Video games, according to the entire adult generation, have a negative impact on children’s and teenagers’ behavior and academic performance. And it can even lead to aggression toward others. All of this may seem true from the words of parents who want to limit their children from anything violent. But is it really the fact that video games are cruel and do no good? How do teachers, people who teach children and students, feel about this?
The Games & Learning Research Center studied this topic in-depth, and the early findings were just published on the organization’s website. The study was prompted by a contradiction between the growing usage of video games in classrooms and the lack of data on the outcomes of such learning and criteria for evaluating such learning activities.
Most of the questions focused on the content of learning when digital games are used in the educational process, the usage of evaluation data, and an interesting aspect of video games’ impact on underperforming students’ learning activities.
Here are some of the study’s results.
The first set of questions dealt with the specifics of learning content in which video games are used. Teachers who prefer games said they usually use games to teach content beyond the standards (45%) and, in classes, created with the local component of the curriculum (43%) or the state standard (41%).
At the same time, for many teachers, digital games, like textbooks, remain a tool used primarily to study. Despite the fact that many teachers emphasize the attractiveness of games and their superior effectiveness in the learning process, there is still no more or less specific data on how much content students comprehend within the context of such a lesson.
Furthermore, the study discovered that just a small percentage of teachers use digital games to assess student learning. However, the developers say that using games for assessment is especially crucial today because video games are increasingly being considered as a component of the curriculum rather than a separate element. But even with extra tutoring lessons, students learn additional multimedia materials using video games and use professional “write my paper for cheap” services to study additional material efficiently.
Only 29% of respondents who use games control the learning process during games or classes, according to the standard’s requirements (resorting to so-called formative assessment). Teachers then use these measurements to adapt lessons and focus on problem areas that pupils struggle with.
Even fewer, only 17%, use games as a form of the final assessment, which reflects the level of student achievement at the end of a lesson or an entire semester.
The current challenge for developers creating grading systems for their digital games is, unsurprisingly, whether educators will use these systems. The answer, according to the study’s findings, is yes in most cases.
Nearly 43% of teachers who use video games in the classroom say they use the games’ built-in grading systems. Nearly a quarter of teachers, on the other hand, said they don’t evaluate at all the success of students who study with video games.
After analyzing this data, the researchers decided to go even further and asked those teachers who use the grading systems built into video games to find out what they do with the information they receive.
The majority of these teachers use the data to adapt their lessons, focusing on areas where children are struggling and reinforcing content that they already know. Many teachers also compare student progress at the beginning and end of the lesson using game grade data.
Interestingly, few teachers use the game’s tools to keep their students under control. Only 39% of people say they use these games to estimate how long it will take them to complete tasks.
Helping Students Who Are Falling Behind
As the previous data show, many teachers view digital games as a special help to underperforming students who have difficulty with traditional learning. When the researchers asked about students with learning problems and the possible impact of video games on their performance, the respondents’ answers came as a surprise.
Nearly 80% of teachers said that incorporating video games into the lesson increased students’ understanding of core curriculum issues. Furthermore, more than 70% of teachers said that their students’ so-called noncognitive, nonmeasurable skills, such as collaboration and interaction, have improved.
In addition, teachers reported that underperforming students were more likely to attend classes (58%) and, importantly, an overwhelming majority (73%) said that the games did not lead to behavioral problems in the classroom.
Well, the results of another study speak in favor of gamification. Of course, much has not yet been studied. The same question of developing criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of games remains open, as well as the question of the most appropriate proportion of games in the learning process. Furthermore, the study of the research data reveals that many teachers include games in their lessons without completely comprehending the benefits. Simply put, they are unable to use this tool.
However, the current state of affairs suggests that we should keep looking for new methods to use games successfully. And the process is really going on: researchers organize studies, conduct surveys, and write research papers.