Games and Gamification Research

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    02-Oct-2015

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This was written as an assignment for grad school and is being used as evidence of researching game based learning.

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<p>Games and Gamification_Turner</p> <p>After reading 10 Emerging Educational Technologies &amp; How They Are Being Used Across the Globe, I was most intrigued by the use of games and gamification in education. Game-based learning has not only been used in K-12 classrooms, it has also entered higher education programs to help train architects and nurses. Simulation games can put the participants into real world scenarios in which they can be evaluated. The evaluation can give instructors insight on what the participants may need further practice on to improve necessary skills. An interactive fictional game of history can allow participants to interact with historical figures and give them a visual experience of the geography and architecture of the times. I think the incorporation of games into learning engages learners of all ages. Students are less likely to become bored with lessons in which they can become engrossed. Weak academic skills students can be enhanced through games. Our school uses Classworks, iLearn/iPass, Study Island, and others to engage learners through digital environments to help them learn and practice skills. These programs are used to help students improve reading, math, science, and social studies skills.</p> <p>Previous research indicated that students in grades kindergarten through second do not have the fine motor skills necessary for keyboarding. Further research confirmed that keyboarding instruction should begin in third grade. Research supported the use of games for teaching keyboarding. Digital games and lessons will be used for students to practice keyboarding skills.</p> <p>Teaching Keyboarding: More Than Just Typing (www.educationworld.com/a_tech/tech/tech072.shtml) confirms that keyboarding should be taught in third grade. Proper form and hand placement on home row keys should be taught to third graders. Students learn key location through practice drills. Fourth and fifth graders should be expected to continue proper form and hand placement on home row keys when completing meaningful activities, such as: typing reports, stories, and poems. Technique is the most important aspect of keyboarding in elementary school. Accuracy and speed becomes important later as technique is mastered. </p> <p>Planning game-based learning (www.multilingual.com) states that games tap into the natural desire of competition and challenge. Combining standards and activities is a great combination. Students venture into virtual worlds to work towards goals in a risk-free environment. Making mistakes is part of the experience where students are not afraid to try again. There are eight types of gameplay: multiple choice and true-false, puzzles, turn-based games, matching, searching for hidden objects, shooter games, racing through an obstacle course, and sorting. Two or more types of gameplay are included in successful game-based learning software. Businesses and foreign governments have used game-based learning to train personnel. Evaluation of Selected Keyboarding Software (http://proxygsu-ecor.galileo.usg.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&amp;db=bth&amp;AN=9106173924&amp;site=eds-live&amp;scope=site) discusses the comparison of five keyboarding programs by sixty-six participants. The programs were evaluated according to: general software information, educational value, technical value, and final recommendation. Some of the strengths found in the software were: promotion of proper keyboarding techniques, colorful graphics, sound, reinforcement, meaningful letter sequences, analysis of student performance, immediate feedback, practice opportunities, user friendly, and the ability to print reports. The importance of previewing software prior to purchase is stressed, but understood that time, money, and copyright constraints may restrict educators from purchasing and reviewing up-to-date software. </p> <p>Students will be imported into Typing Web (www.typingweb.com). They will participate in lessons and games provided on this site. Typing Web will help track student performance which will provide data to help plan future lessons. Utilizing this website will give insight as to how students respond to digital lessons and instructional games. </p> <p>Dance Mat Typing (www.bbc.co.uk/schools/typing) will help take students from the beginning stages of keyboarding and add letters as they progress through each level. This website will help teach students the home row keys and encourage students to focus on learning key location instead of speed. Using Dance Mat Typing will help me discover how students respond to keyboarding lessons/games with musical breaks between lessons which help students rest their hands while being entertained. </p> <p>E-Learning for Kids (e-learningforkids.org) has five modules that will help get students practicing and perfecting keyboarding skills. The tai chi module will help motivate young learners. Each typing module includes some aspect of history from dinosaurs, pyramids of Egypt, history of the automobile, space travel and to imagining the future. This website will give insight as to whether students enjoy games with a historical twist. </p> <p>All three instructional game websites will help me discover which games and lessons elementary school students enjoy and which games are more beneficial for keyboarding instruction. My goal is for students to improve their knowledge of key location. Another goal is for students to learn to type without looking at the keyboard. Accuracy is desired after students attain the first goal. Speed will improve as students become better typists.</p>