What is GBL?

  • Anagha Vallikat
    Anagha Vallikat

Today, the world is driven by the advancement of technology in every field. So, why should not the education sector use it to its benefit? Educators today are trying to upgrade the traditional ways of teaching and learning.

Gaming is fun as well as entertaining and can make learning more interesting when combined with teaching concepts. Lately, the edtech industry has shown extensive growth, evident through the significant shift to online learning from traditional classroom learning.

The teachers are now shifting to a new approach, game-based learning (GBL). This technological integration with learning has made the whole learning process interesting and engaging. As per a study, GBL is considered beneficial for students: it boosts knowledge retention, increases engagement and promotes academic success. Here, we dive into GBL, compare it to traditional learning, and list its myriad benefits.

What is Game-Based Learning?

GBL is the future of education; it simply uses gaming with educational goals to support a child’s growth and development. The aim is to promote analytical thinking, logical reasoning and collaborative thinking among students. It helps students retain attention and engage extensively with their academic curriculum, paving the way for academic excellence. If you are a teacher looking for new and innovative ways to teach your students, try incorporating GBL into your sessions.

Game-based learning can be defined as competitive, interactive lessons, which allow learners to have fun while gaining knowledge. Excellent game-based learning has three main components: competition, engagement and rewards. The first, competition, does not have to be against another student or teacher. For example, in the Oregon Trail, the competition is against the game, with the player trying to score high. This competitive factor helps motivate students who are unable to find it in common learning methods.

This brings us to the engagement aspect. When students play games that engage and fascinate them, they inadvertently receive all the information being conveyed without even noticing the learning aspect. The final component is the immediate rewards. These rewards can be as simple as letting them know they are correct, giving them points, or upgrading them to the next level. This way, kids can grasp complex concepts easily and appealingly.

Benefits of Game Based Learning:

1) Builds Knowledge Retention

Imparting knowledge via GBL is beneficial for students as it helps sharpen their memory, which leads to better knowledge retention— a much better strategy than reading and mugging up. The concepts learned via visual learning are grabbed faster and last longer in the memory.

2) Encourages Participation

Game-based learning encourages participation and probably brings higher engagement rates as students are more motivated to catch up with key learning ideas. The more students complete the exercises or tasks, the better their understanding of the subject.

3) Better Analytical Skills

GBL has the likelihood of improving analytical skills in students. While playing games, students use their knowledge, reasoning and analytical skills to clear a level or task. Games like Sudoku and Scrabble are great examples to promote the use of logical reasoning and critical thinking skills.  

4) Better learning and understanding of concepts

Like in a computer game, students make errors, repeat levels, and become familiar with the correct responses in GBL. This practice of learning by doing ensures better understanding of concepts and their applicability in the real world.

5) Develops hand-eye coordination

Games that require a mouse and keyboard or gamepad to clear a level can help develop hand-eye coordination in students. Games like Ping-Pong and Road Rash are excellent examples.

They also make students attuned to how a computer works.

GBL is not only beneficial for students but is also beneficial for teachers. Listed below are a few points that state as to why teachers should adopt the GBL approach:

Why GBL?

1) Makes the session interesting and lively:

With the use of a game-based learning approach, teachers can make their teaching sessions interesting and fun. This helps in developing student’s interest in learning new things without devoting much time to textbooks. It also motivates teachers to teach actively with full zeal to have one-on-one Q&A in the class.

2) Easy tutoring:

GBL enables teachers with the facility of easy tutoring. Teachers can teach difficult concepts with the help of games in a creative way so, it becomes easy for students to grasp such concepts. With GBL, students are always motivated to learn new things which lessens the teacher's burden of thinking of new ideas to motivate kids to learn.

3) Easy progress tracking:

It is often a task for teachers to track each student’s progress, but with GBL teachers, can keep a real time track of every individual’s progress with the help of ranks and leader boards or levels completed in a game.

How is game-based learning different?

As the sector continues to evolve, teachers are mastering the integration of knowledge gained through games into their lectures. Games usually require some form of interaction with content and team members, allowing students to expand their imagination and elevate their strategy skills.

The adaptive nature of online games involves constantly changing themes and strategies. This makes learning amusing and different from the traditional ones based on textbooks. Since games can be tailored to their skill levels, they help in personalized learning. Acquiring knowledge through video games usually involves students’ attention and also allows educators to use games as per their mental abilities.

The reasons why teachers should adopt game-based learning are:

  • Friendly method of teaching
  • Development of analytical skills
  • Student-centric experiences
  • Motivates the student to become more involved in soft skills
  • Learn about digital literacy and fluency
  • Learn to think strategically and develop problem-solving skills

In conclusion:
Gaming forms a vital part of kids’ lives for entertainment and relaxation, and purposing it for learning is an excellent strategy. GBL is a powerful tool for students and for instructors and educators to impart knowledge through games tailored to teaching. It also helps educators and instructors better plan how they can impart their knowledge, helping students learn better and in a fun and interesting way.