Learning and Games

Teachers  have been experimenting with the use of games for a while and focused on in this project was to investigate the challenges in implementing this use both in mainstream as well as in SEN classrooms and to understand what it takes to convince teachers and middle managers to use it.

It was important therefore to establish how digital games can be used to allow for this understanding to occur and to enhance some of the learning processes for the target population.

For example, a recent study found that dyslexic children who trained on action video games showed significant improvements on basic measures of both attention and reading ability, suggesting future directions for the study of dyslexia intervention paradigms (Bavelier et al. 2013).

The game creation process involves many underlying processes and allows many skills to be developed and not just coding or programming skills. The main focus is on learning, not on the technology per se, and the pedagogies are based on psychological processes including motivation, communication, collaboration, self-regulation and utilising working memory.

Specific interests of the child are encouraged when considering the context of the game to be made, and some of the following learning and teaching principles are involved:

Instantaneous feedback

  • support for sequencing
  • overcoming anxieties
  • accepting failure/making mistakes
  • producing an artefact
  • motivation and self regulation
  • confidence and learner autonomy
  • feelings of independence
  • taking turns to work together
  • working at the right pace
  • passive as well as active learning
  • variety of learning approaches and of tools
  • taking risks
  • problem solving and
  • debugging
  • and more….

Based on these principles and processes, which were identified in the case studies described by the participating teachers, we aimed specifically to draw some practice-based lessons learned.