Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
MANAGERIAL PROBLEMS
IN COMPUTER GAME-
BASED LEARNING
education system. Linderoth (2004) believes that
the knowledge which players gain from playing
computer games is context specific and rooted in
the meaning of the specific game. This criticism
is echoed by Kirriemuir and McFarlane (2004)
in Arnseth (2006). These writers (Kirriemuir and
McFarlane) observe that “the games have been
too simplistic, that tasks are repetitive and poorly
designed in the sense that activities are limited
to isolated skills or content, and hence, they do
not afford any active exploration “(p. 5). The
implication of this observation is that learning
through computer games may not be suitable for
transfer learning.
Other critics who oppose the use of com-
puter games for instruction point out that those
games may have negative impact on the play-
ers' attitude and behaviors (Anderson and Dill
(2000). Skeptics like Rieber and Noah (1997)
have discussed how games may negatively affect
learning. According to them, students who do not
use velocity-acceleration game scored higher in
physic concept posttest than those students who
are exposed to the velocity-acceleration game.
Rieber and Noah claim that the game users become
proficient on the game they play but remark that
the gamers are not aware of the underlying as-
sumptions upon which the game is based because
they have not reflected on the games but rather
applied the game mechanically. Becker (2001)
warns that the advocates of games for learning
do not consider students' choices because games
differ especially for older students. Clark (1993)
has argued that children may become violent as
they engage in violent and aggressive computer
and video games. Overwhelming evidence from
the literature indicates that computer games may
not necessarily motivate students to learn; those
games may also impact on the gamers negatively.
Wlodkowski (1984) notes that the problem of
motivation decreases when students discover what
they want to do and they are expected to succeed.
Managerial problems have been blamed for some
of the failures in the workplace including in edu-
cational institutions. Rolstandas and Anderson
(2000) argue that managerial problem and other
problems may prevent people from doing their
job. These authors argue that:
There are three broad possibilities. First, people
may lack the knowledge or skill to do the job
effectively (ignorance problem). Second, people
know how to do the job but fail to do so because
they are not motivated to do so (incentive prob-
lem). Third people know how to do the job and
want to do the job but are prevented from doing
so by inadequate tools, poor communications or
obstructive organizational structures (managerial
problem) (p. 191).
The use of computer games for learning suf-
fers from what Rolstandas and Anderson call
ignorance, incentive and managerial problems.
Ignorance problem exists because computer game
designers may not possess the content knowledge
and may not understand pedagogical process to
enable them design educational games that are
engaging and entertaining. Perhaps, future trend
could be to initiate structural changes on the part
of computer game industries by requiring them
to address pedagogical issues in the design phase
of educational games. Teacher training institu-
tions could also expand their training programs
to include basic game design skill. The idea is
to transfer elements of computer games that are
entertaining and engaging into classroom teaching
and learning processes.
Incentive problem also exists because elec-
tronic artists and game designers may have the
know ledge to design games for instructional
purposes. However, they are reluctant to design
games that could have educational value because
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