Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
learning encounter. Schafersman (1991) warns
that critical thinking is crucial in learning and this
can be achieved as students analyze, synthesize
and reflect on learning activities by completing
home work, assignments, examination etc. It is
not clear how computer games will be used to
accomplish all these activities. The findings of
Gokhale (1995) demonstrate that “collaborative
learning fosters the development of critical think-
ing through discussion, clarification of ideas, and
evaluation of others ideas” (p. 8).
the type of technology to be used to (whether it
is computer games or not) support educational
practice. Any technology used for instruction
including computer games should also provide
opportunities for students to engage in follow-up
learning activities. Game designers should also
consider course enrichment activities in order to
assist students sustain learning.
Leh (2005) has revealed that teachers agree that
they did not resist technology per se but agreed that
they could not fully integrate it into their own prac-
tices because of the organizational, administrative,
pedagogical or personal constraints” (p. 19). Some
teachers are naïve about computer games espe-
cially older teachers. Therefore, it begs the ques-
tion whether teachers can successfully integrate
computer games into the process of teaching and
learning if they have limited knowledge on how
to use games to facilitate learning or how to play
the games. Bosch and Cardinale (1993) admit that
while it is necessary for teachers to be provided
with technological skill, it is equally important
to provide them with the skill and techniques on
how to use technology to facilitate instruction. By
the same token, it will be desirable for teachers
to understand how computer games work, their
strengths and weaknesses and how the games can
be used to motivate and sustain learning.
The problem of balancing having fun and
meeting educational goal has been discussed by
Moreno-Ger and Fernández-Manjón (2008). If
students do not find games entertaining, they will
not play and if they spend too much time playing, it
will be detrimental to their academic success. The
desire to achieve balance between students having
fun and at the same learning effectively makes
educational games difficult to design (Koster,
2004). In spite of the fact that teachers may not be
ready to implement computer game-base learning
strategies, there are enthusiasts who believe that
computer games can impact positively on learning.
Any tool used for the facilitation of instruction
must be aligned with pedagogical processes. The
overarching issue is to determine how computer
games can be aligned with lesson objectives, meth-
ods of instruction, evaluation, pace of learning
and learning styles. Gaming technology must take
into consideration, these pedagogical principles
upon which teaching and learning practices are
rationalized. Ignoring the principles of learning in
the application of game technology tantamounts
to overlooking the cognitive processes through
which learning occurs. Diaz and Bontembal
(2000) cogently point out that “pedagogy-based
training begins by helping teachers understand the
role of learning theory in the design and function
of class activities and in the selection and use of
instructional technologies” (p. 6). This means that
the selection of gaming activity must be based on
the the principles of learning theories upon which
its selection is justified. Fletcher (1996) believes
that “we must not lose sight that technology for
the most pat is a tool and it should be used in ap-
plications which address educational concerns”
(p.87). Educational computer games are no
exception; their roles in instructional design and
delivery need to be examined. This means that in
selecting instructional objectives, teachers should
take into consideration instructional methods,
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