Educators have long understood that the interactive dynamic of games has the potential to benefit teaching and learning, and recent years have seen considerable activity surrounding the use of game mechanics in higher education. A diverse matrix of approaches use gaming principles, fully developed games, or other aspects of what some describe as “gameful learning” to increase engagement, enhance learning, and explore new models of education. Game mechanics reinforce the fact that failure is neither a setback nor an outcome but rather an indication that more work is needed to master the skill or knowledge at hand. Games can be highly motivational and engaging for students, and they have the potential to demonstrate that learning can be measured not just by grades but by competencies.
The 7 Things You Should Know About... series from the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) provides concise information on emerging learning technologies. Each brief focuses on a single technology and describes what it is, where it is going, and why it matters to teaching and learning. Use these briefs for a no-jargon, quick overview of a topic and share them with time-pressed colleagues.
In addition to the 7 Things briefs, you may find other ELI resources useful in addressing teaching, learning, and technology issues at your institution. To learn more, please visit the ELI Resources page.