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VIDEO GAMES AND STUDENTS' LEARNING
Whether video games should be introduced into schools and used to help educate students
Introduction of Video Games into Schools to Help Educate Students
In the contemporary field of learning, several scientific domains deal with both multi-dimensional and abstract phenomena. This present a number of difficulties to the students, making it uneasy for students to comprehend or apply their knowledge content. In order to grasp these abstract scientific concepts, students should be capable of building elastic and testable learning models, which may aid them in easy understanding. Most often, students are subjected to developing accurate mental scientific models, which hold no real-life references. In order to incorporate such invisible factors, concepts, or complex abstractions into easy and understandable concepts, there is a need for visual instructions to students. I, thereby, support the introduction of video games into schools and their maximum utilization in student instructions since this could help them understand the basic mental concepts.
Historically, educators and scientists have used computation models in order to investigate and explore the complex phenomena and systems. These models served as tools of scientific computations, intended to visualize the multifarious phenomena and concepts for an enhanced understanding. This concept should thereby be integrated into student classrooms through digital video-gaming in order for students to learn and understand the complex scientific and math concepts (Bourgonjon, De Grove, De Smet, Van Looy, Soetaert&Valcke, 2013). The digital game-based learning incorporates the use of computer game-based approach in order to deliver, enhance, and support learning, teaching, evaluation and assessments; hence the betterment of results achievement in comparison to the traditional approaches towards instruction. According to Gonzales, Pomares, Damas, Garcia-Sanchez, Rodriguez-Alvarez and Palomares (2013), the motivational aspect of computer-based digital games holds the potential of facilitating an active and constructive educational knowledge. They define the digital video game-based learning as the most effective method that can enable learners create a constructive knowledge through playing, maintaining high motivation, and applying the acquired knowledge in solving problems relating to real-life situations.
The motivations and engagements offered by video games alongside their potentiality in providing concrete learning experiences attract a significant interest in students. Therefore, the integration of video game-based learning into educational institutions and the existing teaching practices, with a sole aim of facilitating achievements of a standard curriculum and educational objectives, would increase students' motivation and help them develop a positive attitude towards scientific subjects, as well as other educational subjects (Bourgonjon, et. al, 2013). Evidence presented from several educational research institutions elicits that the application of educational video games in teaching Mathematics at school levels could at least as effective as the non-gaming approaches in relation to the achievement of subject matter objectives in education. Through student engagement in long-lasting video game supported educational activities, there is a likelihood of developing and enhancing students' skills in problem-solving; hence the achievement of improved educational results in math and scientific assessments.
Regarding the need for supporting students draw the possible links between school-based scientific and math concept and the real world situations, (Panoutsopoulos & Sampson, 2012) prove that by utilizing the role-paying educational video games in design and implementation of meaningful educational activities, students are at a position of acquiring concrete examples when highlighting the potential application of the abstract educational procedures and concepts in specific domains. In this regard, Panoutsopoulos and Sampson (2012) insist on the need for suitable educational designs targeting use of educational video games by appealing that the monitoring of game activities in compliance with the supplementary resources and/or tools is essential for the achievement of the envisioned learning outcomes. Nevertheless, the students' opinions regarding their participation in game-supported education diversely changes depending on their individual attitude towards math and scientific subjects. A research conducted by the digital game-based learning researchers proves that: (i) the students involved in the video game-supported educational activities achieve comparable results with those who do not, and this is only with regards to the subject matter educational goals, (ii) the digital game-supported educational activities result into better attainment of the overall educational aims, and (iii) there are no significance and observable discrepancies regarding the students' attitudes towards math, scientific teachings, as well as the related learning subjects (Panoutsopoulos & Sampson, 2012).
A number of scientific educational researches on video game all point towards promising directions, regarding their inconclusive outcomes on student learning and their related attitudes (Marino, Israel, Beecher & Basham, 2013). These studies examined the students' reading abilities and disability status in close relations with their behaviors in video game-playing outside school, as well as their overall perception on the use of scientific video games during school hours. The results provided that all the students confirmed their high-level preference in to video game-based scientific learning rather than the laboratory-based, the traditional texts, or the internet-basedlearning. An increasing number of evidence suggest that video games hold the potential in the promotion of a critical attribute related to scientific literacy. Consequently, video games can improve students' performances across varied ranges of ability levels within the field of science (Marino, Israel, Beecher & Basham, 2013). For instance, the video game "River City" in one of the most enhanced and comprehensive components science curriculum, which has been useful for over 8,500 students over the past decade.
In a study to explore the effectiveness of video games in learning, (Anderson & Barnett, 2013) used a video gaming technology to facilitate a quick understanding of rudimentary electromagnetism among the middle school students. For their intended success, they explored the impacts of using a game known as "Supercharged" on the middle school students to assess their understanding of electromagnetic concepts, in comparison to students who piloted a traditional inquiry oriented investigations against those similar concepts. During the laboratory sessions of the science course, the experimental group played the "supercharged" while the control group conducted learning via a series of guided methods of inquiry (Anderson & Barnett, 2013). At the end of this study, analysis was performed, and the results portrayed a significant difference between the experimental and control groups concerning the knowledge gains from pre-assessment to post-assessment. Evidently, students from the experimental group were capable of providing more pronounced responses on the descriptions of the electric fields than those who were in the control group. Additionally, students from the experimental group could explain the relationships and influences of distance on the electric forces experienced by charges within the electric field. This result was solely due to their interaction with the "supercharged" game (Anderson & Barnett, 2013). Result analysis in this study confirms that the incorporation of video games into students' learning leads in the provision of affirmative learning outcomes. The study further suggested that a comprehensive approach, upon which video games alongside hands-on activities are incorporated, with every activity obtaining information from the other (Anderson & Barnett, 2013), could serve as a powerful technique for supporting students' understanding on their scientific studies. As the embedded video gaming systems get prevalent in educational daily life, several universities will gain much interest and consequently incorporate the embedded gaming systems in related courses during the students' undergraduate curricula (Gonzales, et. al., 2013).
The latency of using videos games in the promotion of learning within classrooms is currently gaining recognition. Few studies have explored the mechanisms of video games and how they impact teaching, as well as the entire learning curricula in classrooms (Marino, Israel, Beecher & Basham, 2013). Their findings indicate high effectiveness of this strategy in communicating lots of the factual contents, thereby promoting the student-student social interactions, as well as student-teacher interactions within and outside the classroom, alongside the virtual world. According toGonzales, et al. (2013), video games currently serve as a fundamental feature of life within the contemporary "internet" generation. Commercial educational video games motivate students in mental learning. This has been…[continue]
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