ISSUES IMPACTING GAMES-BASED LEARNING IN FORMAL SECONDARY EDUCATION

M. Ulicsak, K. Facer, and R. Sandford

Keywords

Gamesbased learning in formal education, curriculum content, competency skills, game narrative

Abstract

This paper proposes a model for analysing the ways in which teachers negotiate the tensions between games narratives and curriculum objectives in incorporating commercial off-the-shelf computer games into formal educational practice. The paper is based on the year long Teaching with Games project which comprized surveys of over 1000 teachers and students, and 10 exploratory case studies of teachers use of COTS games in 4 schools with over 300 children. The games used in the study were The Sims 2, RollerCoaster Tycoon 3, and Knights of Honor. These were used in "traditional lessons and in diverse competency and content-based curricular environments. A key finding was that teachers focusing on encouraging competency skills such as teamwork and problem-solving were more likely to maintain the overarching narrative of the game in lesson activities than teachers who were focusing on students’ acquisition of content knowledge.

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