Game Based Lessons: An Adult Education Experiment

By Henrietta Irizarry-Ortiz and Kimberly Gates from the Sheridan Technical Center.

In this session at USDLA 2014, Henrietta and Kimberly shared some background on game based learning, and then told the story of how they collaborated to experiment with game based education for adult learners.

They talked about why gaming gets a bad rap – violence, immersion, cocooning. However, video games can increase student engagement in real world problems. One interesting study shared was by Constance Steinkuehler on the differences in student reading for games and school reading. Watch more about it here. The main point is that interest highly influences performance. Another point was that we should use school to meet kids’ goals instead of to meet “our” goals. CHOICE: Using student interest as the main driver for their education.

Advice to parents is to pay attention to what games your kids are playing – and to help them reflect on the process and what they are learning from the experience. Self-correcting, persistence, how they are thinking.

The experiment was to have high school students design game based learning for the adult education students. They used Game Maker software and Blender.

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