While a few other blogs picked up on this on late last week, not many have dug into all 73 pages of de Freitas Game-based Learning Report. The report itself is a nice combination of literature reviews and case studies of programs using video games to teach. In fact the report ties in nicely to Christy and Chris's posts about the use of Neverwinter Nights and other mods for instructional gaming. The report uses Neverwinter Nights and other games as case studies... all of which could give us, as librarians, ideas for modding games to fit our instructional needs.
Here are some of the other highlights of the report, from both the literature review and the case studies:
- While games for education and learning are often advocated, the assessment is limited.
- Games do help students reach learning objectives, but they are not always the same objectives as initially desired.
- Games, by themselves can only do so much, but with discussion & supplemental materials games are very successful in reaching the learning objectives
- Like any educational technology, video games should have clearly defined learning objectives.
- There needs to be a development of a "best practices" application for those educators looking to integrate games into their classrooms
Overall this is a good report for both those already involved in educational gaming (the case studies and bibliography are both worthy of follow up study) and those just starting to get interested in video games in education (the introduction, summary, and definitions are a good place to start).
There is also some discussion about the need to standardized the terminology and vocabulary for educational games and games for learning. The report states there is a variety of definitions between commercial and educational games, and thus creates confusion for both educators and students. I would argue that creating a separate vocabulary for educational games may end up isolating our games from the immersion and motivation of traditional mass market games. Give it a read and let me know what you think...
Check out the full report here.