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  • Writer's pictureRachel Vassanthan

Game-Based Learning in the Classroom

In this day and age, one of the best methods to get a comprehensive education is through game-based learning. The power of games is harnessed as a teaching tool in game-based learning, to establish and support the learning objectives. Accepting that engaging games and activities may in fact be used to promote effective learning is the first step towards appreciating game-based learning. To facilitate students in meeting their learning outcomes, it is one instructional strategy that is growing in popularity.

There are several advantages to game-based learning. First off, it successfully teaches crucial soft skills like cooperation, judgment, and critical thinking. This is particularly true given how much younger learners are becoming technologically savvy.

Other components of game-based learning include engagement, quick rewards, and healthy competition. This indicates that students are continuously motivated to learn even while having fun. This form of learning does not have an age limit, which is an important characteristic. The advantages extend to learners from preschool through post-secondary education and far beyond. This approach to learning transcends the boundaries of a traditional classroom and includes remote learning and online activities that may be played independently or in groups.

Game-based learning is a helpful technique to employ, either to reinforce new ideas or review old ones. Teachers may develop engaging learning environments that boost student engagement by utilising the extensive knowledge of games that today's students possess.

Of course, game-based learning is not exclusively digitised. For instance, "Simon Says" game was utilised to emphasise the value of paying attention. There are numerous educational games that may be played without the need of a computer. Non-digital game-based learning has various benefits, such as affordability, less administrative burden, lesser prior knowledge, and potential for improved social engagement.

At Astor International School, our lessons are taught through games. Lessons are considerably more enjoyable for students, and learning speed also greatly increases. For instance, last month the upper primary classes began their Algebra journey. They took part in a game known as "AlgebRACE." They were taught how to solve an unknown value at the start of the class. They completed a few practice questions in their books after understanding the theory. They then received a cup filled with questions. They split up into two groups and competed to finish all the questions in the cup as soon as possible. They had to sprint to the board, perform three jumping jacks, choose a question, write the solution on the board, and then pass it to the next person.

In addition to academic learning, game-based learning may also help students develop soft skills. On the first day, students were introduced to a new game called ‘knot-it'. They had to hold the hands of someone on the adjacent side, as they stood in a circle and extended their hands. It was their intention to untangle themselves without letting go. The value of collaboration and communication was reinforced through this game.

Game-based learning involves altering how students approach learning and how learning approaches students. The objective is for pupils to have excitement in the learning experience itself. Through game-based learning, students have a greater sense of ownership over the information, which enhances retention. All the varied learning styles are simultaneously addressed through the use of several techniques in the game. More than one subject may also be incorporated into a single game, making it a very flexible teaching tool.

Most importantly, learning through games provides learners a secure environment for failure. For students, especially teenagers, failing in a public place like a classroom can be challenging. Games give them an opportunity to step out of their comfort zone, try new things, and encourage students to attempt again to correct their errors. Students learn through experimentation and trial-and-error rather than through rote memorisation-based teaching.

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