Introduction to Using “Games” in Teaching

Ni Mfano wa kuingwa toka kwa Bwana Boniventura Godfrey wa HakiElimu

Games can take many forms, but in the classroom, any activity that involves a competition, social interaction, and some form of prize or award would be considered a game.

Classroom game activities are typically not graded, and student participation is based on the desire to contribute to a team or to individually achieve some prize or recognition.

Usually games have ‘winners.’ Ideally, even the ‘losers’ of the game should feel that the experience was enjoyable”.

There are  four factors associated with the conclusion of a instructional game are:

  • Recognizing the winner
  • The reward
  • Providing information (the game has ended to provide feedback to each other player on the progress of the game and on individual performance.)
  • The final message

Certain characteristics of the classroom environment need to be established before the teacher can expect to use role-playing, simulations, and games successfully.

Students need to know and feel that:

  1. It is safe to explore, to take risks, and to discover the implications of choice without being penalized for ‘wrong’ answers or ‘perfect’ solutions.
  2. It is permissible for strong feelings to emerge and be expressed during a role-play or simulated experience.
  3. It is important to respect each other’s ideas and to support individual interpretations and feelings. 4. It is essential to process the game play afterward in order to gain insights into the behaviors enacted and the decisions made.

If teachers do not take the time nor effort to create conditions appropriate for this strategy, they will find that these strategies will not be as fruitful an experience as he had hoped.

What is a game?


“A game is a system in which players engage in an artificial conflict, defined by rules, which result in a quantifiable outcome.”

Educational games: are the games which are used in teaching through the educational process.

Wikipedia: “Game based learning (GBL) is a branch of serious games that deals with applications that have defined learning outcomes. Generally they are designed to balance the subject matter with the gameplay and the ability of the player to retain and apply said subject matter to the real world.” Spitz (2011): “Connect and engage with audiences.”

So, what does “game based learning” actually mean? Game based learning is about understanding your users and creating value for them by providing a memorable journey in the game environment.

For example, role-playing games enable students to experience and visually understand the world from someone else’s eyes. Online social games present real world problems and raise the awareness about these issues inside the game. Game based learning is appealing to teachers as it provides students a safe place to learn from their failures.

Author: Sir Gunda

A Friend of Education

Usikae kimia sema kitu juu ya nukuu hizi

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