#ocTEL Week 2 Active Play

May 19, 2014 in Blog post, Reader

Over recent decades, game-based learning has grown as a form of TEL. It encapsulates many principles of active learning, such as engagement in an authentic context, learning by mistake-making and reflection, experiential learning, collaborative learning and learning by problem-solving. As such, it is worth considering the techniques that games use to engage learners and what can be learned from them.

Play one of the following games for 15 minutes (longer if you like):

So, I tried out Lost in the City. I failed to get past the first mission and had to start again. The second time I managed to succeed in the mission quite quickly and I had learned from my mistakes and come up with a winning strategy. I was feeling quite pleased with myself as I moved to the second mission and I managed to do the first part of this just before my time ran out. I felt I was starting to understand how the game was set up and the logic it used. Unfortunately, I failed to find the code to get into the attic (maths and any form of numbers has never been my strong point and tends to make me freeze). I didn’t try again.

I did find the scenario quite engaging and the graphics weren’t  bad – I haven’t played computer games since my now grown-up boys were kids and so I am very out of touch. However, having said that, this game doesn’t seem to be any more sophisticated or “technology enhanced” than the games they were playing almost 10 years ago.

I didn’t go far enough to really see what could be learned from the game as the scenario develops and, I imagine, the missions become more complicated and build up on the knowledge learned as you go through. It will definitely teach observational skills, deduction and logic. Learning by mistakes and patience. I found it quite stressful to be multi-tasking (observing, reading, problem-solving, thinking ahead) against the clock in an unknown environment, but I think it could be a useful learning outcome.

I am quite tempted to go back and see if I can go any further any faster and find out just what April is playing at ;-) However, I think with the online version at least I would have to begin again at the beginning (I didn’t save my game) and that is definitely a factor of demotivation for me. Had I been able to pick up where I had left, then I think I might have gone back to it later on.

1 response to The open course you cannot fail…

  1. Dear Maren

    “Lurkers” vs “Silent participants”?

    Here are a few other terms that could be used:

    vicarious learners?
    silent participants?
    Non-public user?
    legitimate peripheral participator?
    virtual participant?
    marginal participant?
    passive observer?
    cognitive apprentices?
    potential member?
    proximate member?
    tacit member?

    See Let’s get more positive about the term ‘lurker’

    Which term best reflects the degree/ style/ of learning? If you read a book, but never talk about it, have you learned any less?

    Best wishes


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