As educators, we are always looking for ways to engage our students and make learning more exciting. One way to do that is to use game based learning in the classroom. Game based learning involves using interactive games as a way of teaching and reinforcing concepts. This can be a powerful tool for helping students understand and retain what they are learning. In this blog post, we will discuss five ways to use game based learning in the classroom to help engage your learners.
1) Breaking the Ice
Game based learning is a great way to break the ice and engage students in the classroom. Games can create a sense of excitement and anticipation, which can help to make the learning environment more relaxed and enjoyable. There are many different ways to use game-based learning to start off the day or the semester.
One of the most popular ways to use game-based learning in the classroom is to play an icebreaker game. Icebreaker games can be used to introduce students to one another and help build trust between them. It also serves as an easy way for teachers to get to know their students better. Popular icebreaker games include getting students to stand up and introduce themselves, “two truths and a lie”, or “21 questions”.
Another way to use game-based learning to break the ice is through team building activities. These activities can help students learn about each other’s strengths and weaknesses and understand how to work together as a team. Popular team building activities include group problem solving exercises, scavenger hunts, or building a structure out of simple materials.
Using game-based learning as an icebreaker can help create a comfortable and engaging learning environment. Students are more likely to be open to new ideas if they feel like they can trust and enjoy being around their peers. Game-based learning is a great way to start the semester off right!
2) Review Games
Review games are an excellent way to keep learners engaged and allow them to practice the material they have just learned. This can be as simple as setting up a multiple-choice or true/false quiz, but with a gaming twist. For example, you can divide your classroom into teams, and have each team compete against one another to answer questions correctly. The team with the most correct answers at the end of the game wins. You can also create a jeopardy-style game, where students can earn points for answering questions correctly and the student with the most points at the end of the game is declared the winner. Review games can also be used to review vocabulary, key facts and concepts, or any other area of content you are teaching. Not only does this create an engaging and interactive experience for your learners, but it also reinforces important topics and encourages deeper understanding.
3) Reinforcing Concepts
Game based learning is a great way to help reinforce concepts. Games can help to solidify the knowledge gained in a lesson and allow students to practice concepts in a fun and engaging manner. For example, you could create a quiz game with multiple choice questions related to the material you have been teaching. The students can then work in teams to answer the questions and compete against each other.
You could also create a game where students must correctly identify and label items from a list. This would be particularly useful if the material includes facts that need to be memorized. A game of this type would also be suitable for teaching foreign language vocabulary.
In addition, games can be used to practice skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, and teamwork. In a problem-solving game, for example, students might have to find a solution to a given problem by analyzing clues and making deductions. Students can work together to brainstorm ideas and make decisions together as a team.
Using game based learning to reinforce concepts can make the lesson more memorable and enjoyable. It can also be used to assess student understanding of the material and provide valuable feedback on their progress.
4) Gamifying Projects
Gamifying projects is a great way to engage learners and encourage them to think critically about a given topic. By creating a game around the project, students are more likely to stay focused and complete the project with enthusiasm.
One way to gamify projects is to incorporate rewards for completing certain tasks. For example, when a student completes a research paper on a certain subject, they can be rewarded with points or an in-game currency. These points or currency can then be used to purchase resources or upgrades that will help them progress through the game.
Another way to gamify projects is to set up challenges or mini-games that must be completed before the main project can be completed. These challenges could range from word searches, jigsaw puzzles, or even trivia questions related to the topic of the project. This approach allows students to learn while having fun and encourages them to think creatively.
Finally, you can use leaderboards or other forms of competition to motivate students to complete their projects in a timely manner. Having students compete against each other can give them a sense of accomplishment and make them take ownership over the project.
By gamifying projects, teachers can create engaging learning experiences that will not only help students learn but also help them become more motivated and creative thinkers.
5) Student-Created Games
Involving students in the creation of games is an excellent way to engage them and make learning fun. When students create their own games, they take ownership of the lesson and gain valuable experience in design, problem-solving, and collaboration.
One great way to get students creating their own games is through “Gamestorming”. This process allows students to work in groups or individually to come up with their own game ideas that reinforce what they have learned. Students can use their creativity to come up with characters, rules, objectives, and environments for their game. Through the process of Gamestorming, students will be able to think critically and use problem-solving skills to ensure their game is successful.
Another way to get students creating their own games is through a game design competition. By encouraging student teams to create a game from start to finish, you can ignite a real passion for learning in your classroom. The key is to make sure that the game is challenging but achievable within the timeframe of the competition. In addition, you can provide the teams with guidance on what makes a good game, as well as resources such as tutorials or templates that they can use.
By allowing students to create their own games, you will be able to engage them in a unique way and foster their interest in learning. This can result in increased motivation and improved academic performance in your classroom.