2 rapports du Futurelab sur les expérimentations autour du game-based learning

Le site du Futurelab met à disposition sur son espace de ressources deux rapports sur des expérimentations de game-based learning. Les rapports, nommés Games-Based Experiences for Learning et Games-Based Learning Experiences: Testing the principles with teachers and students, datent de la fin d’année 2010. Le premier, dirigé par Magdalena Bober (Manchester Metropolitan University), permet d’avoir une vision d’ensemble de la recherche organisée sur le game-based learning. Le second, dirigé par Kieron Kirkland, Mary Ulicsak et Marisa Harlington (tous les trois associés au Futurelab), permet de mettre en pratique les travaux de recherche pour y analyser précisément les retours et résultats.

Games-Based Experiences for Learning

Introduction :

In recent years there has been an increasing interest in how digital games can be used to support learning and teaching in formal education environments. They have been applied to aid the development of subject knowledge and subject specific skills or to learning collaborative skills, such as problem-solving and team working. The research literature on digital games recognises that they can be an engaging way to support learning and teaching although there is no conclusive evidence whether they are an effective way of learning (see eg Ulicsak and Wright 2010; Groff, Howells and Cranmer 2010).

To maximise their potential for learning there needs to be an improved understanding of what elements of games are engaging and motivating, and how they can be practically used in the learning process (Van eck 2006). equally, there is a growing interest in whether the core principles of engaging games design can be used as a pedagogic model to create game-like learning experiences to motivate students (see for example the US-based Quest to learn schools, www.q2l.org).

Audience, aims and scope

This report is intended to be read by classroom teachers working in primary and secondary schools, teacher trainers and training agencies, as well as policy makers and academics.

The aims of this report are:

  • to develop an overview of what makes a digital game a motivating and engaging learning experience
  • to build a taxonomy of learning elements of digital games, including a systematic, accessible description of each element
  • based on the above, to develop a set of design principles for digital games-based learning experiences (which can in turn be used to structure a resource for teachers).

The report forms the basis for further research with teachers
and students to evaluate the relative importance of each learning element and explore how the elements can be used in formal education settings to support the creation of games-based learning experiences that can, but don’t have to, include digital games (see Kirkland 2010).

This report is not intended as a ‘best practice’ guide to game- based learning. instead it brings together key research publications and views from games experts on the elements and principles of engaging games-based learning experiences.


Games-Based Learning Experiences: Testing the principles with teachers and students

Introduction :

This paper outlines the findings from three workshops with teachers and students in which they:

  • give feedback on the relative importance of key learning elements identified in digital games
  • explore how these elements could be used to support the creation of games-based learning experiences in formal education settings. 
The workshops were designed to explore how the previous research within this project which identified learning elements from digital games (Bober 2010) could be applied in formal education settings and used
as the basis for games-based learning experiences that did not have to include digital games. The teacher workshops identified tools through which these principles could be applied. However, teacher availability meant they did not use these tools to create a games-based experience. 
The paper describes: the participants, the workshop activities, the findings of the workshops, and in particular teacher and student attitudes towards each of the key learning elements and which they felt were most important to include if creating games-based learning experiences for the classroom. 
This report draws on the following definition of digital games-based learning experience to create a definition for both digital and non-digital games (Bober 2010, p5): 
”Digital games-based learning experiences will be defined as based on activities that:
    • have a digital game […] at their core, either as the main activity or as a stimulus for other related activities.
    • can take place in a formal (eg school) or informal (eg home) learning environment
    • have learning as a desired or incidental outcome.”

As such, for this purposes of this paper, games-based learning experiences are seen as activities that:

  • have a game (digital or non-digital) at their core, either as the main activity or as a stimulus for other related activities
  • take place in a formal (eg school) or informal (eg youth club) learning environment
  • have learning as a desired intentional outcome.


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