BY RABIA MUGHAL
There were days when learning was restricted to the four walls of a building, with space, infrastructure, volume, and capacity limits, pen and paper, or chalk & board! Learners were trained for the future, but it was perilous for them to attain skills that go beyond their ability to memorize their curriculum just for passing exams. But Children are our legacy.
It is anticipated that they ought to be well furnished for the challenges and encounters of the 21st century with the vital skill set in an evolving global world. In this expeditious amalgamated learning landscape, we are in a global classroom now.
Education must stimulate imagination in learners to reconnoiter, create and envision to make the planet everlasting and to generate a more sustainable world.
So, this blended/hybrid learning has certainly sparked a successive transformation in the education system.
The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 is the first policy of this millennium. The importance given to education technology in the NEP confirms it has to contend with multiple crises in the system.
Learners today have to acquire various means to make the best of the technologies at their fingertips, need to develop innovative techniques for managing and monitoring their self-study, and, most significantly, have to amplify self-sufficiency over their learning styles as they can learn anytime and anywhere.
As a result of the increased accountability that hybrid learning systems attempt to bring, Learners are forced to think out of the box and use their creativity, and imagination in innovating and initiating their learning.
Teachers need to adopt engagement-boosting techniques with Positive Reinforcement and develop a Sense of competition and collaboration to enforce an Increased interest in key subjects for hybrid spaces to hold learners’ attention and focus on their learning.
Implementation of NEP2020 with technology in Education and revolutionizing curriculum need to embrace solutions for possessing the learner’s engagement and making sure there is erudition of how to be critical, confident and creative. As NEP 2020 takes a paradigm shift from content mastery to competency Mastery, Learners need 21C skills and abilities to be successful in the work-a-day world of the future.
With many states and UTs exploring the transition to digital curriculum, hybrid and blended learning, the number of resolutions accessible to address these concerns has improved. One of those keys is Game-Based Learning (GBL). This approach to curriculum and teaching is predominantly suitable to take complete advantage of the benefits of a digital curriculum, hybrid and blended learning.
Games, Sports, competitions, tournaments, Meets and Cups have been used as learning tools for centuries. Chess was used to teach strategic thinking as far back as the Middle Ages, and to teach Prussian (a German state on the southeast coast of the Baltic Sea) officers’ specific strategies the game of Kreigsspiel was invented in 1812. Beyond military strategy, the genesis of kindergarten in the mid-1800s was Friedrich Fröbel’s ideas of learning through play.
In a 2018 study, researchers found “evidence that the use of educational games could support and increase the mathematics learning outcomes.” Another 2018 systematic review of game-based learning highlighted research that found “educational games play a successful role in terms of both a better understanding of the course content by the students and the participation of the students in this process.”
The central idea behind game-based Pedagogy is teaching through repetition, failure and the accomplishment of targets and goals. Video games are built on this principle. The player starts off slow and gains in skill and ability until they’re able to competently and skillfully navigate and cross the most difficult levels. Games that are planned and designed well will offer enough difficulty to preserve it while still being easy enough for the player to win.
Game-based pedagogy takes this similar concept and applies it to the teaching-learning process. Students work toward a goal, selecting activities, and actions and experiencing the significance and penalties of those actions. They dynamically learn and practice the precise technique to do things resulting in active learning.
Game-based learning is a teaching method that uses the power of games to define and support learning outcomes. Driving and Flight simulators are a seamless illustration of the efficiency of game-based learning. Drivers and Pilots commonly practice on car or flight simulators during their training. They’re given very specific goals and practice until they can accomplish them. The result is much more effective than sitting through lectures and theory.
The prodigious thing about game-based learning is all and sundry can obtain its benefits, from preschool all the way up to Higher or senior secondary education and beyond. Where and how doesn’t matter, either — students can learn with online games, In a person with physical objects and independently or as part of a team.
Analogous to Game-Based Learning, there is another similar term but the two applications are distinctly different, and that is “gamified” or “gamification.”
In game-based learning, teachers integrate educational activities into their lessons which can help students independently or through teamwork, to invigorate old concepts or coagulate new ones.
On the other hand, Gamification twitches from the essentials of game design, such as gaining points, getting on leaderboards, earning badges, and collecting other rewards.
In a progressively tech-filled world, Digital Game-Based Learning takes things one pace further and connects technology to help make game-based learning even more engaging and effective. It bids a subtle equilibrium between in-class lessons and edifying gameplay. Teachers introduce students to new concepts and show them how they work. Then students practice these concepts through digital games.
A good Digital Game-Based Learning platform seamlessly trails improvement as learners work through subject matter and help identify where learners are excelling, as well as where they need support.
Some educators and researchers still contend that game-based learning can be disadvantageous to the educational experience because of too much screen time, games aren’t always created equally, games can be a source of distraction, the game requires a technology learning curve, and games don’t replace traditional learning strategies. However, studies continue to show that games can positively impact things like learners’ math and language learning in many ways. Game-based learning benefits problem-solving inspires critical thinking, surges student engagement and motivation, familiarizes situational learning and addresses special education needs.
Game-based learning is built to be adaptive from the beginning. During the construction process, the game is verified and accustomed to being an extra effective learning tool. As innovative information comes out in the field or educational approaches are attuned, the game can be altered to suit them. After the game is released, it can be updated with new information, approaches, styles, and more. Games even have student-monitoring analysis tools which allow teachers to monitor the students so the game can be adjusted in future updates.
Game-based learning is about changing the approach of the learner towards learning and the approach of learning toward the learner. The goal is for the learner to enjoy the process of learning itself.
As a learner learns through game-based learning, they advance much more ownership of the material, which enhances retention. The integration and amalgamation of different approaches and goal-based learning address all of the learning styles at the same time. No matter what a learner’s primary, secondary, or tertiary learning style is, a game can address them. Games can even combine multiple subjects into a single game, creating a versatile learning tool.
Learning games also provide learners with an innocuous and safe environment for failure. It can be hard for learners, especially adolescents, to fail in a public setting like a classroom. Games give them a chance to try out new things. If they fail in the environment of the game, then they can simply try again and learn from their mistakes. Instead of education based on rote memorization, students learn through experimentation and trial and error.
Game-Based Interaction Teaches Students Digital Citizenship Skills because digital games don’t only help in teaching the school’s curriculum, however, it also teaches learners to interact with one another and the artificial intelligence within the game benefits to developing skills that will help the learner to succeed in a future that is already moving toward a digital landscape.
Educationists and tech experts today look to “the metaverse” (Virtual worlds) as the next step in online social, business and learning platforms. Creating metaverses means creating many digital spaces where explorations, ventures and adventures can happen and learners and users can connect or create together.
One of the ways to prepare students for this future is to introduce them to topics and challenges in a safe digital space. Digital games provide a contained learning environment in which students can learn to interact.
The game and its design have sparked curiosity in the students, allowing them to learn through their attempts to take the game apart. This mindset can lead to students becoming coding experts or game designers themselves. On a basic level, it teaches them how to interact with Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology and all the ways humans influence the digital world.
In the world of Robotics, Simulation, virtual reality(VR), Artificial Reality (AR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) all the 21st Century skills like Critical thinking, Communication skills, Creativity, Collaboration, Problem-solving, Perseverance, Information literacy, Technology skills and digital literacy, Media literacy, Global awareness, Self-direction, Social skills, Literacy skills, Civic literacy, Social responsibility, Innovation skills, Thinking skills, are necessary to allow learners to become good digital citizens in the future. Educators who have yet to bring games into the classroom may be surprised at what they can teach students, and what students can discover within themselves.
The author is senior academic officer at JKSCERT and divisional coordinator school leadership academy
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK .