Secrets of game-based learning

The rationale behind game-based learning has instant appeal: interactive play that engages learners while simultaneously immersing them in the subject matter they must master. In designing and selecting suitable games for incorporation in the classroom routine, educators and innovators must be cognizant of the principles of effective game-based instruction. In session VIR05, The Best Kept Secrets of Game-Based Learning, distinguished speakers will offer insight into how virtual environments and game-based learning can be integrated into school curricula seamlessly in order to increase learner motivation and enhance collaborative learning. The  speakers give us a sneak peek into their top secrets on successful game-based learning.


Ben Betts is a research engineer at the International Digital Laboratory, University of Warwick, UK, and his presentation is entitled Creating Epic Engagement with Game-Based Learning. His top secret is:


“Fun! People sometimes get bogged down with the details of the rewards and points and how the games are structured. In order to make game-based learning work, you have to remember the ‘fun factor.’”


Simon Egenfeldt-Nielsen, founder and CEO of Serious Games Interactive in Denmark, will present a paper entitled Important Lessons from the Last 10 Years with Game-Based-Learning. One secret he’ll share before the conference is:


“Align your games with your learning objectives.”


Petri Lounaskorpi of the University of Jyväskylä, Finland is a teacher and an ardent supporter of ICT use in education having spent many years developing web-based learning systems for students and trainee teachers. Lounaskorpi’s OEB presentation is entitled Involving Teachers in Games and Virtual Learning Environments. His top tip on game-based learning is:


“When you introduce games into the curriculum, you have to remove and replace a different element, so you must ensure that your new approach fulfils the curriculum objectives.”


Euan Mackenzie is the CEO of 3MRT, an Edinburgh-based international company that develops game-based e-learning software and visual mapping tools. He will be chairing this OEB session, and for now, he is keeping mum on his secrets!


OEB Session VIR05, The Best Kept Secrets of Game-Based Learning takes place on Thursday, December 1st at 11.45-13.00

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