Monday, 27 July 2009

Games based learning or games-based teaching?

Paul Pivec July 2009 'Games based learning or games based teaching?'

Paul Pivec, an Australian academic who has a 20 year background in the IT and games industry, takes a critical look at current games-based learning and, in particular, examines the lack of rigorous research evidence whether cognitive training games actually increases the skills and knowledge of the players or simply teaches them the skills they need to play the games.

He makes an interesting re-assessment about the notion of “digital natives” and poses questions about whether learners brought up in a digital world learn in any different ways than those who are not, do they utilise technology in different ways than those of the teachers who are teaching them? Pivec suggests that it could be the technology itself and the way it is used that simply appeals to creative learners, and the digital native theory is simply a marketing ploy created focused around the game.

He claims that it is the teacher-led learning activity taking place around the game that has the real potential to make a difference and this is what he prefers to call games-based teaching. This article was commissioned by Becta as part of the 'Emerging technologies for Learning' series and can be found under Technology Research.

David Meaton