My learning curve throughout INF541 has been a steep one. My blog post (Ryall, 2018) highlights my lack of knowledge early in this subject and I reflected at each part along the process about my growth in knowledge. When I began the Game Based Learning (GBL) course the term was something that I had heard irregularly and in my mind mainly revolved around what I had seen of glimpses of Minecraft Education. As I started to learn more about games throughout the modules and analysed a game based on mechanics from Turkay, I began to see connections between learning outcomes and GBL (Turkay, Hoffman, Kinzer, Chantes, & Vicari, 2014). This is highlighted in my final assessment as I sought to link the New South Wales syllabus for Stage One with a game based environment.
In my first reflection after reading module one I discussed how the use of board games and card games was a prominent part of my childhood while reflecting on Keen 4 as an early memory of using computer games. If you think to todays children the world is vastly different and students now have access to a whole host of games including some specifically designed for learning such as Minecraft for Education. This was highlighted in my reflection on my game design when I quoted Prensky who refers to today’s students as digital natives (Prensky, 2001). My aim throughout the course was always to learn more about how we can successfully cater for “Digital Natives (Prensky, 2001).”
Discussion Board – CSU 11 March 2018
As my knowledge through the course grew and I became involved discussions with peers and became more aware of other gaming experiences.
Discussion Board – CSU 13 March 2018
I found I connected with the literacy part of the course during module two as I began to make links with my school context. I thought deeply at narrative functions in games and the ability for narrative to support learning especially in literacy. Connolly, Stansfield and Boyle (Connolly, 2009) explained the overlap between ‘gaming literacy’ and ‘textual literacy’ and videos earlier in the module discussed how hard it is to master techniques of true emotional storytelling through narrative functions. Why can’t students, who sometimes have a simpler viewpoint than adults, attempt to use their knowledge of both games and writing to combine the two? I think as children get older they may have more of an understanding of both the gaming and literary world and find it easier to merge the two. As I had little knowledge on how I would go about creating a game, due to my limited knowledge, I steered away from the chance to create a storytelling game for my final project.
As I have continued along the journey my strong belief is that the vast experiences students come with to school should be harnessed. I still feel this resembles my belief about game based learning. That, if given the opportunity, students would really enjoy taking on multiple identifies while practicing what they have learnt within a context.
I reflect back on my knowledge and I know it has grown. I now quote Whitton when I refer to gaming elements and have a rich understanding of how game design stimulates player involvement (Whitton, 2009). I have enjoyed delving into the depths of GBL and the rich conversation which has been stimulated through discussions with my peers.
Connolly, T. (2009). Games-Based Learning Advancements for Multi-Sensory Human Computer Interfaces: Techniques and Effective Practices: Techniques and Effective Practices: IGI Global.
Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants part 1. On the horizon, 9(5), 1-6.
Turkay, S., Hoffman, D., Kinzer, C. K., Chantes, P., & Vicari, C. (2014). Toward Understanding the Potential of Games for Learning: Learning Theory, Game Design Characteristics, and Situating Video Games in Classrooms. Computers in the Schools, 31, 2-2), p.2-22. doi:10.1080/07380569.2014.890879
Whitton, N. (2009). Learning with Digital Games : A Practical Guide to Engaging Students in Higher Education. London, UNITED KINGDOM: Taylor & Francis Group.