have any feedback from your students about the game based learning? I mean how did they react to the change in the learning process from the usual curriculum to the game based learning?
My initial thoughts:
Feedback can be overt or implicit.
At the start I detect a lot of interest in game making. This is much stronger amongst boys than girls.
We dont teach computing at year 8 (the first year of secondary in South Australia) in my school but at the moment I have about a dozen year 8 boys who are pestering me on a regular basis to offer them game making in some form - they are very keen to learn it
When it comes to making games and / or solving game based problems what I find is that some students are eventually put off because at some stage it becomes "hard"
a) to achieve the effects they want to achieve
b) to debug - some students express irritation and get fedup about the demands from the program to debug
However, other students continue to accept the challenges as they arise, immerse themselves in the process and get a lot out of it.
This depends on their willingness to become more self reliant learners (perseverance, try different approaches, think logically about the problem, look up the manual, ask help from others)
Implicit feedback includes things like working on game development outside of lesson, borrowing the CD with game resources from the resource centre, enrolling in a game maker course, asking questions about gamemaker outside of normal lessons. All of this activity does happen wrt Game Maker and does not happen as much wrt other things that I teach (eg. chess, web design)
Other feedback (the sort of games students choose to make)
Recently I asked my year 11s to design an educational game - defined by me as a game that will teach a real person something (in the final week the expectation was that they would invite a real person in to evaluate their game)
The sort of games they attempted to develop were:
- soccer (teaching offside and red / yellow card rules)
- car (teaching road rules)
- war (teaching facts about WW2, whilst making a fun shooter in the process!)
- maths (simulations of primary maths problems)
- spatial (find your way around a large area, with clues)
- school (Q&A about traditional schools subjects)
- finches (how to look after finches)
- alchemy (the objective of this game was to memorize the symbols for various alchemical symbols)
Many students (boys more than girls) like the idea of game making and quite a few are prepared to become more self reliant in their learning in order to create a game of their choice. Some drop out of the process because their motivation / interest wavers when hard problems are encountered. So, its not for everyone but everyone ought to receive an invitation.