Game-based learning involves students using game development concepts and software to create their own games. Game-based activities are highly engaging and motivating for students and, when embedded within the curriculum, can be a highly effective way for students to learn. When students create games, they have the opportunity to become involved with authentic collaborative projects that enhance their problem-solving, communication and teamwork skills. Game-making also helps students develop the three types of thinking that the Digital Technologies curriculum is based around—systems, design and computational thinking. The thinking and skills described above that can be developed through this learning process are highly desirable for workplaces of the future.
Research suggests that game-based learning encourages participation and learning in STEM subjects (Jackson, 2014). Furthermore, research indicates that 'games enhance a range of cognitive functions and generate responses in the brain associated with attention and learning'. (Australian Council for Educational Research, 2016)
Jackson, D (2014). STEM growth: Getting students interested in the sciences. (Australia: ACER Research Developments).
ACER (2016). Video games and STEM. (Australia: ACER Research Developments). Online: https://www.stemgames.org.au/teachers-and-parents.
Learn more about it
This is a broad collection of online courses, lesson plans, resources and supportive material to help educators get started in teaching computer programming.
How to teach it
CS First: Game design guides students to use block-based coding in Scratch projects through a series of themed activities.
In this sequence students plan, create and edit a program that will ask maths questions that are harder or easier depending on user performance.
For the classroom
blurb: Swift Playgrounds is a revolutionary new app for iPad that helps you learn and explore coding in Swift, the same powerful language used to create world-class apps for the App Store
Gamestar Mechanic is a game-based online digital learning platform designed to teach the guiding principles of game design and systems thinking.
This web site contains a link for teachers, schools and students to download a free version of Minecraft and resources for the teacher and classroom.
Agent Cubes is a programming tool for teaching computer science through creating 2D and 3D games.
Greenfoot uses a simple interface to teach object orientation using Java. Students create 'actors' that live in 'worlds' to build games, simulations and other graphical programs.
Students use a block-based coding language to manipulate sprites and story templates as well as community-created code snippets to create stories and games.
Follow, describe and represent a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithims) needed to solve simple problems (ACTDIP004).
Define simple problems, and describe and follow a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve them (ACTDIP010)