Rui Zhang

Hello, everyone, my name is RUI ZHANG. My great interest is DGBL(digital game based learning). Digital game based learning (DGBL) may be the next revolution in education. The traditional teaching methods are failing to hold the interests of today's students who have grown up in an over stimulating world of technology and multiple streams of information. Digital games have been used by the military and medical health industry to train professionals in these fields, and with corporation between game developers and teachers. We may see an new wave of engaging games aimed at educating students such subjects as science, biology, geology, history etc.

Forty years of research has demonstrated that digital games are effective in developing students' cognitive, spatial and motor skills, problem solving, as well as computer and IT skills. Various learning theories attribute the effectiveness of DGBL as being due to the motivation and engagement created by this medium. Well designed games spur players through providing continuous feedback and rewards systems, and make content memorable by creating emotional learning experience. Games are best integrated into the school curriculum by supplementing game sessions with traditional teaching activities to reaffirm the topic. Currently teachers are limited to selecting off the shelf games that best fit the learning objectives. In the future, as DGBL gains more credibility, we will see a wide range of "serious games" covering the entire school curriculum.

Summary of Professional Resource “A Guide to DGBL - Educational Issues”

This resource is intended for teachers and tutors, schools, universities, training institutes and commercial companies. Its purpose is to compile the latest information, resources, research and case studies relating to the use of DGBL, specifically it regards the educational issues and implications for applying a DGBL approach to aid in the achievement of specific learning outcomes.

In a climate where innovation and creative thinking are superseding the importance of other educational priorities, DGBL has created a new opportunity for a more engaging medium for learning 21st century skills. The key benefits are, that it is a more engaging and motivating medium that is more suited to the preferred style of learning of the current generation, who's development has been moulded by their immersion in digital culture. Computer simulations allows for a safe environment in which learners can gain rapid exposure to different scenarios and learn practical skills that would be impractical to obtain in the real world. Immersive worlds allow learners are more personalised, self directed, exploratory approach to learning within a practical context rather than learning abstract theory separate from context, in a linear and rigid path. The implementation of DGBL involves, defining the desired learning outcomes, researching or developing appropriate games for use, testing and familiarising with the game, determining the best way to combine gaming session with traditional content and facilitating the session with appropriate use of debriefing in order to relate the game experience back to the subject matter and allow students to articulate and clarify what they have learned. The greatest barriers to DGBL in mainstream schooling are teachers lack of knowledge of games, insufficient computer hardware and technical support and lack of support networks and resources. Previously large industries such as the military, medical and business have paved the way for DGBL but as costs have become much cheaper and more case studies and resources exist, many schools have also successfully adopted the use of DGBL as way of reaching and motivating young students who are very IT literate and easily adapt to the use of multimedia technologies.

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